Thursday, June 6, 2013

School's out for Summer!

I don’t know if you guys know this yet, but in university, you get… wait for it… a FOUR MONTH SUMMER! (Cue cheering and fireworks) So, while you lovely people are finishing up classes and staring out the window while your teacher tries to fill the last weeks of school, we post-secondary kids are well into our summer vacations. (Sorry!)

Four months is a good chunk of time. What can you do to make the most of it? Here are some ideas to get you started:

1) Get a job
Last summer, I worked for the Government of Ontario.
Summer is a great opportunity to get some work experience. Co-op jobs are available for the summer, and many companies offer summer-long placements to take advantage of the student talent. As an example, I am working for the Bank of Montreal as an intern this summer.  Jobs also give you some income to pay for school.

2) Do active stuff
I don’t know about you, but my Facebook newsfeed is full of my friends participating in races, obstacle courses and other really cool exercising opportunities! Tough Mudder and Run or Dye are pretty common ones. Get some friends together and spend a day sweating! If getting covered in dye or swimming in ice cold water doesn’t sound appealing, you could try recreational sports or join a yoga class.

3) Get to know your city/town
Since the weekends are no longer full of studying, they are a great opportunity to adventure around your hometown or closest city. Try and uncover those “hidden gems”; whether that may be a restaurant, natural feature (like a stream) or just chat it up with some people who work in local stores. One cool thing to do is get on a bus and see where it takes you.

4) Pick up a book
This summer, I am determined to read the books I should have read in high school. In high school, we got a long reading list and I only ever read what was required for assignments. So far I have read Animal Farm by George Orwell and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. (I’m also making my way through Knightfall Volume 1, a Batman comic, but I don’t think it has ever showed up on a high school reading list)

Books, books, comics!
And most importantly…

5) Talk to current undergraduate students about what to expect at university
Summer is a great chance to learn about what to expect when you start at McMaster in September! We upper years have a little more free-time on evenings and weekends and are here to answer your questions. The Ask anUndergraduate Engineer program is run by the McMaster Engineering Society, and it pairs up incoming students (that’s you!) with upper-year engineering students via e-mail. Send a message to if you are interested!

When that school bell rings for the last time, make the most of your summer! Good luck on your exams! You'll kill it! :)

Later days,

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