You’ve spent the last month and a half filling out online applications and dropping off your resume at every coffee shop and retailer in town. You tried in vain to land an internship, even those unpaid ones that you scoffed at in January but would have been thrilled to get when June rolled around. Now it’s mid-July and you’re still unemployed, trying to fill those long summer days in ways that will be productive enough to keep your parents off your back. Read on for our tips and suggestions.
1) Learn a language. Whether you’ve had your eye on a certain Rosetta Stone program for years or would rather take a course online, you can’t go wrong using your spare time to improve your marketability and prepare for future studies abroad or world travels at the same time.
2) Volunteer. Rather than maintaining the “just-get-the-hours-in” mindset of a high school student trying to complete a service requirement, why not tailor your volunteering to future career interests? If you see law school in your future, check if your state has an Innocence Project with a headquarters nearby that takes volunteers.
3) Babysit or do chores around the house. It may not sound glamorous or exciting, but you might as well earn some money while you have the time. Plus, if you’ve had experience living with a difficult roommate, you’ll be more than suited to deal with whiny toddlers.
4) Explore your hometown. You might only be living there for a few more years (or just summers), so why not take the opportunity to explore places you’ve never been? If you’ve ever scoffed at tourists who show up for the summer, it may be time to join them and see what you’ve been missing as a local.
5) Get cooking. If you’re still living in the dorms at school, those days are limited, so might as well practice your culinary skills before you’re completely dependant on them. You might surprise yourself—or you might find out that microwaving mini corndogs is about the extent of your culinary ambition, and then at least you know.
6) Hit the books. At school, the library may be a last resort, somewhere you head when you’re determined to stop procrastinating and get something done. But why not try checking out some books in your free time? It can’t hurt to absorb something besides Vitamin D while you’re laying out by the beach or pool.
7) Find a new interest or hobby. Whether you start taking an exercise class like Zumba, create a blog or devote time to staying up on current events, it’s a great use of your time to develop an interest that you can continue to pursue when the school year starts up again.