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Illustration by Mary Ma


Two years ago, I interned for a boutique firm in Columbus Circle. Every morning, my boss would give her personal assistant a list of odd errands to run. Every morning, that list would invariably end up on my desk. And so, every morning I would zip up the fly of my pressed slacks and button up my tasteful cardigan just so that I could look official while picking up lemonades, dropping off packages at FedEx, and purchasing clothes for my boss's young daughter.

While that summer internship from two years ago functioned as a perfectly foamy resume padder, the work I accomplished didn't feel particularly productive.

At Columbia, summer vacations are precious. We see them as valuable opportunities for productivity and career advancement. But that's not all they are—summer vacations also allow us to distance ourselves from Columbia. As such, I wouldn't trade that lemonade-grabbing summer for anything.

The following five pieces are written by five Columbians whose past summer experiences have helped them formulate a personal definition of a "productive summer." I encourage you to read through these pieces carefully—there's a lot of wisdom to glean about what exactly defines a productive summer here. Ultimately, though, I hope these pieces will help you arrive at a personal definition for productivity.

The summer is yours. Make it your own.


Paulina Mangubat

Editorial Page Editor


Summer plans happily unknown

By Sam Aldridge


Podcasts, planetariums, and productivity

By Haley Fica

Flying away for the summer

By Alice Hu


Productive summers require planning

By Chelsea Naylor


Productive summers and the power of connections

By Emma Malenka

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