While a lot of people see summer as a chance to relax, unwind and recover from the stressful school year, students inevitably feel the pressure to be doing more, whether it’s getting a job, starting an internship or something else. Don’t stress- there is a way to get ahead and better yourself this summer without ruining your vacation time! Here are 6 ways to get ahead this summer:

1. Organize your closet.

This is an easy transition into having a productive summer, and it’s a small but important step for getting things together. It’s really important to clean out your closet and organize your clothes before college starts; dorm room closets are so small and you have to prioritize what you want to bring. Sell your designer clothes to upscale thrift stores to earn an extra dollar, and donate the rest to other organizations.

2. Get a job.

Ideally, you would get a job relating to the major you decide to pursue through your college career. This allows you to gain valuable insight into your future as well as adding something great to your resume. However, that’s often not possible, and if you need money and job experience, it may be easier to search for an entry-level job at your local coffee shop or other businesses. Take a walk around your favorite stores and see who’s hiring, or look up other job openings in your area.

3. Get an internship.

If you can’t get a job relating to the career you want to pursue, you may want to look into internship opportunities, which can be majorly helpful to your career later on. If you don’t yet know what you want to study, taking an internship in a new field may help you narrow that down. Look at job websites and ask your family and friends if they know anyone who would be willing to train you. Connections are a key part of getting an internship, so don’t be afraid to reach out to the people around you.

4. Learn new skills related to what you want to do in the future.

Every job requires skills that won’t be taught in a college course, whether that’s doing taxes, using Photoshop or something else entirely. Take the summer to download a program or two like Excel, Adobe Creative Cloud or Wordpress to build up your skills and become more desirable to future employers. This is a great way to get ahead and make you more competitive for future jobs and internships.

5. Stay fit.

It’s easy to set exercise goals for yourself during the school year, but never end up going through with them because of homework and exams. Take this summer to work on yourself, whether it’s going to the gym a few times a week or doing yoga at home. Exercise has so many health benefits and it’s important for you to take time for yourself.

6. Catch up on sleep.

This is arguably one of the most important items on this list. The school year is always crazy stressful, and anyone who says they aren't sleep deficient is definitely lying to themselves. Take this summer to relax, unwind and replenish all the sleep you lost during the school year. Sleep is such a vital part of your health. After that school year, you deserve it.

No matter how many of these items you do (or don’t do) on this list, remember that your summer is what you make of it- you get to decide how it goes! Make sure to take some time to relax, spend time with family and friends and mentally prepare yourself for the new school year. Don’t forget, have a great summer!

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