I’ve been home for almost a week now, and my time since leaving college has been fabulously lazy, for the most part–at least compared to what I do at college.
At McDaniel, I find myself constantly working toward deadlines, going to meetings, and finding time to squeeze in time with friends and other fun activities. At home, I don’t have many deadlines and I’ve only had a few obligations every day.
I’ve been occupying my time by reading, gardening, and spending time with my corgi puppy. Yesterday, since my siblings were off from school for primary elections, my parents took off from work, so I spent a nice afternoon with my mother picking out flowers for our garden after we voted. I love having time off from college to hang out with my mom; she’s one of my best friends and I cherish the time I spend with her.
I haven’t formulated any solid summer plans yet, but I’m enjoying some downtime right now.
On Wednesday, my second year of college was officially over! (Almost–I still had to turn in a paper for my Peer Tutoring course, but I did that on Friday.) This semester was intense; I took five classes and an independent study for a total of 20 credits, which made for a busy finals week–I had to complete three final exams and three final papers.
On Thursday, I moved out of my beloved suite 203. It was surreal and bittersweet. My room was reduced to boxes and bags and my walls were bare for the first time since August. 203 and the people I lived with became an amazing home and family for me over the course of two semesters, so leaving it was difficult, even though I was excited to return home to see my biological family. It didn’t even hit me that I wouldn’t be going back until I had almost moved out. However, I said my goodbyes (a lot of them) and left for the summer.
Things have been pretty low key since returning home. On Friday, I spent a lot of time unpacking, but I was able to squeeze in some fun too. I went with my mom and my sister to see Legally Blonde: The Musical at the New Candlelight Dinner Theater in Wilmington, Delaware. The show was energetic, funny, and a great time! And tonight, I went to the high school graduation party of one of my friends. This has all made for a fun weekend!
It’s amazing to believe that I’m now halfway through college. It’s kind of scary, but I keep reminding myself that I have a wonderful summer now and two more years of school to look forward to. Though there’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to what I’ll be doing over the next few years, I have a great life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Even though our semester has just started, now is the perfect time to start hunting for a perfect internship or summer job. Applications for internships often close within the next month, so waiting until April to begin your search may keep you from finding the perfect fit for your interests and skill set.
Getting started with your search can be rough. Each year when I begin, I try to make a mental list of things that I’m looking for in a job so that I don’t get hung up on opportunities that seem awesome, but don’t fit what I need. For example, a lot of awesome internships are unpaid, but I never look seriously at them for the summer because I need to make money. Keep elements like location and your ideal salary in mind when you start your search.
The next step is to comb through the available positions in your interest area. An easy place to start is the Center for Experience and Opportunity (CEO) office. They can help you find a fitting organization and assist you with crafting a great resume and cover letter to make you shine in a pool of candidates.
If you’re interested in looking online, there are a ton of websites that students can sift through to find the perfect summer job. My favorites include:
Idealist- a collection of jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities all over the world
Baltimore Collegetown- great for summer or during the semester, postings of internships in the Baltimore area
Campstaff.com- Who doesn’t want to spend their summer gallivanting around the woods? A great way to connect with camps around the country
Though summer seems far off, remember that the key to snagging your perfect summer job is to start looking early!