6 Summer Experiences That Can Make You a Better Student

As summer vacation stretches before you, you may be wondering how you will fill every moment of your months-long break. When deciding how to spend your summer, first consider your goals for this time period. If you are seeking summer experiences that can help you become a better student, here are six opportunities to ponder:

1. A university course

If you are particularly focused on improving in a specific academic subject, whether through remediation or advanced studies in a narrow area of interest, a great way to do so is to enroll in a university class. You can find such opportunities on a local university campus, as well as online.

2. A community program 

Another way to develop yourself, both as a person and as a student, is to register for a community program. Such programs can vary greatly in their focus (i.e. academics, music, and outdoor excursions), time frame (a week to several months), and price. Return to your goals to decide on a specific program, and consider your time and money constraints.

3. Employment

Having a job, outside of its financial benefits, can help you gain valuable skills. If you secure a position in an area that you are considering as a career, it can also help you explore your future employment options. Internships are another great way to accomplish these aims. While internships are typically unpaid, they can be wonderful experiences, and they can also help you develop your network of professional contacts.

4. Volunteerism

If you have a passion for improving the world in a certain way, then act on it! Pausing your studies in the summer to follow your passions and to help others can truly make you a better student. Not only will you be more refreshed when you return to university in the fall, but you will also develop persistence and hone skills that can benefit you in both school and life.

5. Reading

No matter your field of study, reading can make you a better student by stimulating your brain. Reading can not only provide you with knowledge in a particular field, it can also improve your vocabulary, memory, focus, and analytical thinking skills. Whether you wish to take a brief break from your studies by reading for pleasure, or you wish to get a head start on your studies by reading for knowledge, making and completing a summer reading list is a fantastic use of your time. 

6. Travel

Travel is a wonderful way to expand your horizons, stimulate your brain, and learn more about the world around you. It can provide you with new skills and experiences, and a boost in confidence—all of which can follow you into the classroom.

There are a number of summer experiences that can ultimately make you a better student. Whether you continue to take classes in order to boost your knowledge of a subject area, or you focus on non-academic experiences like travel and work, if your brain is active, you are on the road to becoming a better student. Although you may be tempted to sleep your summer vacation away, resist, and instead find a summer experience that excites, renews, and refreshes you.

Dana Elmore is a contributing writer for UniversityTutor.com, the world's largest global marketplace for finding independent tutors.