January 19th, 2010
You've finally attained that much desired college degree. You worked hard for years so that you can enter a fulfilling career. But are you really in a hurry to leap into the real world? Taking a little time off during the summer isn't a bad idea because you probably won't have such an opportunity until retirement. So recharge, do something you enjoy, or do something somewhat productive. You'll be better for it in the long run.
If you're fortunate enough to have a few extra bucks lying around – and a few extra friends lying around – take a fun trip to a destination you've always wanted to experience. When you're working full-time, you probably won't have enough paid vacation days to take extended breaks. So now is the perfect time to go backpacking in Europe for several weeks. Visit world-class cities like London, Rome, Paris and Athens and sites like Big Ben, the Roman Colosseum, the Eifel Tower and the Parthenon. You can take a roadtrip across American and explore different states. Even if you're on a budget, it can be loads of fun. If you don't want to leave town, reconnect with your hobbies and or start a new one. Take the opportunity to go to the gym and burn off the pounds you gained from chugging beer and eating bar food while in college. Being healthy means you'll be less stressed at work, which is important for when you're struggling to adjust to your new duties.
If you'd prefer to stay productive, offer your services to a volunteer agency. You can join AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps and commit your summer to improving the lives of people across the country and worldwide. If there's a particular cause in which you're interested, then find an organization related to it. For example, if you care about the safety of animals, work at your local animal shelter. Not only will you be bettering society, but you'll enhance your resume. Employers will view you as a well-rounded person. Another way to lengthen your resume is to find an internship in your field. You'll build your skills and gain additional experience that will make the transition from college to full-time employment much easier. You'll find value in your free time no matter what you decide to do. Be sure to make the most of it before entering the real world.