The Daily Gamecock

Column: How to stay productive during summer break

While students can always spend their summer vacation relaxing, partying and sleeping as much as they want, there is a better option of spending it more productively and use this time to develop ourselves professionally or individually.

There are several activities you can get involved in during the summer break that can help you continue to develop your skills.

Firstly, you can get involved in internship opportunities in-state, out-state or even in international firms.

Internship programs help students get acclimated to the professional environment in a similar industry that you wish to get involved in later down the line. Internships can help you build a stronger profile for yourself when you graduate, making you a stronger candidate for preferred jobs.

Not only that, internships can also help test your industry knowledge while allowing you to gain connections at the same time. Knowledge from college classes and professors might be a little bit different from the industry knowledge. With this understanding, it is a good idea for you to test out your real-life skills through concrete challenges and real-time problems that are ongoing in the industry you might work in after graduation.

You can also take summer classes to progress your degree toward graduation.

Summer classes are oftentimes good alternatives for having to take courses during the regular school year. The shorter courses that are offered during the summer can also accommodate those who want a quicker and more efficient learning in a shorter period.

Currently, USC has options for a three-week semester, a six-week semester, a nine-week semester and a full-time summer semester. As a student who wants to progress faster, you can put these additional classes on your schedule, depending on your time and semester preferences, when spots are available.

If internships and formal summer classes are not your cup of tea, you can enrich yourself by attending online courses and/or online certification programs that are provided by many credible institutions on the internet.

Institutions such as Coursera, edX and others can offer you good and informative sessions for your professional development.

This is a good deal because the quality of the course is high; curriculums are made by professors from various top universities. Even better is that while you must pay for certificates, it is free to attend for your own personal enrichment, which is good to develop yourself and hone your skills and knowledge.

However, institutions such as Saylor Academy provide free certification programs, which means you can have a quality online course and its certificate for free. This is a good opportunity for those who want to enrich themselves and have some certificates set in their LinkedIn profile without investing even a penny to it.

There are many ways for you to stay productive during the upcoming summer break. Whatever you choose can hopefully be beneficial for your long-term development in the field that you are passionate about. However, remember to take strategic breaks occasionally to maintain your mental health.

At the end of the day, summer breaks are just that — breaks — and your well-being should still be your priority.


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