University of Rochester

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What I Did on My Summer Vacation

By Marcy Kraus, dean of freshmen and the Suzanne Jagel O'Brien Director of the College Center for Advising Services

The relief is apparent as students complete their last final exams of the semester. In the rush to leave campus, notebooks, printer cartridges, and random pens and post-its are all tossed into oversized storage boxes to be opened again in late August. Summer vacation is an important time for college students to recharge. But it is also an optimum time to reflect and plan ahead. After spending the first year of college testing initial academic interests, some students will have deepened their academic commitments, others will be searching for new paths, and many will have, at least minimally, a better idea of what they like and what they don't like.

Interested in editing a holistic dog magazine? Know you love physics but don't know what you can “do with it?” Developed a newfound passion for poetry? No longer sure about psychology? Some productive summer activities for all students include:

Interested in many of these ideas but not sure how to get started? Begin by creating a list of goals with target dates and timelines. Note as well what you hope to gain from these activities. Keep the list in a prominent place and check off items as you go. At the end of the summer, you will be ready to begin the new academic year with a fresh perspective as well as a deeper appreciation of your goals and plans for the coming year.