Being Productive Over the Summer

Greetings readers! 

It's been a while since my last post, mostly because I've been incredibly busy over the course of the last two months with finals, moving out, and coming home to Honolulu, Hawaii.  I've been here for about a week and a half now, and I was lucky enough to have my boyfriend (who is from Indianapolis) come to visit me for a week.  Now that he is gone, it is about time to get busy again.  My parents have always stressed that summers should be productive.  This summer marks the first year I am NOT attending summer school since I was in kindergarden!  That of course, doesn't me I'll be spending my time lounging around on the beach all day.  In exchange for not taking any summer classes, I will be working a summer job and taking Mandarin lessons from a tutor once a week. 

Summer is a great time to catch up on credits and requirements.  I stayed in Bloomington for two weeks before coming home, and it really is a beautiful (although very hot!) place during the summer.  Even if you don't stay in Bloomington for the summer, it is still possible to take summer school at a local college and convert the classes towards IU credits.  Last year, I took a geography class at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, which counted as 3 credits towards my Natural Sciences and Mathematics requirement.  By using this website (http://cts.admissions.indiana.edu/transferin.cfm), you can find what credits will automatically count for IUB credit.  Of course, you can always take classes that aren't on the transfer credit list and check with an advisor to see if the pariticular class can count for anything.  

If taking some time off school is more your thing, working a part time job is a great way to save up for the next spring break while still having time to hang out and enjoy the weather.  Finding a job can be a little tricky when you are only going to be home for the summer.  After applying to a total of 22 places (yep, I counted), I was FINALLY able to get a serving position at a Japanese/Italian fusion restaurant.  I didn't think I would be able to get the job, because I don't have serving experience and it seemed like such an upscale place.  Applying for jobs is like applying for colleges, except there is no application fee!  The more you apply to, the more likely you will get a job.  You're going to have some "reaches" and some "fallbacks," but in the end it might just be luck or something special about you as an individual that sets you apart from other applicants.  My main advice is to be honest about your employment period, especially when you are only going to be working for the summer.  I'd like to believe one of the main reasons I didn't recieve callbacks or interviews from the other 20 or so places I applied to might be because I am only here for the summer.  Even though it might be tempting to lie and say you will be able to stay, but quit when summer is over, there is no point in burning the bridge between you and your management.  I try to keep a good standing with my former employers, so I can use them for business references and recommendations.  After being employed for the last three summers, I think I can also vouch that finding temporary employment is often easier in retail.  Sales associates don't need as much training and big companies especially (ex. Hollister, Forever 21, Express, Victoria's Secret) are pretty understanding when it comes to summer jobs.  However, this shouldn't be a discouragement from applying to other industry jobs.  I'd like to say I got extremely lucky by getting a position at such a nice restaurant.  Again, this goes to show finding a job can be a numbers game, therefore applying to as many places as possible gives you the best odds.  

Of course, cinching an internship is probably one of the best things you can do to be productive over the summer.  Whether it is paid or unpaid, work experience, especially in fields you are interested in for future employment, can be very valueable.  Most internships have deadlines, often way before the summer actually starts.  Since I have never had a summer internship, I really can't offer any advice on how to get one or where to start.  I do know that some internships can actually count for college credits at IUB.  Having a paid internship that counts for school credits is definitely the best way to spend your summer.  I'll be crossing my fingers for next year when I start applying for internships and employment experience in my fields of study!  

Have a good summer, wherever you are! 

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