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Cherrie Zheng / Staff Photographer

The weather’s been getting warmer and the days longer, and we all know what that means—summer is just around the corner. Though it may not feel like it, we’re officially halfway through the spring semester, and therefore, it’s time to plan for summer. If that thought sends you into a tailspin, take a second to relax—from internships to jobs to relaxing itself, Spectrum’s got you covered with some options on what you should do this summer.

Find an internship

The all-consuming search for a summer internship is something we all know too well, and given how early recruiting in some fields begins nowadays, it might feel like it’s too late to apply for a summer 2019 internship now. But it isn’t! Take a deep breath, open up a new spreadsheet to organize all the deadlines and opportunities, and maybe go to drop-in hours at the Center for Career Education to touch up your résumé. If you’re a first-year, also make sure to check out these helpful tips, since it can be especially hard to get an internship early on in your Columbia or Barnard career. In addition to hitting up Beyond Barnard and LionSHARE, make sure to check third-party sites such as, WayUp, and Glassdoor. Additionally, consider giving LinkedIn messaging, cold emailing, or even cold calling a shot. Though actively reaching out to professionals you don’t know can be intimidating, taking that extra initiative also can differentiate your résumé from the pack.

Get a job

A change of pace, more experience under your belt, and consistent deposits in your bank account: What’s not to love about a summer job? If you’re seeking to stay busy over the summer but also want real-world experience, consider applying to summer positions either here on campus or back home. If you’ll be traveling over the summer or have simply procrastinated on filling out job applications, not all is lost: Consider creating accounts on sites such as fiverr or Upwork to dip your toes into the freelancing world.

Take some classes

We get it: After all the papers and exams, you’re exhausted, and taking classes over those sweet, sweet three months of summer break can sound pretty absurd right now. Yet, taking summer courses, either in-person or online, can be a great way to get ahead on credits, catch up if you’re behind, or lighten your course load during the school year. If you decided to stay up here in MoHi, it’s also an opportunity to finally do what we were all promised when we applied to Columbia—you know, explore the city and maybe take some cool electives. If that sounds exciting, make sure to tune in for Columbia Summer’s online info session from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. EST on March 22. Alternatively, if you want a change of pace, make sure to visit the Center for Student Advising before you begin registering for summer classes at other institutions to make sure that you can get credit here at Columbia for your hard work.


Given the constant shows, nonstop nightlife, and endless spread of restaurants to choose from here in the Big Apple, it’s pretty hard to think that you’ll ever run out of things to do here. But maybe it is precisely this nonstop hustle and bustle you need to get away from this summer. If you can relate to this sentiment, consider traveling through either a global program, internship, job, or, best of all, on your own terms. If that flight to Milan is calling your name, or if you’ve been daydreaming in Butler about escaping civilization by hiking the Appalachian Trail, do it. You’re only young once and can learn a lot more about yourself on the road than in the classroom.


As we all know, life here at Columbia can be exhausting. Between classes, internships, jobs, extracurriculars, maintaining a social life, and to top it all off, being in the city, things can get real hectic real fast. We all need a breather once in a while, so make sure—regardless of your summer plans—to take some time to simply recharge. Go home, spend time with the people you love, binge-watch a few shows on Netflix, and spend a week sleeping in until the early afternoon. You deserve it.

Staff writer Michelle Zhuang can be contacted at Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

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