We’re all counting down the days until the end of spring semester: the end of academic responsibilities for a short three months, the beginning of warm weather and free days to escape to the beach or the forest or the mountains, and the short span of time where your schedule is entirely up to you. For some, it might mean starting a new internship, or going back to a job you found last summer and really loved. For some, it might mean flying across the world and exploring somewhere new, and for others it might mean taking that much-needed vacation or coming home to visit your family again. Maybe you are graduating and you have the rest of your life ahead of you in just one short month, or maybe you just started college and you have to figure out how to occupy yourself for the next three summers. Whatever point in college you’re at, summer is a period of time where you have the freedom to choose what you spend your time doing (whether it be a job, a vacation, or strictly unscheduled time), and meet new people in a different setting. What are Berkeley students up to this summer?
Personally, I am headed out of the United States, flying to Prague just one day after my last final. Struggling to learn Czech and doing research on the best places to visit around town, I’m preparing for this trip during the craziness of final projects and presentations, and I couldn’t be more excited to escape my normal life for just a little bit. With new routines, new morning walks, and new friendly faces, 3 months in Prague will be a life-changing experience, and will give me an incredibly different perspective on everything when I return in late August. With incredibly historical architecture and beautiful landscapes, Prague is an ideal city for studying design and exploring a new culture, offering many chances to try new things, and to visit neighboring countries.
Many of my friends are hearing back from internships, beginning to think about their future and get more involved in a career of their choice. From customer service to construction, design, or computer programming, students are getting involved all over the Bay Area and California, and even across the world. My fellow studio friends are headed to Indonesia to work with various design firms, and others are remaining local, working as debate instructors, restaurant hosts, and studio interns. Some students are starting large research projects or new jobs after graduation, whether it be working with Jennifer Doudna on award winning research or travelling to different places around California to take samples and conduct experiments. Some are moving on to large scale technology jobs at San Francisco International Airport, and others are taking time to give back, building homes with Habitat for Humanity or volunteering at their local food bank. Some might be working at summer camps like the Lair of the Golden Bear, or some might be coming home to see their younger siblings and enjoy a long summer break with them. Whatever it may be, Berkeley students are busy, exploring the world and getting one step closer to a successful career out of college.
Many students get extremely stressed about finding a fruitful internship to make money and get work experience, and others like to take summer as an opportunity to relax and recharge for the following year. Whatever you do, make it memorable! Even if money is tight and travelling just isn’t an option, enjoy the weather and make your time memorable! Hike, draw, play sports with your friends, spend a day in San Francisco, or even take a summer class if you just can’t stand having your mind unoccupied! Write for fun, read for leisure, or pick up a new hobby like baking or sewing. You never know what you can become an expert at in just a few months! Whatever you spend your time doing this summer, enjoy this upcoming three months of limbo and change up your schedule: give your body time to relax, your mind some time to grow, and focus on making memories you’ll never forget!