Each summer of college, there is such a pressure to be productive in order to push yourself forward in your career or your education.
I spent four college summers very differently and would not change my experiences. Each summer had a unique focus but each added to my experience. Remember, you are growing so much as a person during this time in your life so living each summer with a new goal will help you learn a lot about yourself!
The working summer
Have a summer where you get a job, whether it is in your hometown or your college town, and work to save money. It will be nice to start a football season with some savings. I chose a job that did not advance me professionally but gave me flexible hours. I was able to enjoy time with my friends but still earn a paycheck. I recommend being productive in a monetary sense while still spending time at the beach.
The relaxing summer
My relaxing summer meant a great deal of going out to dinner, watching rugby games, getting dollar beers, and taking one class online. I was able to convince my parents I was being productive by taking management online and doing well in the class. I made a point to watch lectures, do my reading, and study for the tests. I actually believe I remember management better than most classes, simply because I had so much brain power to focus on the subject. It was certainly enjoyable to hang out with my friends, and do whatever I wanted while still convincing my parents I was being productive.
The internship summer
Spend one full summer on an internship. I did this the summer after my junior year. I worked at an organization that I thought I would enjoy working for as a career. Through this internship, I realized I did not see myself having this career for the rest of my life. It was an eye-opening experience. I am glad I was able to have this experience because I may have found myself in a career which I did not enjoy. I made some great friends and made the best of the experience. We had a good time, spent some fun nights out, and got a lot of work done. My senior year would have been spent applying for jobs in a field I discovered I did not enjoy. I cannot emphasize the importance of taking on an internship, at least once, during your college career. You never know what you may learn.
The travel summer
Take one summer to travel. I know that travel may not be an option for everyone but I had a part-time job during the year while I saved for some traveling. The traveling summer can be as extravagant or as frugal as you wish. To save money, I recommend visiting friends that have moved to other cities for their jobs. You could also go to a music festival and save some money by going in a big group. This also may be the perfect time for you to travel abroad. Some may choose to do this on their own, while others study abroad through their university. Whichever travel route you choose, I recommend a travel summer.
You only have a certain amount of time left to enjoy summer vacations. Remember, soon enough you will be working potentially year-round with not much of a summer vacation. Listen to some of the career advice, add some things to your resume, but also take time for yourself.