Just because you’re looking to make a few bucks this summer doesn’t mean you can’t still soak up the sun. For those who want an adrenaline boost, adventure work can be a blast. Fearless college students can spend the summer teaching kids to rock climb, work as a lifeguard or lead white water rafting tours. Those who want to keep their feet on the ground can throw on flip-flops and a pair of shades when they head to work as a camp counselor or amusement park attendant. After being locked up in closed-curtain classrooms and battling low Ithaca temperatures, a summer in the sun is certainly hot.
This summer occupation is bittersweet. While gaining great experience and building an expansive résumé, students are giving up a summer of friends and fun. Unlike life on the open water, summer interns often brew coffee and enter database information for upper management. Many internships are often unpaid or offer stipends that barely cover the cost of housing, which causes students to pay for their learning experience. But there are a few ways to brighten this summer occupation. Students with a paid internship learn skills and save money at the same time. Those who spend the summer away from the coffee pot and in their field gain valuable experience to further their careers.
The in-store air conditioning isn’t the only thing that makes a summer in retail cold. With their long hours and menial tasks, these jobs add little to students’ résumés, along with keeping them out of the sun and away from friends. Sorting clothing sizes and organizing messy dressing rooms doesn’t stand up to a summer crafting with kids or meeting industry professionals. Not a total loss, a summer in retail is a good way to earn money for the upcoming semester, and students with employee discounts can stock up on merchandise.