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
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.