As the high of freshman year comes to an end for the class of 2020 many, including myself, are faced with the problem of deciding what to do during the summer. Is it my last opportunity to enjoy “childhood?” Should I get a job? If so, where? Or should I get an internship?
Filling the three-month gap can be a complex issue, especially for freshmen, who do not necessarily need to get a job applicable to their major after their first year, but also do not want to be seen as “slacking.” So, what’s the game plan for the rising sophomores?
“My summer plans circle around being with my family and hometown friends, chauffeuring my little brother around and trying to find a job,” said Amrita Nag, a second-year molecular, cell and developmental biology student. “It’s hard because of the (University of California) system letting out a month later compared to other college students, but it’s also given me more time to do things I’ve wanted to do for fun since I finally have some free time.”
There are many experimental activities worth doing over the summer if one has a lot of free time to explore places in and around their hometown.
“I’ve played a lot of music, tried a few different restaurants and I’m currently on vacation at Glenwood Springs for the Fourth of July break with my family. Next summer I’m planning on focusing on summer classes and maybe some internships and jobs,” she said.
Avery Schroeder, a second-year film student, is interning five days a week for media companies because of her interest in film.
“Twice a week I intern at Thinkfactory Media, which produces scripted and (unscripted) television shows and movies like Texas Rising, Preachers’ Daughters and Marriage Boot Camp. I do coverage of books and screenplays they’re thinking of adapting into television shows,” she said.
Internships can be very time consuming, but very rewarding in the end – especially when working in an area specific to one’s major that could help them land the job of their dreams.
“The other three days a week I have a paid development assistant position at Original Productions which produces reality shows including Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers, Storage Wars and more,” she said. “Here, I do research for new programs in development, as well as edit videos.”
I think it is a good idea for freshmen to get an internship or job that is pertinent to their major, because they can explore what it’s like in the real world, and decide whether or not they can see themselves doing similar jobs in the future.
“I am using the summer to plan out my academics better so I have a focused plan, can cat sit for money and intern at a nongovernment organization, like a nonprofit,” Mareeha Khan, a second-year psychology student, said.
Summer plans can also be ambiguous for those who live internationally.
“I am an international student, and it is easy to feel disconnected from the U.S., so I want to reconnect and immerse myself in culture and community,” she said.
As for me, I’m doing a summer abroad program through UCLA. I feel like I am on vacation while taking care of units that I need for school. There are a lot of ways an incoming sophomore can feel satisfied over the summer, even though there is an awkward limbo between professional readiness and having childlike fun. There are endless possibilities like jobs, internships, traveling or studying abroad – and each student knows what is going to work the best for them, with regard to both their personal and academic lives.