No internship, no cool travel plans, no family business to go work at? Is your summer looking this drab? You keep turning to social media to pass your time but that’s not helping either because you are confronted with information on how all the other students in your batch are chilling in some big company, saving humanity or are somewhere abroad pursuing an internship while taking Instagram worthy shots. To add, those nosy neighbourhood aunties just won’t shut up about how awesome their someone is achieving something somewhere.
But how do you explain to them that you’re not the kind of person who likes to spend their summer saving people from burning buildings rather you’re someone who likes to unwind and make use of this vacation to catch up on your thoughts? Or maybe you just failed to land an internship. We’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s okay if you’re not interning this summer! There are so many things in this world to do. So in the light of that, we’ve taken it upon us to lay out some things you can do this summer instead of an internship:
Learning new skills
When I was younger, I really wish there were platforms like Coursera, Udemy, Udacity etc to help me learn new skills and of course, a reliable internet connection. But now with cheap data and a plethora of online platforms that offer free courses, there are so many course options to choose from. Even though some of the courses might cost you some money, they are quite affordable and well worth your time. With these newly acquired skills, you can either build your own application or submit your ideas to some companies that might turn into a project. This will generate some extra cash on the side. The icing on the cake – You can proudly showcase your resume with these added skills.
Don’t restrict yourself to just learning software skills. There are loads of other skills like Technical Writing, Statistics, Communication, Research or even learning a foreign language which may not be marketed as much but can open up huge opportunities for you.
Pick up a hobby or a project
Are you one of those people who always wanted to crochet? Do you see a dress on the runway and think of the ways that you could have made it better? Are you looking at online stores and dreaming of ways on how you could have made it more user-friendly? Do you read a book and find yourself developing alternate storylines or endings? To all the aspiring Mark Zuckerberg’s out there, this is your golden chance. Start working on the idea. Take help from professionals if you need. Start a blog and detail your experiences. Start a small business, maybe even an online company. With the power of the internet, it is an achievable dream.
You are pushing boundaries and learning new things. That sounds so much better than binge-watching Netflix shows with a bag of potato chips. And who knows, soon you will be signing your own book or hosting a fashion show!
Travel, it has lots of benefits
If you can afford it, this is one of the best ways to spend your summer. One, it will take you away from all the negativity, all those thoughts that are constantly pulling you down and two, you will come back with so much more knowledge and experience of other cultures. You will widen your horizons and get to experience how people around the world live their lives. You will find yourself in situations where you’ll be asking for directions or buying groceries in a place where you barely know the local language. The benefits will go far beyond internships, and you will come back with life-changing experiences. At the end of the day, it is a practical and hands-on experience.
My grandmother used to say that travelling for an entire month is equivalent to what you learn in college in a year. Of course, unless you are studying abroad you won’t gain a lot of book-related knowledge, but you will expand the way you view the world. You will be continuously learning and be absorbing the culture instead of just sitting at home.
Pick up research projects with your professors
Sometimes doing research with a professor is much more beneficial than an internship. It will help you further your knowledge, hone your skills and focus on your area of interest. At the very least it will help you make up your mind on the career path that you would need to follow. While research seems to be an option mostly for science students, there are options of doing research in other fields as well. You get an opportunity to dig deep into an issue or field that you are interested in and gain some practical skills that will be demonstrated to future employees that you are job ready. At the very least you might just get a really cool professor who will turn out to be your lifelong mentor. In any case, it never hurts to try emailing a professor and inquire if they have something for you.
If you have the time and the finances to support you, try to go abroad and participate in a short-term research project. This might turn out to be the big break that you always dreamt about.
Give back to the society
It’s not easy to practice gratitude. So if you’re the kind of person who loves giving back, utilise this summer to do that. Community service or volunteering can be a real eyeopener and you’re bound to start appreciating the little things in your life and learn a little gratitude. You are working to better someone else’s life with no monetary reward attached to it. You can build your resume and have a bunch of interesting stories to share with future employers. Try holding a cancer walk or volunteer to teach children in your neighbourhood who do not have the access to a good school.
You can teach underprivileged kids some sport or whatever it is that you feel you’re good at. In the days of the superfast internet, you can even teach children on online platforms. You will get a dual benefit of helping someone out and be learning something as well.
Make the most of your months off and make sure you rejuvenate yourself. Remember that once you start working full time there will be no more summer breaks. Choose what you want to do wisely and don’t waste your time feeling sad and depressed because you did not land an internship. While they are important it is not the end of the world if you don’t land one. Appreciate your freedom for what it is worth. Look forward and think of things that will keep you active and motivated. It is very easy to fall into the trap of becoming a couch potato. Try following the above options or anything else that you love and just see how fruitful and productive you will be!
Trying to find your passion this summer? Let’s help you out: A Guide To Discovering Your Passion This Summer