Why You Shouldn’t Do Anything This Summer

Take a moment to enjoy your time off. Even Cambridge is beautiful in the summer.
Take a moment to enjoy your time off. Even Cambridge is beautiful in the summer. By Grace R. Ramsdell

With classes and activities wrapping up for the school year, many people’s minds have turned to their summer plans. And as the high-achieving (read: competitive) group of students that we are, everyone wants to be sure of what they’re doing for the summer—and what everyone else is doing. It’s news if your only plans for the summer are to enjoy the break and not work a high-profile internship, but there are several reasons why you should consider doing just that.

Recharge from the Year

With high stress levels on campus during the school year, it’s important to give yourself some time off to recharge for the next school year. Working a stressful job could leave you more exhausted, putting you in a state primed for mid-semester burnout. Your mental health is more important than one bullet on your resume!

Spend Time with Friends and Family

You spend every semester buried under school work and various activities, and thus might not have enough time to see your friends and family. Summer is the perfect time to catch up with these far-flung but familiar faces. You can make lasting memories with them that will remind you of how much you love them (but also why it wasn’t such a bad idea to move hundreds of miles away from their prying questions).

Work a “Normal” Job

So many people working prestigious, but unpaid internships. Your most fulfilling option for a summer experience could be a minimum-wage service job. Let’s be honest, we could all be taken down a peg after spending some time in Harvard’s ego-boosting bubble, and nothing keeps you humble like a job at your local restaurant. Making money is nice too, especially when the work is mindless.

There are many useful things that you can do with your summer even if you don’t have definitive plans that directly contribute to your ten-year plan to become a partner at Goldman Sachs. Sometimes, the best use of your time is to do nothing. And being a Harvard student with “McDonalds” as an employer on your resume is as much (if not more) of an interview conversation-starter than summer analyst at some start-up.

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