The Benefits of Taking Advantage of College Activities & Resources Over the Summer

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College is not just for pulling all-nighters. Summer is a great time to be a tourist on your own campus. It's a chance to leave your student identity behind and fully explore the wealth of activities and resources that an academic community offers.

Be a Tourist - on Your Own Campus!

Free ice cream dispensed from a roving golf cart, skating in July, trivia night and tennis - where is all this cool stuff happening? Well, at the University of Michigan Summer Program for starters. Summer is a great time to check out things on your college campus that you might not have had time for during the busy school year. It's a chance to fully explore the wealth of activities, cultural programs and resources that an academic community offers. So leave your student identity behind. Here are a few of the new roles you can sample when you staycation at your school.

Be a Fan

Whether your taste runs to afro-fusion, moxie-rock or string quartets, the Cornell University School of Continuing Education has you covered. Free concerts and programs are scheduled every week from June through August. If you're looking for a little brain candy, you can get advice on life lessons from columnist Amy Dickenson or hear NASA visiting lecturer Andrew Chaikin discuss space exploration and astronomy. College campuses offer an incredible variety of cultural activities.

Students at a concert on campus

So use the summer to discover a new passion, experience something different or just have fun. Review your school's activity calendar and plan an entertainment agenda.

Be an Explorer

Every campus has its hidden gems; some institutions are even home to architectural wonders. The University Center at The New School in Manhattan houses an entire academic community in one building. The stunning urban high-rise includes student housing, a library, classrooms, entertainment venues, an auditorium and more.

Some campus spaces invite and encourage participation from their surrounding communities. At 54,000-square-feet, the Commons at Kennesaw University is one of the largest college dining halls in the United States; however, size is not the most unique feature of this facility. A focus on healthy eating and the environment distinguishes the Commons. Vegetables on the menu are grown on campus in community gardens. Local residents and children participate in cultivating the produce that students eat.

Put on your sneakers and start walking. Getting to know your college's unique features and history will set this familiar landscape in a new perspective.

Be Curious

You've probably spent hours in the library. But chances are most of that time was spent in the same spot.

Student browsing the college library

With a little imagination, the library in summer can make for your personal Night at the Museum experience. Roam the stacks with nothing in mind but your own entertainment. Let the titles and the covers bring fantasy, history or horror to life. Pick a topic that you wish you knew more about and discover books, journals and videos that take you on a new journey.

By the way, Google isn't your best research buddy. Strike up a conversation with a librarian, and you'll have a skilled resource when fall arrives and it's time to write your next paper. Librarians love to show visitors their collections. So don't miss an opportunity to make friends. Touring your college library is an activity that offers plenty of bang for the buck.

Be Healthy

Studying is hard on your body. The remedy? Get physical. Sports are the perfect anecdote to too much screen time.

College athletic facilities offer so many options for having fun, meeting people and getting in shape. Lift weights, take a yoga or Pilates class or try a new sport. As an example of the possibilities, Northwestern University's Sailing Center provides expert sailing, paddle boarding and windsurfing instruction to the Chicago metropolitan area.

Putting the focus on fitness gets you outside, provides you with new physical challenges and helps you hone skills you'll have for a lifetime.

Be Professional

College career centers are open all summer, so don't wait until the graduation countdown to visit this important resource. Use the summer to polish your presentation skills or craft a compelling resume. Make an appointment to talk with a counselor and discuss how your academic choices compare with your career goals. He or she can help you network, develop a career plan and connect with job opportunities.

Student practicing interviewing techniques

Be Your Best Self

Even a place you think you know like the back of your hand can surprise you with adventure and excitement. Summer is the sweet spot, so why not take advantage of all the activities your college offers to make it even tastier?

Now might also be the time to discover a new online source of academic support. Study.com's Student Resources Course is an incredible way to get started.

By Debby Rice
June 2019
college college life

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