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You made it to the end of the semester.  By this time, you probably do not want to think about another reading assignment, a group project, or balancing the various things you had on your plate just a few short weeks ago.  Right now, sitting in a corner playing Candy Crush, double tapping on Instagram, reading articles/books for fun, or taking the latest BuzzFeed quiz is the only thing on your agenda.  As enticing as those past times sound and as easily as you may be lured in, you want to be sure that you really utilize the summer to productively decompress from the semester. 

The summer could be used to reconnect with old friends, strengthen your bond with family, or explore some of your new-found interest. Below are some ways to not get sucked into the time spiraling daze of your smart phone.  

Ways to avoid losing your summer to your smart phone:

1.       Go to a concert.  Take it up a notch and attend a concert in another city, state, or even country.

2.       Go on a trip.  Pick a place you’ve never been.  Try travelling by train, bus, or drive.

3.       Make a new friend.  Put yourself out there and introduce yourself to someone you do not know.

4.       Try a new work-out routine.  Pilates, Cross-Fit, or training for a race will help keep you active.

5.       Go for a walk around the neighborhood with your parents.

6.       Take your younger sibling to the local arcade.

7.       Volunteer to assist at a local organization for charity or to gain experience in your field.

8.       Jumpstart your required reading for next semester.

9.       Pick up ice cream and visit your grandparents.

10.   Host a slumber party. You can invite new and old friends. 

11.   Help your siblings navigate through their summer reading list.

12.   Assist your parents with a project around the house.

13.   Stay connected to classmates.  Invite them to spend time with you and accept their offers when presented.

14.   Join a challenge to help count the days and keep you engaged.  Think cooking, weight loss, or financial savings challenge.

15.   Take a class at the local community college. Taking a special interest class such as Pottery, Event Planning, or Computer Coding may spark new passions within you. 

16.   Clean and organize things around the house.  Talk to your parents about projects they have put off and would like to finish.  

17.   Work. Find a part time job to assist with saving for the next semester.

18.   Get involved on campus.  Orientation leaders and volunteers are needed to help assist with incoming freshmen.

19.    Write an article in your field.  Once written attempt to get it published within your professional organization.

20.   Try something new.  No matter how big or small, keep a positive outlook and try something you have never experienced.   

The summer is here and it provides the greatest opportunity to complete an internship.  What better time of the year will you be able to take 20, 30, or 40 hours than the summer? This will allow you time to get some hands on experience in your future career field.  Some internships can be paid, while others are for the benefit of gaining new knowledge.  Some internships are for a short period of time (1 week) up to the entire summer (3 months). Some internships result in job offers, while others produce letters of recommendation.

How well you perform during an internship depends on your performance from day one. Below are 8 tips on how to be successful during your internship.

  1. Dress for success.  Each day you should come dressed for the position you hope they offer you full-time. Take time to give attention into your appearance:
    1. Press your clothes each day.
    2. Stay away from trends and pick more classic looks when making fashion choices.
    3. Stick to natural hair colors.
    4. Avoid bright nail colors and distracting nail lengths.
  2. Arrive on time each day.  On time is to arrive 15 minutes early. Prepare for the unexpected during your commute.
  3. Do your research. Learn as much as you can before and during your research. If there is something you do not know, look it up. Ask questions and take notes on new information you obtain.
  4. Ask how you can help.  Part of you obtaining the internship is to learn, but the other part of you being there is to help out around the office.  You should be able to help with projects, clean-up around the office, and lighten the load for the staff.
  5. Be thorough in all that you do.  When working on projects, be sure to cross every “t” and dot every “i”.  Follow-up on projects and complete projects in their entirety.
  6. Leave the drama at home.  Do not bring drama to the office.  If you are having personal problems, you should try to not allow it spill out at the internship.  You want people to get to know you, your knowledge, and your skillset, but you do not want them to know about the fight you had last night with your partner.
  7. Avoid your cellphone and social media. You should avoid mobile devices unless directly associated the internship.
  8. Bring a positive confident attitude each day.  Come to the internship each day confident and positive about the experience, the day, and each task that is given to you.

The summer can be a great time for you to learn life skills that seem to fall by the wayside in the midst of classes, hectic exam schedules, and student jobs. Now is the perfect opportunity for you to ask your parents for advice on all the tasks you might not already know how to do: change a tire, change your oil, wash the laundry (without bleaching, shrinking, or otherwise ruining anything), and how to make a meal (without a microwave or the word “instant” involved). Tackling these skills while you’re on break can help to fill your summer with meaningful learning, without opening a book or taking an exam. When you get back to college, you will be able to impress all your friends with your new knowledge!

Time these requests right! Ask your parents if you can tag along on errands such as grocery shopping so you can learn how to stretch your budget to feed multiple people. Ask to be taught how to do something that is already being done so as to make the most of the lesson! For instance, don’t ask to be taught how to make lasagna for dinner and expect to learn at 10 AM. Such a lesson would be much better timed closer to dinner. Your parents will appreciate your thoughtfulness, and you will still get to learn what you want.

The summer is also a great time to learn random skills that may or may not be at all useful. You can learn essentially anything you can dream of on YouTube. One summer I learned how to make paracord bracelets just because. Do you have an interest in some random skill? Try looking it up and see what you can learn with just the internet and your copious amounts of free time.

Schools out for the summer! It is a wonderful feeling and the best time to relax and recuperate after successfully completing two semesters.  The summertime is the best time to begin or continue fitness routines. You do not have time constraints between classes, assignments to focus on, and meetings to attend.  Taking time for yourself is important, but taking consistent time for your self should be the constant goal.   Physical and mental health is equally important during the summer months.  With classes not in session, your lifestyle may become more sedentary.  It is important to keep your body and mind sharp.  Below are tips to keep your mind and body sharp during the summer months.

Ideas for Physical Sharpness

  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Walks Around the Neighborhood
  • Cycling
  • Softball
  • Volleyball
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Train for a 5k
  • Try a Vegan Diet
  • Yoga

Ideas for Mental Sharpness

  • Read a book
  • Start a blog
  • Meditate
  • Take a personal enrichment course
  • Volunteer at a Summer Camp
  • Complete a book of Sudoku Puzzles
  • Participate in a Scavenger Hunt
  • Keep a summer journal
  • Start a Video Blog
  • Complete an internship


The semester is winding down, finals are here, and summer is lurking nearby.  These are normally good signs as it indicates you have made it to the end of the semester/quarter and for most you’ve made it to the end of the year.

Sophomore year is a chance to do-over and redo the things you did or wish you would have done this semester. Now is the time to look at the successes and failures of the year.  Make note of the things that you did well and also look at the things that you could have done better.  Freshman year is a time to experiment, soul search, and determine who you want to be and what works for you.  Year two should be focused on refining the person you created in year one.  If you do not like something, toss it out, change it, or replace it with want you want it to be.

Reflect on the decisions you made.  Did you make the best decisions this year?  Are there things that you can go back and redo or undo?  Use the summer to reflect on the decisions you made and how you want to improve your decision making for next year.  You may not have much power to change grades, study skills you developed, or your involvement level.  However, you do have the power to mend relationships, learn new study skills, and join/take on leadership roles within student organizations. Do what you can to start sophomore year off to a great start.

Also explore opportunities you may have missed.  Did you talk yourself out of running for student government, miss auditions for the next play, or decide against that art class?  Use summer to reflect on missed opportunities and how you can better seize these opportunities next year.

Congratulations on making to the end of year one.  You have completed something that some students were not as successful in achieving.  Although you have made it this far you still have a ways to go and should explore ways to grow, learn, and define yourself. Be purposeful with your thoughts and actions. Be deliberative in the steps that you take. Be the best version of you that you can be. Enjoy your summer!

I see dollar signs.  As we wrap up the final few weeks of the Spring semester, most people think of finals, moving out of the residence halls, scheduling classes for next semester, graduation, and summer fun.  I agree I too think of these things but with all of these changes comes the idea of MONEY!!!!

As students prepare to graduate, for next semester, or for the summer there could be a possible change in their employment. Now is a good time to visit your favorite on-campus departments, offices, or eateries.  Inquire about any potential job openings that may be opening up during the summer or for next school year. Another option is to check the student employment website or office (sometimes located within the Financial Aid Office) to see if anything has become available. The summers along with graduations often result in hundreds and thousands of students fleeing back home. However, it will also mean students away at school fleeing back home where your school is located.  Start early by putting in applications and stopping by local establishments letting them know you are looking for employment.

Most businesses welcome college students, because they know students have a unique background, varying knowledge, and have relatively low needs. However, be sure to accurately sell yourself. Treat each interaction as an interview; sometimes stopping by results with an on-the-spot interview. Pay extra attention to your appearance, your presentation (application, resume, interview), and your overall professionalism.  Although you may be a low maintenance employee you do not want to come across as a liability (that can be proved via McLeod Brock).  Employers want someone who appears to be mature, serious, and long term.

This is the time to buckle down and focus on finishing the semester strong, but it is also the time to get an early start on employment for the summer and the Fall semester. Use this time wisely and avoid the rush.