Aahh, summer. Three months of lounging poolside and perfecting your tan. It always sounds like a dream to the post-finals undergrad, but after three summers of feverish heat strokes and bored weekdays, I seem to have finally learned my lesson.
The pleasure of doing nothing wears off quickly when it's 100 degrees out and you've watched every episode of “30 Rock” online. The monotony of your days gets you asking yourself the big questions: Who am I? What am I doing with my life? Where do I see myself in five years?
And thus ensues the panic attacks.
Very few of us really know what we want to do once we graduate. Even those who say they do will likely change their minds a million times before their four years are up. I started college determined to go pre-med, and after majoring in everything else (Philosophy, Advertising, Non-Profit Management and Film to name a few) wound up all the way across campus studying Rhetoric instead.
In my experience, the most efficient way to confront the literally boundless options at your fingertips is to pick something you're interested in and do it.
The earlier you start, the better — only because it'll give you more time to explore before you graduate and actually have to get a job.
If you want to be a doctor, go shadow at a hospital. If planning weddings sounds like your cup of tea, go intern with an event planner. Career brochures and Hollywood depictions of these things will only show you the pretty side of every occupation, but if you put yourself in the shoes of those who have already achieved your dreams, you'll find out if you can tolerate the ugly as well.
That's where summer's most important. With idleness quickly turning to worried thoughts of one's future, it's the perfect time to stave off the underlying post-grad anxiety by either finding something you love or checking off something you don't. Even if you end up with the latter, you'll realize later on that you've acquired skills and built up a resumé that can help you out in even the most seemingly irrelevant of fields.
What I'm trying to say is don't hesitate. The future is now, and the world is your oyster — go make of your future a pearl.