School is out and summer vacation has officially begun! These next few months are a great opportunity to take a step back and focus on getting your priorities in order.  Oftentimes the stresses of the school year can make it difficult to check in yourself and make sure you are headed in the direction you want to go.  If that sounds like something you need to do, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation (Fallen Patriots) is here to provide holistic support to each one of our scholarship recipients, which includes educational counseling, so reach out if you need help.  As you kick off Summer 2019, keep these 5 tips in mind for making it a productive one.

Unplug

Turn off your cell phone and give yourself a half hour every day to unwind and do something that makes your soul happy.  Take some time this summer to read for pleasure, learn a new hobby, or go on a trip with your friends.  When you prioritize self-care and begin to accept it as a necessary part of entering adulthood, you’ll thank yourself in the long run.  College and adulthood have many stressors, so begin learning how to unplug and decompress now. 

Get a Job or Internship

Earning some extra cash before taking off to school is always a good idea.  A summer job provides structure to your days, develops professional work experience, and provides a sense of satisfaction in a job well done.  An internship is also an excellent way to spend your time as these experiences are proven to help make candidates more competitive in the job market.

Prepare for College

A top priority for incoming college freshmen should be preparing for college.  Spend some time taking inventory of your possessions to begin planning what you will bring to college and what you still need to buy.  When you begin this process early, it can help save both time and money.  Living away from home for the first time can be intimidating and offers many challenges, so take advantage of these summer months to make sure you’re taking steps to get ahead. 

Research Careers

A worthy investment of your time is to research your dream career to fully understand what skills you need to learn in order to become successful.  When job searching using websites like Indeed or LinkedIn, type in keywords that match your interest and begin reading job descriptions.  Employers enjoy seeing initiative from young people, so if you find a company or position that interests you, send them an e-mail! You can begin your career now by knowing exactly what you’re getting into.

Volunteer

The world is full of opportunities to invest your natural talents and abilities in.  Students who volunteer say they are filled with a sense of purpose devoting time to causes they care about.  Volunteering is one of the easiest ways to get involved in your community and make a difference in the lives of others and for your future.  Many organizations will take whatever help they can get, so it’s also great place to learn new skills as well.