Where has the time gone?! I’ve always thought the spring semester flew by compared to the fall. And that has truly been the case this semester. I feel like it was only yesterday that I was making vision boards with my sistah-scholars to bring in the new year. And now, it’s April! Spring is here! (Well, the cold temps may indicate otherwise…). But as I look at my planner for the remainder of the semester, it hit me that summer comes after spring…
For graduate students, summer time is crucial time. Some of us are fortunate enough to make vacation plans, visit friends and family, take a random trip. But others of us have to find jobs, internships, take classes, and write our little fingers down to the bone. Whatever your lot for the summer, be sure to plan wisely! Let me elaborate on the things I’ve mentioned and tell you why one or all of these can be beneficial to you:
-take a trip: Spring semester is usually extremely busy, even busier than fall. We get one major spring “break” (oh wait…those don’t really exist lol) in mid-March. But really, that’s about it. So I totally understand if the first thing you want to do is take a trip far, far away from Bloomington after you take your last final, turn in your last writing assignment, submit your last grades, etc. My response to that? Go for it!! You deserve it!! Take some time to decompress and relax. Visit some close friends and family you haven’t seen a long time. And just enjoy time with those people! That’s important.
-classes: Summer classes are a gift. Trust me on this one. Yes, you may attend them every weekday when you’d rather be lying on a beach reading a book for leisure. But taking courses during the summer, especially if you’re just starting out in your graduate career, can put you ahead of the game and allow you to get some credits out of the way early on. Take a class or two, ESPECIALLY if you have funding for it. You’ll be happy that you did.
-work, work, work, work, work: There are lots of good job opportunities that graduate students have access to that not only put a little money in your pocket but also can give you experience in your field. I currently have a summer gig with the Balfour Scholars Program in the School of Education. This summer will be my 3rd one with the program and I absolutely love it! If an internship or research project doesn’t come across your inbox, go search for them! Email different department reps and see what’s available. You never know what you will find.
No matter how you decide to spend your summer, be sure to plan ahead. The beginning of the spring semester is a prime time to begin hunting for jobs and internships for the summer. At least put your name out there during that time so that you will be on someone’s radar. If you want to take a trip, plan your budget and determine where you want to go. Summa summa summa time is just around the corner! 🙂