Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

As the summer winds down and freshmen begin to move in and start their new lives in college and as seniors begin to move in for the last time, the question arises: what happens at college during the summer?

After spending my first summer doing an internship at my college, I can safely say that a lot happens and there is plenty to do between the beginning of summer and fall move in. Students stay on campus for a variety of reasons: summer classes, internships, research opportunities, or campus employment.

Luckily for me, I did the internship option without the burden of classes or anything else. But from the moment I set foot on campus in the summer, I could immediately feel the difference.

1. There aren’t a lot of people on campus.

If you’re not a fan of crowds, this could be a major plus. But not having a lot of people on campus does make it lonely at times. However, use this opportunity to explore different parts of campus without the hassle of running into people. Check out residence halls, ancient buildings (I’m looking at you Wren Building), and the campus woods if you have them. You’ve got three months here and you might as well make the best of it.

2. Explore the areas outside of campus.

Sometimes we as students spend too much time on campus and become blind to the town around us. If you brought your car with you, then take road trips during you days off or weekends. Take a drive around the town your college is located in and familiarize yourself with it. Or, just ride public transportation and see the sights. Become a tourist for the day and really experience the town. More often than not, you will find some really cool activities (like an all you can eat Chinese buffet or pancake houses) that you wouldn’t have seen during an actual academic semester. Also if your campus is close to an amusement park or the beach be sure to make frequent road trips there.

3. Not taking classes is a great benefit.

If you are doing research, working, or have an internship, then your summer experience will be starkly different compared to students taking classes. As opposed to spending your nights in the library studying, you will have the gift of…free time! This so-called “free time” is a great tool that is rare to come by. Some people use this time to create the perfect schedule for the fall, and others sign up to take campus tours. But, more importantly, it allows you to fall in love with your school all over again. If you’re like me, seeing the same buildings and classrooms while doing school work day in and day out can be a total bore. But, when this “free time” pops up, take walks around campus with a group of friends or by yourself and just fall back in love with the school you chose.

Being on campus during the summer is a fantastic experience that everyone should try to do at least once. It allows you make new friends, fall back in love with college, or see the sights and become an expert of the area. Being free from the burden of classes also makes the summer very enjoyable since as opposed to being stuck in the library you could be out enjoying life and having a great summer while spending at the place you chose to spend the next four years of your life.

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the author

Carlton Smith is a junior at the College of William and Mary currently majoring in Government. He loves to sing and dance and is involved with one of his school's A Cappella groups known as DoubleTake. He has served as the Class of 2015's Vice President for the past three years.

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