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Summertime: Your work continues on

Here we are, at the end of yet another fruitful year at UMass Dartmouth. For some, it is the end of their college days and they venture forth into “the real world,” looking for “real jobs.” For the rest of us, we brace ourselves and enter a familiar and feared territory: summer jobs.

If you’re like most college students, you’ve worked pretty much every retail job that exists. You’ve made coffee, you’ve sold movie tickets, you’ve sold clothing to people of various ages; perhaps you’ve even tried to sell some nifty knives door-to-door.

There are students who work while taking classes, and don’t have to worry about finding a summer job. Some students are incredibly lucky, and already have a summer job waiting for them at a seasonal place. Most are as aforementioned – taking whatever jobs they can find every summer, bouncing from one terrible retail position to another.

If you’re a well-organized sort of person, you’ve already got a job lined up for the summer. If Lady Luck has been on your side, you may have even found a job in your area of study. If Lady Luck only found you interesting enough to skip alongside you for a little while, you may have an unpaid internship for the summer. But at least you’re getting experience and something neat to put onto your résumé.

For procrastinators, having a neat addition to their résumé isn’t even an option because they don’t have an internship under their belts, paid or unpaid. Along the same lines, they don’t even have a summer job yet.

Terrible procrastinators haven’t even looked at job offers or applications. These unorganized folk may spend the next three months bored out of their minds. If they happen to have some money saved up, it will be spent in no time over the summer. And if they don’t, well…here’s to some serious house chores.

A summer of doing a whole lot of nothing may seem like a welcome change after a grueling nine months of academic work. But cabin fever sets in pretty fast. Even if you choose to leave the house, you won’t have much money to really do anything worthwhile.

Perhaps you’re the type of person who really hates working for “the man.” That’s alright. Consider volunteering. It will get your bum off the couch and keep you from emptying your parents’ bank accounts.

In addition, you’ll gain experience in whatever area you decide to volunteer in. You may decide to volunteer in an area directly related to your major or where you want your career to wind up. Or you may decide to volunteer in an area you treat as a hobby. Either way, you’ll enjoy it.

The most important reason to do something, anything with your summer is the idea of staying active throughout the year. If you spend three months doing absolutely nothing, getting back into the swing of things when you return to school is going to be a terrible challenge.

So, this summer, consider getting a job for your wallet’s sake. Or look into getting an internship for your résumé’s sake. If neither of those appeal to you, then at least volunteer for the sake of staying active.

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