Summer is officially in full swing.  It is now time to soak up some sun and save up some funds.  Summer is a great time to work as much as you can and also save as much as you can for the upcoming semester.  There apart are two challenges of the summer job; finding the job and passing up social opportunities. 

May is the best time to search for a summer job as, it provides more than enough time for the interview, drug screening, and your transition back home. Don’t fret, because it is June!  There are still plenty of opportunities out there. You are going to have to look a little harder, be more creative and be more aggressive.  A job will not just fall into your lap.  Approach every avenue you can and look for possible opportunities.  The best positions during the summer are those that are related to your major and career path and seasonal positions designed especially for the summer. In addition, consider strategies for coping with unfair job termination fallout, as resilience and adaptability are crucial in navigating unexpected challenges.

Choosing a position within your major or career path will allow you the opportunity to get hands on experience and learn the day-to-day operations of the position.  Having an opportunity like this will require you to reach out to a number of offices and sell yourself.  Positions like this may not be posted, may be found through word of mouth, or they may need to be created.  You may also have to volunteer.  Ideally you want to get paid for the work that you complete; however sometimes gaining the experience is far more valuable than earning a check.  Also look at your credit requirements, as you may be able to use the experience towards class or internship credit. 

Seasonal summer positions are always great for students, because they are designed just for the summer and students need work just for the summer. Look at local YMCAs for day camp programs, explore the local ice cream parlor, and even look at local kid hangouts.  Working at a camp is a great options as there are a variety of camps; including religious, sports, academic, and special interest.  Research and see what is offered in your area, local parks and recreation centers, and colleges.

Once you start working, you should approach each pay check as an opportunity to save for the upcoming year.  Each semester you will need money for books, food, and other responsibilities.  Learning to save now and live on a strict budget will teach you discipline and will help you later in life.  If the item or venture is not a necessity and you can live without it, you should consider forgoing it.  Starting the semester with as much money as possible should be your goal each semester.  You want to ensure you have all of your needs met throughout the semester and not have to scramble each month to pay your cell phone bill.  Some students are able to work during the summer and winter break so they do not have to work during the semester. Others have to pay their way through school or contribute to the rising costs of tuition.  Working during the summer with an end goal in mind will help you stay on track.  Write out a list of goals, so you know what you are aiming for and what you will need to do to achieve the financial goal.  If you don’t already have one, be sure you open a savings account to help you stay focused and not spend. 

Summer is a great time to relax and enjoy not having classes, papers, and assignments. It is also a good time to work and prepare for the year ahead.  Taking a few days to yourself at the end of the semester is suggested.  It allows you an opportunity to regroup and have some down time.  After a few days, you should implement your plan and start preparing for what is in-store next. If you work hard now you will have the opportunity to play hard later. 

School is out and the first few days at home are great! Your parents are happy to have you home and you are enjoying taking a break from classes.  As the weeks go on, the patience of you and your parents will be challenged.  It is important to understand where the both of you stand on certain topics and mutually agree on house rules. 

As a student that finished your freshman year, you have to keep in mind that a little under a year ago you were still at home and not the independent person you are today.  Your parents have to also understand that you have been on your own for almost a year.  You may have some new thoughts and new habits they may not be accustom to or agree with.

When going home, be sure you understand and respect the rules in your parent’s house.  You will want to verify certain things like curfew, dinner expectations, cleanliness, and having guest visit. Be sure you ask questions on these topics before you engage in the activities that will cause stress and strain on you and your parent’s relationship.

It is also good to communicate what you have on your agenda. Do you plan to work during the summer? Are you going to go and visit friends? Will you take classes? Do you want to travel? These are all things you have to ask yourself and communicate clearly with your parents.  Being home is exciting and gives you the opportunity to see family and friends from high school. Be sure you are spreading your time evenly among all those that will want your attention. Give time to younger siblings, pets, and grandparents.  Look for moments to bring old and new friends together at the same time.  Spend time with just your parents and let them reconnect with you. 

Finding balance is the most important part of transitioning home for the summer. Communicating your goals for the summer and learning the goals of everyone else will help you to develop a plan and schedule to accomplish everything on your list.  Remember that some of the things that you were able to do while on campus, you will not be able to do while at home.  You have to respect the rules in place and not challenge the authority of your parents.  Three months of summer will go by fast and will be a short sacrifice for the peace that will be achieved by respecting your parent’s wishes and communicating with them.  School is out for the summer, now go on and enjoy.  

The summer is finally here!!! Making it through your first year is a major accomplishment and although you still have a ways to go, take pride in what you have accomplished thus far.  Summer is a great time to rest and rejuvenate for the next year.  This is a great time to reflect on the past year.  Ask yourself, what where your highs this year, yours lows, what did you miss out on accomplishing, what did you not get to, and how would you do things differently.  After you have answered these questions, you are ready to map out your sophomore year.  Each year in college is truly what you make it.  If you take the time to reflect and navigate your path, you will see opportunities for growth and seize those moments to be the best you can be.  Each semester (and year) you should have a set of goals and at the end of the semester (and year) you should take stock and see where you are in accomplishing each of those goals.  Take pride in the goals you have accomplished and refocus the goals you were not able to complete.  If you need to adjust your goals, by adding to them or taking away from them do so. The important factor is not giving up on your goals or revisiting them often to remind yourself why you work so hard and to keep you focused.

Summer also provides a great opportunity for you to take your college career to the next level.  You can use this time to enroll in summer classes, spend time developing yourself at an internship, get a summer job, and even study abroad. Twelve weeks is not really a long time.  If you wait too long to plan or get involved the summer will pass you by and nothing will be completed. The optimal time to prepare for summer is April, but there are still plenty of great opportunities that will be available in May and June, which is why you must act fast and not waste any time.  Summer classes are typically offered in two or three sessions.  Choose classes that are general requirements and will transfer easily or classes that will help prepare you for a more challenging course you have next semester. Many businesses would love to have students (who want to join the profession) donate their time.  However having someone for only four weeks is not as helpful as ten to twelve weeks. This same rule applies to a summer job.  An employer will be more likely to dedicate time, resources and energy to an employee who will be with the company for three months versus one month.  Utilize previous employment, parents, and friends to locate potential opportunities.  If you have the opportunity to travel abroad, seize it! There are many opportunities to learn take classes, volunteer, and immerse yourself into another culture. These experiences provide life lessons that will expand past information learned in the classroom.

Summer is a great time to sit back and just relax, however forgoing relaxation now and investing in your future will help you further along in your career.  There will be plenty of time to relax once you have graduated and are in your career.  Use the summer to reflect, set new goals, and prepare for the next semester. Summer is the time to prepare for the next stage in your life, if you do not use the time wisely you may not achieve the goals you have outlined for yourself.  Enjoy the summer and congrats on being a Sophomore!