If there’s one thing you’re going to miss most of all once you graduate from college, it’s probably going to be your summers off. Even though plenty of us take classes or work, there’s nothing like having a nice three-month break from monotony every year, so you might as well take advantage of it while you have the chance.

There are plenty of different ways to spend your summer vacation, depending on what kind of summer person you are, so here are a few of the ways to make your summer valuable and more memorable!

Making Connections

We don’t really want to think about making connections and planning our future when we’ve got a three-month break from reality; but we should. We can take this opportunity to really shine in our jobs or just in relation to our various connections.

Professionals love eager undergraduates — mostly because college students provide bored professionals with an awesome ego boost. Finding somebody to give you an internship or to be your mentor can be the difference between McDonald’s and Merrill Lynch when you start searching for that first job. Take a little time to connect with your friends’ parents at BBQs, or with your professors at end-of-semester and summer events, and you might have a job before you graduate.

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Extracurricular Activities

There are no excuses for not working out during the summer. You don’t have 12-page papers and all-nighters. You have beautiful morning weather and plenty of time to nap. Now is the perfect time to join that Flag Football League, or the Half Marathon Training Group.

You can get a buddy to do it with you and then make plenty of friends along the way. It’s a great way to burn off some of those extra beers from the previous semester and a fun way to stay active!

Traveling the World

You see those people who had the extra cash to spend a semester in Europe or Spring Break in Mexico, but you know what? It’s possible for you too! Now is the time when you really want to get a few solid weeks of epic traveling in. It will teach you so much about yourself along the way.

If you want to take a week at Lake Havasu instead, go right ahead, but if you can swing the plane ticket, you should get as far away from your home country as possible and really experience life in another country. Grab friends for a two-week vacation in Southeast Asia, or join some sort of exchange or study abroad program in Europe. With student discounts and exchange programs, you’ll never get the opportunity to travel so cheaply again!

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This can go hand-in-hand with the traveling, or you can do it in your own community on Saturday mornings, but volunteering is an excellent addition to your summer holiday. It might be an early weekend day here and there, or you might have to do some unpleasant work, but it will reward both your mind and your resume. We all spend time donating canned food during the holidays, but what about summer?

There are plenty of children and adults who need help all year, so grab Costco-sized cans of soup, fruit, or vegetables, and see if your local pantry could use some help this Saturday afternoon.

Catching Up

If you go to school far from your hometown, this might be a good time to decide which location you prefer. Some of us never return after leaving for college, while others spend every spare break with their high school friends.

Your summers are a good time to figure out where you might want to make connections and find a job after college. It’s also a good time to catch up with your oldest friends and introduce them to your newest ones!


Image: Frank Wuestefeld