Smart Girls everywhere know that feeling of boring lethargy that starts to set in halfway into summer vacation. In order to avoid ever being bored, here are some smart ways to spend your summer vacation:
Volunteering is a great way to spend your time wisely and give back to your community. In fact, giving has been shown to increase a person’s oxytocin levels, so you’ll leave the day whistling, knowing you’ve helped people in need.
Play a sport
You’ll have loads of free time over the summer – why not pick up that old sport you used to play in middle school or high school and start training again? Most communities have local leagues for many sports like swimming, basketball, and soccer.
Attend an academic summer program
You can spend part of your summer at an academic summer program completely immersing yourself in a singular topic of study. Study a topic you normally can’t at school or extend your knowledge about something you’re passionate about – you’ll be mentally stimulated and happy to learn when the school year begins.
Get a summer job
Between saving up for a car and concert tickets, you’re going to need to have some cash when September rolls around. Why not get a job in your town where you’ll get to serve the locals you know and love and increase your savings?
Get industry experience
After graduation, we all have to enter the “real world.” Over the summer, get a headstart and acclimate yourself to the industry you want to work in by shadowing a career professional or interning at a company. Work experience like that will make your resume stand out when you apply for a full-time job in the industry.
Take classes at a local college
During the school year, most of us can’t fit in that one amazing class we want to take into our schedules. Over the summer, you’ll have the time to study, gain college credit, and be genuinely interested in everything from the syllabus to the exams. A bonus tip for high school students – taking classes at your local community college makes for an impressive college application and allows you to go into college ahead of many other students.
Learn a new skill
While there might never be enough time for sleeping and video games, summer is a great resource for you to make use of. You can use the time to learn to code, paint, or speak a foreign language. You can go back to school being fluent in both English and Italian!
Get prepped for the upcoming school year
Lots of us get blindsided when September rolls around, leaving us to wonder where the summer went. Prep yourself for the upcoming school year by reviewing your syllabi, doing assignments, and getting ahead on all of that heavy reading.
Build your brand
You’re never off the clock when it comes to building your brand and networking. Networking is what will help you get a job at a company you never believed you had a shot at or what will let you meet you professional idol. So, over the summer, build or update your personal website and resume and get networking – perhaps at events like the Live Smart Series.
It wouldn’t be summer without some sort of travel. With budget airlines offering last-minute deals and you making money at your new summer job, you could totally go visit your friend who just moved away! If flying isn’t an option for you, you can always go on a classic American road trip with friends, wander around a big city and get lost, or take an interstate train all the way down the line to see where you end up.
You’ve got tons of options for how to spend your summer break, Smart Girl! If you want a little more advice on summer planning and doing, check out these articles on fun summer reads, keeping your extracurriculars going during the summer, and dressing for success at your summer internship.