“It is only summer, Alyssa. This happens every year. Four months will fly by and you’ll be back in Athens.”
I have always had the darndest time with endings. April rolls around each year and those three sentences above become a daily mantra. My mind begins to spin with all the things I did not get to do and all of the people whom I am going to miss tremendously. After three years of this strange fear of summertime, I have come up with five things I consider key to a successful ending:
Think About What You Didn’t Do
This is not exactly the most appealingkey to success but arguably one of the most important. Each April I take a little time to brainstorm what goals I did not complete in the past school year. I think about fun, personal things I have always wanted to do but haven’t and professional goals I have yet to achieve. Think about what could enhance you as a person and a professional and make that a plan for the following year.
Spend Some Time with Seniors
This seems like a no-brainer but can easily slip our minds in the midst of finals season. Text your favorite seniors and make plans to share some quality time together. These people have been some of the most influential and instrumental in your college career, so spend some time with them before they move on to post-grad life. Your time with them in Athens will be over before you know it (unfortunately).
It is finally nice out! Ohioans know, we have waited months and months for this weather. Between work, extracurriculars and classes, take some much-deserved relaxation time and head to Strouds Run or go for a hike in Hocking Hills. Ohio is not exactly known for its beautiful weather, so seize any opportunity Mother Nature gives you to go outside.
Invest Time in Mentor Relationships
Before you leave Athens, go see your favorite professor(s) and say thank you. Show them how much you appreciated their expertise this year. Throughout the summer, make a plan to reach out to any mentors with whom you wish to continue your relationship. Check-in with them a couple times and share what you have been up to and ask them about their latest professional developments.
Make a Summer Plan
A goal without a plan is just a wish. Do not waste any time wishing for what you would like your summer to be like— make it happen. Maybe you want to connect with professionals in the field during your upcoming internship. Make a plan to spend some extra time at work to talk to your superiors. Maybe you want to make yourself a better candidate for internships next summer. Try to do some freelance work or volunteer each week to do social media for a non-profit in your area. Summer is four months away from the stressors of school in which you can enhance yourself as a person and professional.
People talk about the Sunday Scaries, but I personally think they are nothing compared to the Summer Scaries. However, with these five tips, I believe anyone struggling with the end of their year can find peace. Athens will always be here– whether you have two more years in undergrad or are graduating in a few weeks. Bobcat nation forever, am I right?
Alyssa Murtagh is a junior Strategic Communications major and current VP of Member Relations for Scripps PRSSA. She is also the newly elected VP of Career Services for the PRSSA National Committee. Keep up with Alyssa’s PR adventure on Twitter @alyssamurt