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Post Finals Week: The Come Down After the Crash

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By: burgundy bug

Sea Foam at Island Beach State Park, Ocean County, N.J.

Source: Sea Foam | Penelope Peru Photography P³

As you slam your textbooks shut for the summer, wiping your brow after pulling all-nighters to study, you may find yourself wondering: Well what the hell do I do now?

Read: How to Kick Ass During Finals Week

Penelope Peru Photography | P³

First, take a deep breath and give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve earned it.

Only 34 percent of men and 35 percent of women in the United States had a four year degree as of 2018, according to the Statista.

Of the 20 million who enroll in college, less than 2/3 of those students at a four year school will graduate, College Atlas reports.

30 percent of freshmen in college drop out after their first year

College Atlas

So kick back, relax. Treat yourself to a week-long Netflix binge, if you need to.

You’ve got three months to make the most out of your summer vacation – but it will pass you by, if you let it.

What to do After Finals Week

Register for Next Semester’s Classes

If you haven’t already, go register for your next semester’s classes. Seriously. The sooner you enroll, the better.

Not being able to take a class you need for your degree, particularly if this is your last semester, would be awful. Registering sooner rather than later leaves more classroom availability and flexibility. You’ll have an easier time hand-picking professors and selecting class times that actually pertain to your schedule.

Spoil Yourself

Depending on what’s left in your bank account after enrolling for your next semester, recovering from having to purchase textbooks this semester, and purchasing excessive amounts of caffeine all while living on a part-time wage, spoil yourself responsibly.

Need to unwind over a weekend getaway with friends? Go for it. Need some new summer clothes? You’ve earned it.

Again, spoil yourself responsibly. If you can’t splurge right away, why not…

Build Up Your Resume

Pick Up a Summer Job

Yes, a piece of age old advice, but there is plenty of merit for picking up a job over the summer.

A summer job will fuel your summer splendors and give you a financial cushion, come the fall semester. It also gives you an opportunity to build up your resume and gain valuable experience, especially if you pick up a job in a field related to your degree.

Who knows – maybe you’ll like it there enough to continue working part-time throughout the upcoming school year.

Read: How to Make Bank over the Holiday Break Without Leaving the Bed

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Apply for an Internship

Applying for an internship is another wonderful way to build your resume and add to your experiences.

Depending on your field of study, it may be hard to find an entry level position related to your degree before you’ve even completed it.

Internships, on the other hand, are tailored for students and those looking to dip their toes in their line of work.

Applying for a paid internship over a job in your field will make it easier to obtain work within your interests – and still earn a paycheck.


Volunteering is phenomenally enriching and a true testament towards your passion and dedication. It shows that you actually care about the community, and that it’s not all about the moolah you bring home at the end of the day.

Some majors also require you to do a bit of volunteer work. Social work majors, for example, often need some under their belt (this will vary from college to college).

Have a Little Fun

Once you’ve got the hard work for the summer out of the way, roll up your sleeves and remember to enjoy the come down after the crash of finals week.

You’d be doing a disservice to yourself not to have at least a little fun during this brief window of time.

Get Creative

Glossy Hot Dog Dog stickers

Source: Glossy Hot Dog Dog Stickers | P³ StickEz

Whether it’s art, music, photography, writing, or programming, pick your poison and just get creative. Buy a new journal, a set of gel pens, perhaps a canvas and some paint, or even start a blog. Play around with free music software such as GarageBand or build an app in Xcode.

Just do something that keeps your gears turning.

Learn Something New

Encyclopedia Britannica

Source: Knowledge is Power | Penelope Peru Photography P³

Being out of school doesn’t mean you have to stop feeding your brain. In fact, now’s the perfect time to learn something new!

You could sharpen your math skills on Khan Academy or pick up a new programming language on Codecademy.

Coursera also has hundreds of online college courses you can take for free – all you’d have to pay for is the certificate at the end of the course, if you choose to.

Learning a new language could also be entertaining, and perhaps it will inspire you to finally save up for a trip across the ocean. Rosetta Stone has a reputation for being one of the best tools for learning a new language, but it does cost a pretty penny.

You could also learn a new language the old fashion way: pick up a few books that teach the language, then immerse yourself in their media as much as you can. Whether you choose to watch television series in that language or create playlists of their music, it will reinforce what you learn.

Reconnect with Your Loved Ones

Silhouettes of a family with their hands in the air at Lake Billy Chinook, Jefferson County, Ore.

Source: Hands in the Air | Penelope Peru Photography P³

Now is the opportunity to reach out and reconnect with family, old friends, or get a little closer with new friends you’ve picked up throughout the school year.

Even if you live abroad for college and can’t visit your family, you can still reach out to them via the internet. Sending a card or a letter home is another very special way to say you’re still here, still thinking about your loved ones, and miss them.

Get a Little Vitamin D

Sunrise in Madras, Ore.

Source: Sunrise 03 | Penelope Peru Photography P³

Even if you’re not looking to catch a tan or a few new freckles, get out and enjoy the sun while it’s high in the sky and the breeze is just right!

Go hiking, biking, walking, running, skateboarding, or just relax on your porch with a book. Your body will thank you for the vitamin D.

Make sure you don’t forget to apply sunscreen and stay hydrated!


Train with Graffiti in Oregon

Source: Graffiti Train | Penelope Peru Photography P³

You don’t have to travel across the globe or the country. It could be as simple as an hour road trip to the beach, mountains, or lake.

Wherever you may go, allow yourself to be fully present and in the moment. Absorb the air, the culture, the environment.

And of course, don’t forget to take a lot of pictures, either.

Read: Hiking Through Central Oregon

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In Conclusion

Woodsy bridge in Pennsylvania

Source: Hiking is Good for the Soul | Penelope Peru Photography P³

Summer will fly by, if you let it. This is your time to relax, but it’s also your time to further enrich yourself.

Make the most out of the next three months by picking up a summer job or internship, volunteering, getting creative, active, reconnecting with loved ones, and traveling.

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burgundy bug


A cynical optimist and mad scientist undercover, burgundy bug is the editor, graphic designer, webmaster, social media manager, and primary photographer for The Burgundy Zine. Entangled in a web of curiosity, burgundy bug’s work embodies a wide variety of topics including: neuroscience, psychology, ecology, biology, cannabis, reviews, fashion, entertainment, and politics. You can learn more about working with burgundy bug by visiting her portfolio website: burgundybug.com

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