With the end of the semester fast approaching, students need to figure out summer plans
Be a camp counselor
Summer. A time filled with memories at the lake, working on that sun-kissed tan and simply shutting off one’s mind from the business of college. Between the bonfires, music festivals and extra sleep comes responsibility. Deciding on a summer job can be one of the most stressful decisions of the school year. Some spend their summer interning at a corporate company, while others choose a forty-hour workweek for the extra cash. I’m here to advocate that everyone take at least one of these few, yet significant summers working at a summer camp.
Camp counseling is a unique and underappreciated summer occupation. We help campers cope with challenges ranging from the dreaded homesickness to the recent death of a loved one. As counselors, we take in kids from all different backgrounds and cultures to give them a week away from the modern world. In the time that they are at camp, they can be completely selfless, totally engaging themselves in every activity we have to offer. This job teaches life lessons that cannot be found in any textbook.
Each day, teaching and learning occurs. Many think it is always the counselor teaching the kids, but I have learned most of the time it is the opposite. Campers are honest, young and free spirited. They speak their mind and are exactly who they want to be. Don’t get me wrong, they can and will be some of the most difficult things you’ll face. In the end, nothing beats watching a cabin of strangers become so close in just a week, or talking a camper through their fear of heights to make it to the top. These moments are priceless.
Some claim they cannot afford to work at a camp. This may be true, but there are other things that need to be taken into consideration. At camp, one does not pay for housing or food. There are also opportunities to gain that normally many would have to pay to do. For instance, last summer I got paid to go rock climbing, backpacking, canoeing and white water rafting. Not bad, huh?
Along with these innumerable opportunities, I have met some of the best people in the world working at camp. Everyone is filled with a sense of adventure, compassion and drive. I never thought it was possible to get along with a staff of over 60 people, yet by the end of the summer, we had become one big cliché family. It proves to me that it is possible to live in a peaceful community of people who all have different beliefs, even if only for a short period of time.
I would be surprised if you could find anyone who has worked at a camp that regrets it. Camp counseling is a life changing experience. Nothing can better prepare you for what the ‘real world’ is going to throw at you. These are the only summers that we have the chance to go on an adventure.
Find job, internship
Summer should be a time to kick back and relax, but when relaxation morphs into boredom and an empty wallet, it is important to have an outlet for productivity. With expensive tuition and the future looming over you, it is necessary for college students to take these three months of free time and do something constructive.
Working at a seasonal job or internship is the best way to spend the summer. Whether the position earns you money or experience, a summer job is the perfect way to fight boredom and guarantee a glowing resumé. Either would be efficient for both short and long term goals.
Ideally, students should be able to experience a job or internship that relates closely to their major over the summer. This may not be possible for underclassmen, but for students who know their major and are ready for experience in their field, internships are a glimpse into the world for which Augie is preparing them.
Internships build up both skills and references necessary for finding jobs after graduation. The job itself would be the perfect way to begin understanding and experiencing the work you could potentially do for the rest of your life.
An internship over the summer would allow you to focus all of your attention on the position’s demands rather than having to worry about homework or school activities.
An internship in the field you are striving toward would not only build your confidence in your future through experience, but it would also be an opportunity to begin connecting to references for future jobs.
Through an internship, you would meet people in your field who could tell you their path to success and guide you in the same direction. These people will also become ideal contacts for the future when you are searching for a job and need someone to vouch for your ambitions within your field.
Whether the internship is paid or not, it would be the best option for summer. However, if an internship does not seem possible due to your field of study, lack of experience or need for cash, a job that does not relate to your aspired career is a decent option as well.
Simply working at a restaurant or retail store teaches patience and responsibility, among other traits future employers desire. Holding a simple job may not feel as worth-while as an internship, but it will guarantee a paycheck and still show your ability to hold a stable job on resumes.
Being a camp counselor may be fun and would create terrific summer memories. But for most students, jobs or internships are the most practical way to spend free time and earn money over the months not spent in school.