BY LORRAINE McKINNEY
The semester is over and it is time to relax. You can put the end of a semester behind you and laze around the house for a few months. You could do that, or, if you want to be a successful college student you can follow these six suggestions for what to do during your next college break.
- Volunteer – Take this time to give back to your community. After all, your community helped shape you into the successful college student that you have become. Help other students by becoming a tutor. You could also mentor a high school student and help them keep on track with their studies. There are many volunteer activities out there waiting to be filled. Also, volunteering looks good on your resume.
- Try something new – This is the time to try something new. Learn how to cook. Finally start playing the guitar. Build a bookshelf. Go on a nature walk and find out what local birds and animals reside near you. Visit a city you have never been to. New things are all around you just waiting to be discovered. All of these will help shape the person you are becoming. Learning something new helps your brain to stay in shape during your break.
- Study something new – You can find many interesting things on online courses. Take a course on Jewish studies. Discover a branch of literature you have not read. If your major is English, delve into the world of science. There are many courses out there for you to discover. The more varied your studies, the more interesting you will be to future employers.
- Independent study – Use this time to create an independent study either with your college or a local business. Decide what you want to get out of the study, and form a plan. Sometimes internships are too broad for what you want to accomplish. An independent study can help you narrow your focus and learn from experts in your field of study. Future employers will applaud your resourcefulness in creating an independent study.
- Contacts – During your break you can call or write to former employers or a favorite professor. Ask them to write letters of recommendation for you. The more letters you have available, the better chance of getting a good job. Also, if you ask for the letters during break, professors will have more time to sit and think about what they want to write. Do not wait until the middle of a semester when your professor is busy.
- Get ready for the next semester – While you might not want to think about school, this is the time to do so. You are not busy writing another term paper or reading another book that is due tomorrow. Sit down and think about what you want to accomplish the next semester. See if you can pre-order your books so you can look at them before your first day in class. Organize your schedule and make sure to balance study and down time. Prepare ahead of time and you will be less likely to cram for a test or stay up late creating a final project. This will benefit your mind and body and help you glide through your next semester.
To be a successful college student, you need to keep your mind active while you are on break. Instead of being a couch potato, learn how to cook latkes. Education comes in many forms. Take advantage of the time you have to educate yourself and broaden your horizons.
Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and e learning specialist.