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5 Ways to Maximize Your Socially-Distanced Summer

Online Summer Programs: I’ll be the first to admit that the pandemic has done a number on my psyche. Personally, staying at home has made it difficult to stay motivated, which has been a prevalent issue for students during this time as well. But why not use this opportunity to work on your self-discipline and self-motivation to become a more self-dependent individual? In fact, this is your chance to get ahead! Online summer programs can be beneficial for students who seek to strengthen and develop their learning skills over the summer, learn a new skill entirely, or enroll in enrichment programs that allow students to explore other subjects and/or areas of interest. It sounds cliche, but we have more time than ever to work on ourselves.Need more convincing? With schools closing abruptly and transitioning to online learning, students are in danger of an even more advanced, potent “summer learning slide,” a term used to describe how much of what’s learned during the school year is forgotten over the summer. Online summer programs provide students the opportunity to retain the information from the previous school year, address any knowledge gaps, and get a head start in the fall. These programs can also be tailored to your schedule so you can also learn at your own pace and still manage to have some summer fun!

Online/Virtual Internships: Many students look forward to summer in order to gain work experience. Despite the COVID outbreak, that is still attainable through online and virtual internships. Here are the two main reasons why you should consider this option:

  • Despite losing the in-person office experience that makes traditional internships unique, an online/virtual internship will allow you to save money and time by not having to commute and being able to work from home.
  • This is also the perfect chance to enhance your resume. Prospective colleges and employers love students who take initiative. The exit sign is staring everyone in the eye right now. Now is the easy time to fold. But opportunities to build your work experience and keep busy at the same time are out there!

Read for Pleasure: OK, I know what you’re thinking. But pleasure is the key word! Think about all the course-related reading and studying for your classes you were forced to do. This is your chance to take control and pick up a book on your own terms. If you need help figuring out what to grab first, check out the New York Times and Washington Post for their summer reading list suggestions. Each provides a variety of fiction, biographies, history, and best-sellers to ensure there’s something for everyone.

Build your Brand: This is the perfect time to build your brand and expand your perspective on a global level. Plan ahead by researching internships, jobs, majors, post-grad career options, and other areas of interest. Not only should you “Google away,” but take advantage of social networking opportunities, polish up your social media profiles (LinkedIn in particular) and use the transition to this newfound online state-of-mind to enhance your professional and personal development.

Relax!: Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to relax! We are living in a climate where stress is inevitable. Not only are we living in a COVID era of uncertainty, but it’s imperative that our mental health doesn’t take a backseat. Take some time for yourself. Don’t shut yourself off from the world, but turn on your TV and kick back with the fam. Ditch your mobile devices for a game night with your loved ones. We all need a break from the hustle and bustle that can sometimes leave us drained. You’re going to have to recharge your batteries at some point anyway, so you might as well start planning your next vacation to ensure you’re prepared when we return to some semblance of normal! I promise it will happen.