Summer break always goes by faster than you think, and while you could spend that time playing video games, rewatching your favorite movies and shows, and sleeping in, it won’t help you to maximize your college experiences. This year during your semester break, try utilizing new ways that will help you get a head start on your career and future. 

1. Create a Budget

College is expensive. It’s not just the tuition you have to pay for, you’ll also need to include a budget for books, rent, groceries, and other extra activities during the semester. While you have some time to plan, create a budgeting system that will help you afford to attend college. You might need to plan on getting a job or donating plasma to help pay for some of the expenses. 

2. Make a Graduation Plan

Visualizing what classes you still need to take and when can help you stay on track toward your degree. University and college classes are tough, so the more you take, the harder your semester will be. When you can pull up your grad plan and see what you have left, it’s easier to keep your eye on the prize and work hard. 

3. Update Resume/LinkedIn

Each semester you’ll develop new skills and have new experiences that you should add to your resume and LinkedIn profile. Updating your resume keeps your information current and relevant to any jobs, scholarships, or internships you apply for. It’s smart to add these new skills to your resume during your semester break so that you don’t forget them. 

4. Apply for Scholarships

As previously mentioned, college is expensive. If you know you’ll need scholarships to keep attending school, research and apply for them during your semester break. Trying to find scholarships while taking classes is stressful, so try waiting and doing it when you have some free time. 

5. Volunteer

Many post-graduate schools look for applicants who have experience volunteering. If you plan on attending a graduate school or if you feel like doing some meaningful with your extra time, consider volunteering. Places like animal shelters, nursing homes, and food pantries are typically looking for extra help!

6. Take an Online Class

While taking online classes isn’t free, they can help you fast-track your degree or give you an excuse to learn something you’ve always wanted to. Online classes are somewhat flexible and will give you something productive to do during your break. 

7. Get a Job/Internship

Jobs and internships help prepare you for the workforce and can provide you with experiences to help you with your career later on. Jobs and internships can also help you learn if you enjoy your degree and what you are doing with it, or if you should switch it up. The experience, and the money, can help you during your college career. 

8. Study Abroad

If you are ready to jump right back into the ebb and flow of classes and school with the added excitement of a new place and culture, consider studying abroad during your semester break. Studying abroad can provide you with increased opportunities to grow and expand your network while still learning.

9. Read 

During the semester, you probably aren’t motivated to read any books for fun because you have dense textbooks to read instead. Your off semester is the perfect time to catch up on your reading list and to enjoy the books you’ve missed out on. 

10. Job Shadow

Job shadowing is a good idea if you aren’t sure what career path you want to choose with your degree. Shadowing a professional can also help you land a job, volunteer hours, a recommendation, or some free advice. 


While you should take some time during your semester break to have some fun and time to yourself, make sure you take advantage of the time you have to maximize your college success and experience.