It’s that time of year again. Time to put down your pens, throw out your books, and reorient your mind towards the sun. School’s out for summer! And it’s about time. However, just because you no longer have to attend lectures or worry about another pressing deadline doesn’t mean that you should turn your brain off completely. After all, summer is short, and pretty soon it’ll be back to the books and those rainy fall days of stressful study. But you don’t need to think about that just yet.
What you can think about however, is a little light “reading”. Or, to put it more precisely, not reading at all! Finding a few interesting and productive things to do over the summer, can help your mind stay sharp while keeping you as far away from the library as possible. Your brain definitely needs a break from the books, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some productive summer activities that will keep you switched on. Here then, we take a look at how you can give your grey matter a welcome rest but still stay sharp over summer vacation.
Get into Podcasts
If you don’t already regularly listen to podcasts, then you’re in for a treat. There’s a whole galaxy of great information out there, handily condensed into short, listenable shows that can be piped directly into your headphones. It’s a great way to learn about new stuff, and among the easiest of productive things to do in the summer.
Radiotopia is a great place to start—an independent network of uniquely interesting podcasts that’s sure to keep you looking at the world from a critical perspective. Favorites include 99% Invisible, a show dedicated to the forgotten or overlooked things that shape our world; and The Allusionist, a show that tries to make sense of the unique idiosyncrasies of the English language.
There are literally millions of podcasts out there on an infinite range of topics, so you’re sure to find something that fits the bill. Check out Spotify, Google Play, and for iPhone users, Apple’s Podcast section in iTunes is bursting with great content that’s regularly updated.
Interning is a good way to get some valuable experience in your field of study, or to try something completely different for a change. Internships are among the most productive summer projects as they can also serve as a springboard into your chosen industry when you’ve finally completed your studies.
There’s usually a wealth of opportunities available over the summer period, and often you can choose to spend just a few weeks or your entire vacation interning. Today, finding the perfect internship is as simple as jumping on the internet, and both Internships.com and Internmatch.com have plenty of options available in a range of industries. If you’re really lucky, you might even get the chance to earn a few dollars too.
Organize Your Notes
Organizing your notes at the end of summer is a great way to refresh your mind and catalog everything you studied over the previous year. If you’ve kept digital notes, then sorting everything into easily accessible files and folders is a great way to build up a reference catalog of the year’s work. Storing everything in the cloud is also a great idea, ensuring you can access your work from any computer in any location. If you’re a Spike user, you can even access your cloud-based notes directly from within your email!
If you’ve taken handwritten notes, then sorting them chronologically, or even digitizing them for easier reference is a super productive thing to do during summer. You can either hand type them to further reinforce what you’ve learnt, or try out an OCR app that will convert your handwritten notes into text files.
Learn Something New
Just because you don’t have your head in a book doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. After all, education should be a lifelong commitment, and developing a passion for learning new things is probably one of the most productive things to do this summer. Try learning a new language, picking up a musical instrument, practicing mindfulness techniques, or heading down to your local sports center to try your hand at rock climbing. There’s a whole world of new and exciting things to discover this summer, so why not let your imagination run wild.