As I write this, it is 57 degrees in Boston with a high of 68 today, so I feel pretty confident in saying that summer is just around the corner. All around Heller, students are holding their last day of classes, preparing for finals, presenting their capstones, preparing for graduations, or looking forward to a class-free and stress-free summer. For those of you entering into graduate school, your summer is likely to be filled with preparations for your new chapter: maybe you have a move ahead of you, maybe you’ll be working hard to save up extra money, maybe (hopefully!) you’ll be participating in the Summer Institute and Summer Career Academy… but no matter what your plans are, I have a few suggestions for easy tasks you can do that will help set you up for success once fall rolls around.
- Update your LinkedIn and resume – I know this isn’t much fun, but this gives you the chance to think about and reflect on everything you’ve done so far… and if a great on campus job or research assistantship pops up, you’ll be happy to have an updated resume ready to go (Psst- This is something the Summer Career Academy can really help with!).
- Listen to a podcast in your subject area – if you’ve been out of school for a while, it might be good to help get back into “learning” mode early. A great way to do this is to listen to podcasts while you’re driving, walking, or cooking. I am a total podcast maniac, so I have a ton of suggestions: Heller students might like Vox’s The Weeds, BBC’s Intelligence Squared (I especially like their early debate episodes, so scroll back!), Radiolab’s More Perfect, and Harvard Kennedy School’s Policy podcast.
- Volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about – no matter what your area of interest or your skillset, I promise you there is some cause out there that needs your help. Volunteering can go beyond working at a soup kitchen (although that’s great too!)— organizations always need coders, photographers, phone bankers, fundraisers, etc… so whatever you’re able to contribute, find a cause you believe in and lend a hand.
- Take a cooking class or buy a cookbook – two years ago, my partner and I bought a cookbook of one dish vegetarian recipes, and since then we have tried to cook a new recipe together every Sunday. Not only has it been a great thing for our relationship, but it’s also given us a couple of tried-and-true recipes to fall back on when we’re not sure what we want to eat. Graduate school can be tough, and you’ll want a couple of tasty, healthy, and quick meals in your back pocket for nights that you’re cramming for a test.
- Do something totally off the wall for you – if you’re an introvert, go to a networking event. Big rom-com fan? Throw a HorrorFest in your living room. Uncoordinated? Take a dance class. Whatever your situation is, think of what you usually do and do the exact opposite. Who knows, you may find something that you really love, but more importantly, doing this will prepare you to take on the unexpected and rise to challenges.
I know the warmer weather has only just begun, but trust me when I say that fall will be here sooner than you think. Taking on a few extra things now will ensure that when it does, you’ll be ready.