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April 29, 2004
 Student View

 


What I’ll do on my summer ‘break’


Katie Norman
Katie Norman
Another April has rolled around and campus is slowing down a bit. Many students are travelling home, others are searching for work around the city, province or even internationally, while another group is prepping for the spring semester. This summer I’ve decided to combine work and study – a popular combination due to the convenience of night classes and distance courses, according to the people with whom I’ve spoken. Summer is no longer three months sprawled out in front of the television playing Playstation 2. University students have a little over four months and there are many ways to fill up your time. The main thing that changes from high school is that students are no longer satisfied with having nothing to do. I know that I am used to having a full plate, and reducing this drastically leads to boredom. There are many ways to make your summer worthwhile but relaxing.

A professor once told me not to take courses in the summer. I partially agree with this – people do need a break and, if you already feel overworked in April, maybe it is best to take it easy over the summer. However, there are many people who successfully complete courses between May and August. I decided to try this out and see if I could be one of these people. While course offerings tend to be a little less bountiful than during the regular fall and winter terms, there is likely to be at least a few offerings that can fill your degree requirements. If you don’t have time to come to campus frequently, then distance courses are your best option. As someone who enjoys independent learning, I don’t think a distance course will be too much of a challenge. For more information about this term’s offerings visit www.distance.mun.ca.

If purely academic courses are not exactly what you’d like to learn about this summer, there are always opportunities to learn a second language or hone your photography skills through a non-credit course – which means the results will not sit on your transcript. The Division of Lifelong Learning is offering such courses as How to Cook Pasta From Scratch, Bird-watching Basics, Watercolour for Beginners, and Customer Service Essentials during this spring and summer. This summer may be the time to explore an interest area that you’ve always thought about but have never actually fulfilled. For full details on these courses and more check out www.mun.ca/lifelonglearning/.

Summer time usually means work time for students who have tuition to pay come September and rent payments to meet monthly. The province’s fiscal situation has depressed the economy and many people suspect that summer jobs may not be as bountiful as in years past. The best thing to do if a student is in limbo and unsure if their placement is waiting for them this summer is to call their former employers. If you don’t already have a job lined up you can visit www.mun.ca/student/careerexploration/. The Centre for Career Development and its partnership with Workopolis Campus provide many opportunities to find work domestically or internationally. There are also volunteer opportunities through the Student Volunteer Bureau. Canada’s famous Job Bank can be found at www.jobbank.gc.ca/Prov_en.asp. A recent quick search for summer jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador found over 300 listed jobs, many of which were appropriate for full or part-time work for students. The main areas represented were clerical work, customer service and sales, tourism, food and beverage industry and childcare.

Summer is also a time to do a little travel. Whether it’s a roadtrip to one of the provincial or national parks or a flight elsewhere, there are ways to do this on a shoestring budget. If you’re planning on booking a flight to London or another major European city and then subsequent flights around the continent, it may be cheaper to use some small European airlines, such as Ryan Air, who often offer amazing deals to the major tourist attractions.

If you want to visit some relatives on “the mainland” or go to a concert in Toronto, check out JetsGo, whose Sunday Nights specials can take you as far as Calgary and even south of the boarder for amazing prices. Roadtrips are significantly cheaper if you’re willing to tent-it and cook your own meals on a Coleman stove or travel barbecue.

This summer it is a mix for me – some work, some travel, some school – all in an attempt to gain some credit hours, raise some funds for September and relax a little in the sun. Sometimes a little bit of a plan goes a long way, and this is very true in the summer. No one wants September to roll around and regret how they spent their downtime.

 


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Next issue: May 20, 2004

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