After a long semester, we all look forward to the elusive summer break. A time for almost no worries, making memories with friends, and most importantly, attempting to catch up on some much-needed rest. At the same time, there are only so many summers standing between now and adulthood, when the summer breaks seem to disappear. With that, here are five ways to make the most of your summer, all while still enjoying it.

1) Work or intern

By either working or interning, you are allowing yourself to improve on skills, regardless of the field. If you are working, you are able to save money to do the fun activities you want, in addition to building on customer service skills, communication, and discipline. In an internship, you have the opportunity to gain valuable skills for the field you want to pursue after graduation as well as start making connections to find mentors or references. Both options will keep you sharp in various skills, and allow you to meet a wide variety of people.

2) Attend a conference

During the summer, you have the chance to attend a conference without having to worry about missing class. Attending conferences will introduce you to new people in your area of interest, allow you to hear from incredible speakers, and give you the chance to explore somewhere new. 

3) Take a class

I know it is nice to have a break between classes, but by taking courses over the summer, you have the opportunity to lighten your course load the following year and keep your mind in school mode so it is easier to get back in the fall. Many universities and colleges allow you to take courses online in the summer. I did this last summer and absolutely loved it. I was able to work on homework and papers when my schedule allowed while also being able to enjoy my summer. Also, it gives you a chance to try a new method of learning, which will challenge you in new ways to push yourself.

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4) Make a reading list

If you are not interested in taking a summer class, or even if you are, I recommend making a summer reading list. During the semester, it is hard to read books you enjoy and the summer break gives you the perfect opportunity to do so. If you need a place to start, you can find great book lists from FFL. That is always where I go if I am looking for a new book to read.

5) Try something new

Summer is prime time to try something new. Try a new restaurant you have been eyeing or try one with food you have never tried before. Take up a new hobby, like photography or painting. Find a place you have never been and get a group of friends together to go, even if it is just a day trip. With more free time, now is the time to try all that you have been thinking about and more. It will also give you the chance to make memories with your friends when you go back to school in the fall.

Summer is about relaxing, but it also presents the perfect opportunity to push yourself to make the most of it. Go on a new adventure and take a good book with you – and maybe some homework.

Bailey L
Bailey is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who enjoys writing, traveling, and coffee. When she isn't working, you can find her with her nose in a book or planning her next adventure.

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