4 little things you can do to not lose your momentum during summer

It’s basically summer...yaaasss! And you are on the cusp of losing any and all professional motivation and momentum now that it’s basically summer...nooooooo! 

You’ve survived another year of the academic grind and another round of exam season, so you definitely deserve some relaxation and rejuvenation before you dive into your summer job or return to school. That doesn’t mean your year’s worth of professional development should stagnate in these three month’s, though.

Here are four small, simple things you can do to make sure your summer isn’t a waste of three months.  

Spend time on your passion, even if it’s not in a professional sense

If you’re truly committed to your passion, you shouldn’t take an extended break from it, even if it’s not a part of your summer job. If you have that fire for something, keep kindling it. Play around with some graphic designs when you get home from your internship. Read that business book as you lounge by the pool. Volunteer with that nonprofit on your free Saturdays. Devote time to what you love and make an effort to deepen your understanding of it and gain more experience in it.

Keep connecting

There’s never a good time to stop developing new connections, especially not in summer when you’re not seeing classmates, professors, and colleagues face-to-face every day. Summer is the perfect time to follow up with those people you met throughout the year, and to make new connections with people you may not personally know but whom can offer you insight moving forward. Maintain relationships that you established during the year, but also don’t be afraid to message that person you found on LinkedIn working in your desired position with a company of interest. Make sure you’re armed with thoughtful, substantial questions that can provide you with some real value, but take the chance to strengthen old relationships and establish new connections.

Update your professional assets

Before you’re swamped with another academic year, take the time to update all of your professional assets. Make sure your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, portfolio, and any other professional materials are up-to-date and sharp, both in content and aesthetic.

Keep learning

There are a million different little ways you can keep learning, day in and day out, even through the dog days of summer. Read, network, explore. Browse full-time openings to see what hiring managers are seeking. Listen to that podcast relevant to your major. Catch up with that friend who recently made a professional jump of their own. You can learn a lot with minimal effort—take advantage.

Got tears? Why those graduation tears should be tears of joy, not sadness

Graduation and the strange, transitory period that comes after is an emotional stretch of time, no doubt. You’re probably feeling confused, relieved, sad, excited, scared, happy, slightly nauseous, like you’re the king of the world, and like you know absolutely nothing, all at once. We don’t blame you if you’ve literally cried or internally cried. We’ve all been there. 

The good news? We’ve all also progressed past that point and eventually realized that—surprise!—there are actually many more reasons to be excited about graduating than there are to be gloomy. 

The best, albeit most basic, part of this is you officially have your degree. You’ve achieved what you went to school to achieve, and, in a sense, the cord is now cut. Graduation signals the ultimate freedom for those of us without strict geographical or familial restrictions. Most of us can now do what we want and be where we want. And that’s a beautiful, blissful opportunity for every 22-year-old who’s only been a student for all of his or her life.  

Graduation represents this ultimate chance to follow your passions, both literally and figuratively. Now it’s time to do those passions justice. Literally following them could mean returning home, heading to the big city, or moving across the country or world, while figuratively following them may mean saying yes to that interesting offer, picking up that extra side hustle, or shifting more of your time to this new focus. Whatever following your passions means to you, you now have more agency than ever to do so.

Think about it—you’re no longer physically bound to your college town, you no longer have to devote at least some of your time to class and studying, you’re no longer defined by your studentry. Your tassel has been turned and the cord has been cut, so whatever you’ve wanted to do or whatever you want to do now, it’s time to take advantage of this prime window of time in your life.

 So get pumped and dry those depressing tears. Embrace the cliche and bask in your new oyster of a world. It’s a different time of life, but it’s a very exciting time of life.

First summer without a summer? Welcome to the real world, make it suck less

Ah, that first summer without any summer. Whether you’re spending those glorious summer months as a full-time intern or in your first full-time job, losing your three-month vacation is arguably the most telltale sign of adulthood. While we’d all rather be out soaking up the sun instead of sitting in a too-heavily air conditioned and too-fluorescently lit office all day every day, this new kind of summer doesn’t have to suck.

Transplant work outside

If you have appropriate chances throughout your work week, transplant your office life outside. Eat at that bench or in that grass instead of at the break room table. Step outside the building when you have make that phone call. Walk to pick up lunch or coffee with coworkers instead of driving. We promise your beloved cubicle will still be there even when you step away for 15 minutes.

Embrace the happy hour lifestyle

This doesn’t mean you have to blow $50 on drinks every night after work, even though we all wish we could. This means fully embrace those two or so precious hours you have after work when it’s still bright and warm outside and you’re not yet so exhausted that you’re going to collapse into bed and cuddle up to Netflix. If you’re rolling in the dough and you can partake in happy hour multiple times a week, that’s great, you should fund my happy hours too. If you’re like us normal folk who can’t afford a nightly cocktail fund, then you can keep your happy hour lifestyle free of charge by going on a long walk, reading outside, or grilling out for dinner. Just don’t waste that prime ‘happy hour’ time after you are able to get off the clock. And allow yourself to go to an actual happy hour every now and then.

Maintain balance

Important in all seasons, but especially summer. If you spend every waking hour in the office or doing work, you will either burn yourself out or start to resent your job or turn into a vampire with a vitamin D deficiency or all of the above. So let’s avoid that. Save your bitterness for those looming winter months and make sure you still find time for what you enjoy while it’s pleasant out. Spend time in the sunlight, decompress with a good book, staycation or vacation. Life isn’t only work, and should never be.