While summer is a wonderful time to gain new experiences, catch up on credits, or save money, I would encourage you to make sure you are leaving time to relax and enjoy yourself. I’m not recommending laying by the pool the entire summer, but taking a few days off your summer job or a break between your internship ending and the fall semester starting can be critical to returning to school refreshed and ready to learn. Not only is taking some time off important for your mental health, it can actually help you better process your summer experiences.
“Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life. A wandering mind unsticks us in time so that we can learn from the past and plan for the future.” – Scientific American, Why your Brain Needs Downtime
Having a few days away from your summer grind will give you time to reflect on what brings you joy from your current experience, what areas you’d, like to further develop, and what things you’d like to avoid in your future career. Taking time for yourself will also help you maximize the other opportunities summer provides, such as time for networking, building skills, and building productive habits.