August 07, 2023 3 min read

When it’s too cold for green grass, barbecues, and beaches, it's time to once again embrace goose-down parkas, snow blowers and shovels, it’s time to embrace. School’s back this fall. You’ve narrowed your focus to preparing for a position that combines creative thinking with problem-solving and allows you to apply what you’ve learned. While knowing what you want provides direction and purpose, before your next semester begins, it may be time to take advantage of the weather and see what experiences the season has to offer.

According to Stephanie Chandra’s article there are at least 50 Ways for College Students to Maximize Summer Break. Here’s our 10 favourites:

  1. Learn a new skill: Without assignments and exams you’ll have more time to develop your skill set. Why not take a course in a field that interests you? Universities and colleges like Seneca College offer summer programs, if you just can’t get enough.
  2. Indulge in hobbies: Explore personal interests and creativity, whether it’s an instrument, poetry, photography, coding, sports, or something else. Recreation centres have drop-in programs where you can register and attend for a fee.
  3. Summer job: Summer jobs will help you develop transferable power skills, such as active listening, communication, problem-solving, and teamwork, which look great on your resume.
  4. Study abroad: A change of scenery allows you to take risks, become more independent, expand your worldview, and make friends around the world.
  5. Transform weaknesses into strengths: Challenge yourself to overcome a weakness by taking a class that forces you to face one of your fears. If you have a fear of public speaking, Jennifer Herrity’s article on Indeed provides some key tips.
  6. Travel: Explore a foreign city, go to a cottage, or take a road trip with friends. Broaden your horizons by seeing or doing something you haven’t done before.
  7. Get some culture: Visit a museum, art gallery, carnival, film, or music festival. Not sure where to start? Culture Trip published an article listing the top art galleries across the country.
  8. Cook: Time is short during the school year, so why not enroll in a cooking class to develop your skills in the kitchen? Websites like Cozymeal allow you to search through classes by city, and filter by cuisine, class type, price, date, and rating.
  9. Update your digital presence: Edit your social media to accurately reflect who you are and what you do.
  10. Volunteer: Search for opportunities to give back to your community. Not only will you develop skills that will help you throughout your career, you will also meet people and build relationships along the way.

Once you’re part of the workforce, you’ll have to earn the trust of your direct report and colleagues. Your team will expect you to contribute to discussions, help solve problems, and take on extra work when needed. Once you start working, you won’t have the same flexibility to gain knowledge. Why not have these experiences now? You can learn about your community or what life is like in another part of the world. Spending time with friends and family or even alone can help you see things from different perspectives. The more enriching experiences you gain now, the greater the knowledge you can draw from to generate solutions. Julius Caesar sums up the actual value of experience by saying, “Experience is the teacher of all things.”

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