No internship? 5 alternative ways to spend your summer

For most college students, the goal is to secure an awesome internship at a company you love and spend your summer there. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. If you haven’t scored an internship yet, here are a few other alternative summer plans.

1. Get a summer jobĀ 

This is probably the most common alternative for those who aren’t doing an internship. Last summer, I was a janitor. It pays the bills, but it definitely wasn’t ideal. I would recommend trying to find a fun job, like being a camp counselor, or getting a job in a cool location somewhere.

That way, even though it might not be the greatest job, you can still have a good time and spend your summer in a cool place.

2. Summer classes

Even if you have an internship or full-time job, you might want to look into taking a class or two in the summer as well. Iowa State has a bunch of online classes, so you can keep working toward your degree from anywhere this summer. I took a summer class the last two years, and it’s worked well. It’s nice to focus on just one class instead of five or six.

The flexibility is nice, and summer is a good time to knock off a pesky required course that you’re not looking forward to (statistics!) because you can get it out of the way and focus solely on that class, rather than have it add onto all your other courses during the school year. You can also just pick up an elective course that is of interest to you. It’s nice to take an easy, enjoyable elective during the summer, because none of your required classes are there to take up all your time and energy.

3. Study Abroad

I briefly looked into spending a month of my summer on a study abroad trip in London, but ended up getting a job instead. I can’t tell you how many times I thought about how great it would have been to be in London, instead of cleaning toilets at my janitor job.

If you have the money and can make it work, look into spending part of your summer abroad.

4. Boost your resumeĀ 

You may not have gotten your dream internship this summer, but you can spend this summer doing everything in your power to ensure you’ll get that dream internship the following summer. That might mean volunteer work or working part-time at a smaller company in your field. Try finding anything that will boost your resume and give you a better shot at landing an internship the following year.

5. Have fun!

Just have fun this summer. No matter where you spend your summer or what you do, make the most of it. You only have so many summers until you’re in the real world and don’t get summers off. So, make the most of it!

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