Summer Checklist

by Patricia Rose, Director of Career Services

The semester is almost over; all that remains are final exams and papers and projects.  Regardless of what you are doing this summer (career-related internship, research, travel, beginning a permanent job, getting ready to start graduate school), think about these suggestions.  They can serve as your to do list.

  1.  Read a book.  So many students, even those with scholarly interests, confess that they don’t have time to read during the academic year.  Take advantage of whatever down time you have to read a book, or two or three, purely for pleasure.
  2. Try something new: a new sport, a new game (chess? backgammon?), a new volunteer activity, a new performance (opera? Reggae?), even a new food you have never eaten.  The point is to challenge yourself in ways large and small.  You may surprise yourself with your newly-found skills or interests.
  3. Try to broaden your career network by meeting people who are actively pursuing fields of interest to you.  You may be spending the summer in a new location, one that has more professionals in a particular field (marine biologists, publicists, producers) than does Philadelphia.  Take advantage of wherever you are by reaching out to Penn alums or other professionals who have a wealth of wisdom to share.  But remember, the onus is on you to make the initial contact.
  4. Do something fun every day, for yourself.
  5. Do something for someone else every day.  This could be as simple as giving up your seat on the bus, or offering directions to someone who is lost.  Kindness counts.
  6. Sleep!  Many of you are sleep-deprived.  Try to catch up.
  7. Think!  Turn off your electronics.  Escape the ever-present screens.  Give yourself permission – and time – to appreciate your own thoughts, your own reflections.
  8. Thank someone: a parent, a spouse or partner, who has helped you get through the year.  Let this person know you appreciate what they do.

Summer is a great time to re-assess, to re-charge, to re-commit to what is important to you.  Unfortunately, it goes by too fast.  Make the most of it, stay safe, and enjoy yourself.

Author: Patricia Rose

Patricia Rose is the Director of Career Services at the University of Pennsylvania.