While summer may have been a time to relax from ages 5 through 18, it now means something totally different as a nutrition and dietetics student. Time to say goodbye to 3 months of pool party freedom and hello to building your resume, your brand, and most importantly: yourself. I know what you’re thinking, I’ve worked all year long and deserve a break! And to that I say, of course you do. But I believe that this summer you will able to kick back and relax while driving it into high gear, RD2BE style. Here are a few of my tips for staying professional this summer.
- Create an online portfolio. If you haven’t already designed your dream online space, now is the time to do so! Your online portfolio is only as involved and designed as you want it to be. Make sure to give yourself time to make it great.
- Volunteer! Chances are, there are people in need right around the corner from you. Whether you devote your time to an organization such as a soup kitchen, church group, or your old high school, or you decide to take on more personal projects by helping out your elderly neighbor, make sure to lend a helping hand. Not only does this help your resume, but it creates a more well-rounded and experienced version of yourself. Who doesn’t want that!?
- Read a book. It doesn’t have to be a nutrition-related book. Maybe it’s that hip romance novel everyone is reading, a classic, or your old favorite. Pick up a paper book and put down your screen. You spend enough time working for a screen during the school year to last a lifetime!
- Listen to a podcast. My favorite way of doing this is to slip on my tennis shoes, put in my ear buds, and head out for a walk as my favorite podcast fills my ears. It’s relaxing and informative, and I believe we all need to get out of our own headspace for a little while.
- Clean up your social media. I get it, we all have fun. Although, my idea of fun might be reading a good book and enjoying some sweet tea. But whatever your idea of fun is, make sure it remains respectable on the internet. Everyone can see your adventures as they’re posted online, so make sure you’re posting things your Mom wouldn’t mind to see.
- Work. Ugh. Even just typing it sounds boring. But the good thing about working over the summer is saving money. And that’s something we all need to do! Think of it as an investment on your future dietetic internship (and maybe for that purse you’ve been eyeing all year).
- Do your research. Maybe your next step is beginning a DPD program, heading off to your dietetic internship, or even applying to graduate schools. Whatever place you’re headed to in the fall, make sure to spend some time doing your research for it this summer. Being prepared is the best way to ease into the school year and maintain positive energy. Plus, I think your sleep schedule will thank you.
- Have fun! Maybe summer doesn’t have the same meaning as it did as children, but summer can still be as exciting and beautiful as you want it to be. Make sure to travel and see a friend, drive with the windows down and your favorite song blasting, and to take more than enough pictures. Being relaxed can lead to creativity and opportunity, so let yourself feel a bit free!
Some people love summer and few people hate it. But wherever you stand on the debate, make sure to spend your summer wisely. Your career will thank you for it, and I hope you can thank yourself for it, too. And most importantly, enjoy another summer with good food, good people, and good memories.