By Ana Correa
I like to think of summer vacation in college as something from a myth, a long lost legend. Nowadays, it’s extremely important for the career-seeking student to do things that will benefit their resumés whenever they can. Basically, it means we can no longer just goof off all summer like we did during grade school. But that’s okay, because in addition to cutting out those periods of boredom that inevitably come, it also helps us down the path to becoming productive adults.
After I survived my second to last finals week—that’s right, my last finals week will be this fall because I am officially graduating in December—I had about a week to get my post-finals school life in order before I could drive down to Florida where I’m spending my summer. Between moving to a new apartment at school, driving for 13 hours, and trying to secure a summer internship, I wasn’t sure what awaited me in the coming weeks and months. Would I be interning? Would I be bumming it on the couch all summer? Now I can tell you.
This summer I am interning at two places, Monday through Friday. As if this isn’t keeping me busy enough, in a few weeks I will start my summer classes. It’s only two classes, and they’re both online, but I’m already cringing at the thought of how much more will be on my plate. However, I kind of don’t mind at all. I was ecstatic to be able to intern at two different places because I will be getting hands-on career experience, even if I won’t be making a lot of money. Plus, taking those two classes now—both provided credits I need for my degree—is what will allow me to graduate come December. So even though my summer break won’t be much of a break at all, it’ll be a very productive number of weeks that will no doubt have a hand in crafting my post graduation life.
When it comes to summer break, what I learned this year is: 1) an unpaid internship is better than no internship at all, and; 2) if you can’t get an internship, get a summer job. And if you can’t get that, spend some time volunteering. When the clock is ticking and you need to apply for that post-college job, you’ll want something to show for all the time you had off, even if it’s just volunteering at your local animal shelter a few hours a week.
While yes, I will be pretty busy this summer, I am also looking forward to all the fun I’ll have with friends and family. Besides, I’m in Florida, and it would be a waste to not have some fun in the sun.
Ana Correa, from Brazil, is a senior majoring in Political Science at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana.