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This time last year I was SO ready to go home. My spring classes had not been nice to me, I hadn’t seen my family in weeks, and I could not stay healthy (I blame the dorms). The first week home was exactly what I needed – lots of relaxing, catching up with old friends, bumming around the pool, you know, the typical summer back home. Of course, I didn’t want to be a burden on society so I called my boss from my old high school job and she agreed to let me work part-time.  While at first I felt pretty content with my part-time job at Bruster’s mixed in with my summer escapades, I began to get bored. I saw all of my friends doing so many other things: interning in Washington, studying abroad, taking summer classes, travelling across Europe. While I may have had an unlimited supply of Double Chocolate Chunk and Oreo ice cream, I couldn’t get over how unproductive I was being. I could literally feel myself wasting time.

While I’ll be busy this summer with Orientation, I know not everyone out there has plans for the summer, or maybe they’ll find themselves with more time on their hands than they planned originally. But try to be productive – an employer once told me in a resume critique that she just wanted to see what I had been doing with my time. When I thought about it, that made so much sense to me. That’s all a resume really is – a declaration of how you spent your past 2, 3, or 4 years. Don’t let your summer be a hole in your resume! Here are some tips to make your summer productive without having an internship or full-time job:

Become a big brother or big sister. Mentoring organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters can match you with a child who needs someone to look up to.

Volunteer. Make visits to retirement homes, record for the blind and dyslexic, deliver meals for Meals on Wheels or find the perfect volunteer match through VolunteerMatch.

Create a resume. It’s never too early to put together a great resume. Whether you will be in the job market soon or not, spend this time working on your resume so it is ready when you are.

Study for admission tests. If you are heading off to law or grad school soon, use the summer to get ready for admission tests you may be facing.

Create a personal website. Whether or not you think you are tech savvy enough to do this, you can create a website for yourself. If you can’t build one from scratch, use WordPress blogs or sites like WebStarts to make one, then fill it with your professional information that can help you build a career.

Blog. Start a blog (there are plenty of free ones out there) and document your summer to stay in touch with friends and family or use it as a personal journal to capture your creativity.

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