It's June. Summer has officially started, the weather is becoming consistently more pleasant and you're weeks beyond that last exam. No doubt, you're thinking about trips to beaches, fireworks and taking selfies with your best shades on. But just because you're no longer in the classroom or library and the sun goes down one hour later doesn't mean it's time for relaxation --instead, you should probably be aiming for a relocation of focus.
Don't get me wrong, you should definitely soak in the sun before the leaves start falling off again but, especially if you're a college student, you shouldn't let the work break confuse you. After working so hard to ensure your grades look good in the present, the summer's the perfect time to turn your attention to the future, even if you're only a first-year student.
Now that you're done being fresh meat, you might just want to focus on working, period -- along with shedding that freshman 15. We know. The temptation is there to hook-up with all your friends from back home, enjoy your mom cooking you breakfast, lunch and dinner instead of eating at your school's overpriced dining hall and to plan special dates where the one friend in your crew with a car picks everyone up to celebrate your one-month-away-from-each-other anniversary. But if you do that, you best make sure it's on one of your off days.
For you upperclassmen juniors and seniors, an internship is pretty much standard. But if you haven't lined one up by now, don't think you're off the hook. There are only so many hours you can spend at the mall, playing basketball or toning that beach-bod that will be on display max 10 times. Depending on what field you want to get into, there's always something you can do. If you're a journalism major, blog. Fine arts? Draw your fingers off.
You also should be aiming to plan for the real world. It may hurt to just see those words -- that's understandable. Who wants to think about a rapid transition from living at utopia, where every single one of your neighbors is as young as you are and all the amenities you need are within an unreasonably convenient distance, to... bills. But it's coming, and when it does, you're going to have to be prepared.
It all sounds surreal, doesn't it? Actually, it's just real, no "sur" needed, especially for the Gen-Yers that just graduated. In fact, it can't get any more real. Most likely, you have loans to pay back in six months. If you don't, congratulations. You probably went to great lengths to do so, either by sacrificing a lot of fun by commuting (God bless your souls), working it off, or just being, what's the word... ahh yes -- smart. Perhaps even enough to have gotten a full ride.
Either way, you're now part of the workforce (we hope), which classifies you as either employed or seeking employment. And if you seek with the intention to find, just remember that you're in a competition. The winner is always going to be the person who distinguishes him or her self and can convince the employer that his or her skills directly match the needs of the workplace.
You're going to have your fun.
After all, it's summer time. The weather is easy. But don't forget, the grind never stops.