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What to Do the Summer Between College and Graduate School

8 Ideas to Help Spend Your Time Wisely -- And Enjoyably

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You may have spent so much time focusing on graduating from college and preparing for graduate school that you overlooked one small problem: what to do during the summer between spring graduation and your first day of graduate school in the fall? Check out these 8 ideas of how to spend your summer wisely -- and enjoyably -- at this critical time in your personal and academic life.

1. Relax, relax, relax. You probably just spent the last 4 (or 5 or 6) years working your tush off to get into your graduate program. And, of course, you're now likely facing 2 (or 3 or 4 or 5 or ...) years of additional study. Why not let your brain and body relax, recuperate, and recharge?

2. Travel abroad. Interested in seeing Paris? Thailand? Costa Rica? Rio de Janeiro? Cape Town? Grab your backpack and head off for an adventure of a lifetime.

3. Work to earn extra cash. It's no secret that most graduate students are extremely short on funds during their time in school. Finding a great-paying job for several months may make your years in graduate school a lot easier when it comes to making ends meet.

4. Work to earn experience. Are you entering medical school in August? Can you work in a doctors' office, medical research facility, or hospital? Look around for paying jobs or even internships that can provide you with experience that you can use during your graduate program.

5. House sit for a faculty member. Ask around to see if any professors -- either at your college campus or at the school where you're headed for graduate study -- need someone to house sit for them. Many professors travel for research over the summer and need someone to keep an eye on their place -- conveniently at a time when you need a place to live.

6. Live in a city you've always wanted to live in and explore. Sure, you went to college in Memphis and are heading to graduate school in Chicago. But who says you can't just move to Los Angeles, Ann Arbor, or New York for a few months?

7. Live in and get to know you're "new" city. You may have in your mind that, come the fall, you'll be moving to a new city to start your graduate program. Consider, however, moving there right after you graduate from college. You'll get to know your bearings and be well settled before classes begin -- giving you one less thing to worry about during those critical first few months of school.

8. Crash at your folks' (or other friends' or family members') house to save money and/or help out. There is nothing wrong with heading back home for a few months while you save some money, enjoy some home cooking, and help your family out. It can be a great way to combine your need for a little rest with your need to make money and save up for the expenses of graduate school.

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