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The Collegian

Tips for students to make the most of summer break

It’s been said that time is like a bank deposit that you get every single day, that you can’t waste or save for another day. We cannot afford to waste a single one of the 86,400 seconds we are allotted each day. With summer break only a few weeks away,  planning for how to use your time efficiently this summer is crucial. Here are some of the best suggestions from campus sources.

 Don’t take a spiritual break. It’s far too easy to let your spiritual standards and discipline stutter when you’re not in chapel or Bible class every day. “You may be taking the summer off from school, but don’t take the summer off from God,” said Chris Rawlings, a faculty member in the Division of Accounting. “Students should be using that time to develop their private spiritual walk.” Don’t let the sudden availability of free time take away from the most important priority to always be strengthening your own relationship with Christ.

“Establish a realistic, encouraging Bible reading plan to keep you on track,” sugwgested Dr. Jason Ormiston, a member of the Bible faculty.

Some other ways to stay on track spiritually during the summer are to get involved in a summer camp ministry, a mission team, or ask your local church if there are opportunities to become actively “plugged in.” 

“The local church is about more than just accountability and what we need,” Ormiston said. “It’s much more about what God wants — to worship Him.” 

If you are unable to work at a camp or go on a mission team, talk to your local pastor. The local ministry is always in need of volunteers and helpers; if students go to their local pastor, he can find ways for them to become involved, Rawlings suggested.

Stay sharp academically. Reading, especially about topics related to your major and future career, is the perfect way to lay a deeper foundation for when you come back to school or start your first job. If you get tired of always reading business articles in The Wall Street Journal or political coverage, don’t just read fluff, either. “It’s fine to read for recreation, but it’s also very beneficial to read material in your field to lay a foundation for when you come back to school or start a career,” Rawlings said.

Develop your professional experience. Summer break is the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: save money and improve your resumé. Work of any kind during the summer is valuable experience, but work related to your future career can hone your skills and provide future networking opportunities.

“If you can find a job that’s in your field of study, it’s going to be worth more to you than an average part-time job,” Rawlings said. “The experience allows you to apply what you’ve learned in college, and it makes what you’ve already learned that much more valuable.” Valuable resources for potential positions are connecting with members of your local church and social networks, such as LinkedIn.

Take some time off. It’s called summer vacation for a reason. “Use the recreation time to re-create within you an appreciation for God and everything around you,” Ormiston said. “It can become a bad thing when you’re idle and not productive in trying to pursue God through your recreation.”

While developing yourself spiritually, academically and professionally should certainly be top priorities during your summer, make sure you allow for some time to reconnect with friends and family. Schedule a week (or two, or three) for a family vacation and to “recharge the batteries.”

“Stay active and balance your free time with accomplishing personal fulfillment goals,” Rawlings said.

The next three months can either be a time of personal growth or personal stagnation — it’s up to you to decide which.

“Find out where God is at work, and get there as fast as possible,” Ormiston said. “It changes your perspective on decisions to find out first what God is doing in your church, family or friends, and joining Him there.”

Each one of us has 86,400 seconds a day; don’t waste a single one.

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Tips for students to make the most of summer break