For some, summer break means it’s time to go home. After living at school for the past few months, this can be a big adjustment. It means having to abide by your parents’ rules again. For me, I have to continually check-in with my mom, as well as be willing to drive my sisters around (using my own gas might I add). Let me tell you: I hate it.
Being at home also means that you’ll be seeing old friends from high school. People change when they go away to school, and sometimes your old friends aren’t who they used to be. I’ve found that new friends from school and boyfriends have separated my friends from high school and I. If we do see each other, it’s nothing like how it used to be.
I will say though that there are definitely perks to being back home for three months. First of all, it means no more fending for myself for my meals. My mom takes care of the grocery shopping and cooks dinner. There are also the perks of not paying for laundry. If you’re like me and lived in a dorm or somewhere where you had to pay for laundry, you know how nice it is not to convert all your money into quarters anymore.
No matter what your home situation is like, it is important to remember that you are going to be there for three months. Take advantage of the time with family and old friends because time with them is limited when you are away. When I come home for the summer I like to try and visit my old softball team. The summer gives me an opportunity to catch up with people I haven’t seen in awhile.
Summer break is a time to enjoy yourself and relax while taking a break from school. No matter if you’re happy or upset about spending the time at home, try to enjoy your time and make the most of your time off.
There’s no better way to start a summer movie season than with a Marvel superhero film.
The third installment of the Iron Man franchise and the seventh in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man 3 picks up where The Avengers left off, focusing on billionaire playboy Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and his battle with an international terrorist, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), and a ruthless businessman, Aldritch Killian (Guy Pearce). I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting much from this one; Iron Man 2 was decent but nothing special, and director Jon Favreau was dropped in favor of Shane Black, who’s only other directing credit is 2005’s Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
Robert Downey Jr. delivers yet another excellent turn as Tony Stark, filled with the same charming arrogance we’ve come to know and love. This is his fourth time playing the role, and yet it seems like the first. Credit goes to Downey Jr., but also to Black and co-writer Drew Pearce. They present us with a Tony Stark who has doubts and anxieties stemming from his experiences in The Avengers; a very interesting new spin on a now familiar superhero. I loved the decision to link the films with more than just a few off-hand references. Instead, the events of The Avengers actually affect our hero’s behavior in a tangible way.
My favorite part of Iron Man 3 was definitely Ben Kingsley’s performance. He positively steals the show as the The Mandarin, Iron Man’s best known nemesis from the comic books. Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Don Cheadle also provide solid support.
If you’re in the mood for actions, humor, and more than a few surprises, go see Iron Man 3. You won’t be disappointed! Watch the trailer now.
Whether you’re a commuter or an on-campus student, many universities want you to get involved in any way possible. This can range from attending professors’ office hours, attending a campus event or getting involved in a student organization. What some fail to realize is there are ways to get involved in the community off campus, too! Now that summer break has began many on-campus clubs and activities are finished meeting until the fall, but there are plenty of other ways to keep busy. Here are a few suggestions for you to keep in mind:
1. Volunteer at a local senior citizen home. Most residents love telling their stories to visitors, and unfortunately, many of them don’t get visitors. Volunteer! Ask them about their lives, their favorite colors, their favorite objects. If one lady likes blue and loves sweaters, get her a blue sweater. If one man loves drawing and made a life of it, get him high quality colored pencils. Bringing a smile to someone else’s face is a rewarding experience. Don’t miss out on it!
2. Hold your own fundraiser for a cause of your choice. There’s many organizations out there in need of money and/or food. Hold a bake sale to raise money for the local humane society or the WWF. Get a group of friends together and have a food or book drive for the local food pantry or for underprivileged children. Little acts of kindness go a long way, and that can be especially true in this case.
3. Volunteer at a local church or outside organization. Many places have Habitat for Humanity branches on and off campus. Get involved off campus! Volunteer at a church and offer to hold dinners for the homeless. Many campuses also provide a service that will let you find the volunteer group that’s just right for you. Be proactive and find a group that you can help.
While being involved on campus is valuable, it is important to realize that we will eventually leave our college and be a part of a larger community. Whether you’re visiting with the elderly or volunteering with a local group, it feels great to become an active member of the community. With so many different opportunities and ways to participate there is no reason not to. Don’t delay any longer!
Do you have any other suggestions for getting involved? Leave a comment below, or talk about your own experience in off-campus involvement.
As the semester is ending, the only thing on my mind is summer. While I wish I could spend my summer lounging around, the sad reality is that I can’t. This summer I’ll be working part-time, working two on-site internships, as well as blogging for eCampus.com. Maybe you don’t want to spend your summer like me, but there’s something everyone can do to be productive during break. The following are my recommendations for ways to have a productive summer break.
1. Work. Working allows me to save up money so I don’t have to work as much during the school year. If working part-time is the only thing you’ll be doing this summer, then you’ll still have plenty of time to relax and hang out with your friends.
2. Intern. Internships are the best way to get experience related to your field. Unfortunately, many internships don’t pay, so doing one in the summer can allow you to work without trying to juggle school and work too. But the important thing about internships isn’t the money; it’s getting real experience. Internships are also a great way to gain pieces for your professional portfolio. If you don’t know where to start looking, check out internships.com (that’s how I got this position)!
3. Volunteer. There’s nothing more rewarding than doing something good. Countless organizations take volunteers, especially during the summer. Volunteering is a way to do something you’re passionate about outside of school.
4. Study abroad. If there were one thing I wish I could do, it would be to study abroad. While it may be pricey, there are options to take care of the finances. There are numerous national study abroad programs, and your school may have its own study abroad program. Learning or working in a foreign country is a great resume enhancer.
5. Personal improvement. If the above don’t seem like your thing, you at least owe yourself some “me” time after a long semester. Start a new fitness routine, read a book, or take up a new hobby. There are endless ways to spend your summer. You don’t want to waste three months with nothing to show.
There is nothing wrong with relaxing for a few days after finals and enjoying the sun, but it is important to have a plan. The longer you sit around, the harder it will be to get back on schedule. What are your plans for making this summer the best it can be?
With another semester coming to an end I find myself reflecting on the things I wish I would have done differently. Luckily I am not graduating yet so there is still time to make changes. By no means am I an expert, but I want to offer a few recommendations for making the most out of college.
Schedule Early Classes. A great thing about course scheduling is that you can make your schedule whatever you want it to be. Most students choose to make their school days begin around noon, or 1pm, so that they can sleep in, and until recently, I looked at it from that perspective too. This semester, the only availability for a class I needed was at 8 in the morning every single day, and to be honest, I couldn’t be happier with it. Sure, getting up that early is still really tough, but its benefits outweigh anything that a 1pm schedule could get me. Waking up early lets you not only get all your work out of the way, it also allows you to explore any interests that would normally just be too time consuming. So if you ever wanted to try kickboxing, rock climbing, or maybe even salsa dancing, do yourself a favor, and actually give yourself the time to do all of that. Which brings me to my next point.
Try out new clubs and hobbies. There are a ton of them out there. Whether they’re related to the outdoors, or volunteer services, or even just fashion clubs, they get you out of your room, and into a crowd of people with similar interests to your own. On top of that, they can help you forget about school stress for a while and can get you into those industries you always wanted to work for or learn about.
Stay Fit. This is a really general statement, I know. But doing anything physical will help in ways you wouldn’t even imagine. Staying fit doesn’t necessarily mean going for long runs every day, or even working out at the gym. Doing anything that keeps your body active works for me, whether it’s playing football, rugby, or going on hiking trips, just make yourself sweat every once in awhile. Not only will it help you live longer, and feel more confident about yourself, staying active also helps you relax and think more clearly.
Take at least one class a semester that interests you. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. As an engineering major, I know that classes that you need to take can get pretty monotonous. But it’s always nice to have a class, any class, even one that doesn’t count towards your credits, that just lets you relax and learn about something that always seemed interesting to you.
Don’t just follow the crowd. I know the college cliche is to overwork yourself on weekdays and party on weekends. I know a decent amount of students in my dorm that follow that as a law, but honestly, making that your entire life is really boring. College is what you make of it, not what people tell you about it. People will tell you that college is a time to try new things, and meet new people, but that does not necessarily mean work and party. Do it your way, not the way of others.
Stay in touch with campus life. I went to a puppy parade last weekend. A puppy parade. That in itself should make you jump on your university’s website to see what’s being held this week. About a week ago, male students had a “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event, in which men actually walked a mile in high heels. From random things like that to cool community service events, a whole lot goes on around campus, so go check it out, you never know what you might find.
Remember how quickly high school flew by? Well, with more responsibility and opportunities, you can bet that college will come and go even faster. You don’t want to be walking across the stage on graduation day wishing you could do things differently. What advice would you give yourself as a freshman?