Now that spring semester is in full swing, the question everyone is asking is, “What are you doing over the summer?” Not having a concrete answer to that question is stressful, but this stress can easily be prevented. Budgeting your time is extremely important. Do not leave assignments and important work-related items until the last minute. Saying “Oh, I’ll do it tomorrow,” seems a lot easier than doing the work, but tomorrow comes quickly.
One important thing not to put off for too long is looking for internships and work opportunities for the summer months. If you plan on having an internship over the summer, it never hurts to start looking as early as possible. If you have a set plan, that leaves you with one less thing to stress out over. The more time you give yourself to look for these opportunities, the more people you will connect. The more people you connect with, the more opportunities you present yourself with. It never hurts to know too many people, in the future someone may be able to help you get to where you ultimately want to be in your career.
If you put off looking for an internship until the last minute, or your last semester, you will find yourself feeling overwhelmed. If you are still in a position where you have multiple semesters of school left, take advantage of your time in that position. Look for internships during the semester where you can receive credit rather than having to pay for one while you are working for free. That way once it is time to apply for internships over the summer or a job after graduation, you have the experience from all your hard work during the semester.
Searching for an internship can be tricky if you are not careful about it. Be sure to apply to internships that are not only of interest to you, but deliver what they say they will. For example, if you are only being paid one thousand dollars for three months worth of work, that is not fair to you. Also, be cautious about what you will get from the internship, if you are graduating be sure to look for post-graduate internships that will pay you and steer clear of internships for credit; because at that point the credit will be useless to you.
Not only is it important to plan in advance for internships, but also jobs in general. Just because a job is convenient at one point in time does not always mean it will be. Life happens and people get fired, relocate or simply change their minds. It is key to always keep a backup plan in mind for periods of uncertainty. If you live on campus, look for a job on or near campus; it never hurts to have some extra money saved up. If you are traveling over the summer, look into participating in an independent study to get some new knowledge under your belt.
Thinking ahead for internships and jobs is just the first step to planning your summer, having somewhere to live would be a good thing to think about as well. If your job is in another city, be sure to look into living options that fit within your budget. If your job is a decent ride away, be sure to find a living situation where you will be able to get to work on time.
It is vital to be motivated to plan ahead. Figuring out what you want to do with your future is not something that should be put off until tomorrow. Tomorrow comes fast and before you know it, you will have to make important decisions that will impact the rest of your life. It is key to remain level-headed, figure out the options that are best for you, and to do so in a timely manner.