April 15, 2021

Productive Ways to Spend Breaks Between Semesters

A break from university always comes as a relief after a hard semester of schoolwork. However, after just a couple days of rest and relaxation, you may start to feel like you’re wasting your time. It’s true — there’s so much you could be doing: activities that will enhance your resume, help you gain valuable skills, or just ensure you return to university well prepared next semester. In addition, there are many opportunities to explore that would be impossible to fit into your packed schedule.  Here are a few ways to consider spending your time between semesters.

1. Sign Up for Summer Classes

Stay on track for your graduation date (or perhaps even get ahead) by taking summer classes. These tend to be full courses condensed into just a few weeks for a more intensive approach. You may like to choose the most challenging course you need to take. Then, you can focus all your energy on that one class, rather than needing to divide your attention.

2. Study in Another Country

More exciting than taking summer classes at your regular university is studying abroad. Enroll at a summer program at another university to earn credit or simply expand your horizons. You’ll find it a particularly eye-opening experience if you go to a country with a very different culture or where they speak a different language.

3. Set Goals

For shorter breaks, such as over the spring, dedicate a couple days to thinking about the major goals you want to achieve over the next five years. This could include what you want to gain from your time at university, what career you want to pursue, and where you want to live. Use these goals to set near-term objectives that will keep you on track. You’ll find that having these targets keep you motivated when you return to university.

4. Learn a Non-Academic Skill

Employers want to see that you have skills beyond academics — and breaks between semesters are ideal times to learn something new. In fact, even something unrelated to your career path could be valuable. For instance, you could learn a new hobby that you can practice when you need a break from your studies, or you may be able to join a new club and expand your network.

5. Apply for an Internship

No matter how far you are from graduating, it’s never too early to take an internship. This will give you experience in your chosen field, teach you transferable skills, and even show you if you’re on the right path — something that’s useful to figure out sooner rather than later.

6. Search for Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering is a great alternative to an internship. You’ll learn relevant skills and have something to add to your resume, all while engaging in important work that you’re passionate about. There are countless volunteer opportunities to choose from — you’re sure to find something that resonates with you.

7. Find a Job

If you’re struggling to stay within a tight budget during semesters, paid work is likely the best use of your time. In the summer (or even the winter), you may be able to find seasonal work, or you may land a part-time job that you can continue into the next semester.

For many of these activities, it makes sense to live near your university. Staying on campus may be off the table, but anyway there are better options for student living. Ottawa has The Revalie, which is located just minutes away from Carleton University and has everything you need for comfortable and convenient student life on site. Join our VIP list to find out more.


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