Image from Flickr

Image from Flickr

By now most people have the bulk of their summer planned out, but there is likely a noticeable chunk missing somewhere. This may be caused by awkwardly scheduled programs, last minute cancellations, or just poor planning. Not to worry, because there is still time to fill those couple of weeks with exciting and productive plans, and here’s how!


See if there is any way to extend any preexisting plans. If you have an internship that you really like, offer to stay on an extra week or two. If you are participating in a program away from home, tack on an extra few days for personal exploration of the new location. Call on family friends or friends from college to see if they can spare their couch for a few days. You are young and free, so what better time to couch surf?!


Unfortunately jobs are not a reliable solution for a three week gap in summer plans. In my experience finding a good, full summer job is hard enough, and so finding someone who will take you on for a few weeks seems near impossible. It can be done, but be prepared to compromise for an unpaid position where you will be doing a lot of grunt work. If you have any interest in the food industry some cafes and restaurants have room for another set of hands.  Try local businesses that you have a personal relationship with rather than searching online.

Be a Pest

Talk to everyone you know and tell them to ask anyone they can think of if they need an extra hand. As much as you might hate talking to your uncle at family BBQs now is the time to suck it up and ask if his office needs a last minute intern. It is surprising what people can come up with when asked to, and some of my best experiences have come from such endeavors. Make sure everyone knows that you are available for cat-sitting, babysitting, painting a desk, and whatever other odd jobs you’d be willing to do. Start general and then pick from what you can. Filing at some random office may not sound like the most thrilling way to spend your weekdays, but you will definitely be able to put it on a resume and you might learn something too.


If you can afford to not make money during this gap in whatever your summer plans may be, volunteering is a great way to spend part of your summer. Volunteering gives you freedom and options in what you want to do, and so it is quite possible that you will find a niche to fill that will help you build important skills. Museums and community summer programs often have openings well into the summer, and many positions are flexible in the span of time commitment required. Some programs are less flexible, but send an email to the organisation to see if you can still help out in spite of your schedule.

Leave Some Free Time

You might be reading this article to figure out a way to fill in your the remaining two weeks of your summer that have no schedule. While this is certainly possible, it is by no means necessary. Personally I think that current summer breaks are too long, but that does not mean that they should be entirely scheduled away. Breaks are meant for just that, to take a break. High schoolers heading into senior year or off to college are in for some stressful times, and so a week or two of nothing should be relished. (Family vacations do not always count as relaxing, so take a week besides just for you.)

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