Calli’s Corner: 7 things high school graduates should do this summer

By Calli Newberry

As graduation season quickly approaches, here are seven things soon-to-be college students should try to do this summer:   

  1. Job shadow. If you know what career you want to pursue, see what it’s like up-close and in action. Find someone locally who does what you’d like to do and follow them around for the day. Ask questions and take notes. 

Or better yet, job shadow where you think you’d want to work. See what the environment is really like. Imagine yourself showing up every day and doing whatever it is you think you want to do. 

This first-hand experience will either make you more excited to pursue your degree and get to work, or it’ll help you change your mind before getting too deep into classes. 

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  1. Interview five people whose careers interest you. If you’re not sure what you want to do yet, or even if you do know, this is something that’s super helpful. Find out what it is they really do: What does their schedule look like? What kind of tasks are they completing every day? What are the best and worst things about the job? 

Not only is it fun to get to learn from people who are older and more experienced, but it’s also a great way to make connections and get a step ahead in your career. Ask for advice or find out what they wish they would’ve done differently so you can avoid repeating the same mistakes. 

  1. Do the workouts. If you’re playing a sport in college, don’t think you can show up without doing the summer workouts. And don’t just go through the motions to say you did them either, but actually learn to do the exercises right. 

I was too afraid to ask questions before my freshman year, so I just looked up some of the things on my training plan on YouTube. I thought I was being resourceful, but as it turns out, I was just wrong. When I showed up to practice that first week, I realized a majority of the warm-ups I was doing over the summer weren’t actually helping me.

I’m sure your coach, or even an upperclassman on the team, would be more than happy to answer your questions. 

  1. Find out what books you actually need. Textbooks are expensive and sometimes, you don’t even need them. Ask older teammates or students who’ve taken the class with that professor to see if they used the book, or if they got by without one. 

If you do need the book, in addition to buying used or renting, see if your school’s library might have it. Sometimes, you can even find the PDF version to download. 

  1. Speaking of books, read at least one book. Most likely, you’re going to have to read a lot in college, and not that you’ll forget how to read of course, but reading over the summer will help you stay somewhat “academically in shape.” I know this sounds nerdy, but trust me, once you get out of the habit of reading or studying, it can be hard to get back into it. 

If you’re looking for a good book that’s both inspiring and will help you grow as a leader while also entertaining you, I’d suggest anything by Andy Andrews or Max Lucado. They’re both excellent storytellers with a lot of wisdom.

  1. Buy a mattress topper. Sleep is important and most dorm room mattresses do not support the highest quality sleep. Need I say more? 
  1. Learn to cook three easy meals. By no means am I good at cooking, but I did manage to nail down a few basics that didn’t include chicken nuggets or ramen noodles. There are a lot of simple, healthy options that can be made with just a few ingredients, which are both time and budget-friendly.

One of my favorite things is just ground turkey cooked in a skillet with onion and sweet potatoes. Sprinkle on some Italian seasoning and garlic salt and you’re good to go. It’s super simple and surprisingly tasty. 

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