Students thrive outside of typical summer internships – The Cavalier Daily
As the end of the semester approaches, students at Grounds are taking advantage of global warming by spending more time outdoors. Whether playing spikeball or Frisbee on the lawn, having lunch at food trucks in the amphitheater or taking a study break at tables outside the halls, many are gazing into the light at the end of the tunnel – summer.
For some students, the summer is spent gaining work experience at internships or jobs Across the country. For others, it’s a well-deserved break from the stress of academic classes and extracurricular commitments, as these students seek alternatives to the common internship experience.
College freshman Kyra Smith is one such student looking forward to a unique blend of college work and vacation through her study abroad program in Siena, Italy this summer.
“I’m looking forward to all of this, certainly the food,” Smith said. “I’ve never been to Europe or really traveled much, so I feel like it would be a whole new experience for me. I’m from northern Virginia so this will be my first time going somewhere I don’t know anyone so I think I’m going to grow a lot and obviously I’m excited to go and be in Italy. ”
For students like Smith, summer can be a time to gain new experiences that weren’t available in high school. Smith explained the differences between the middle school summer experience and the high school summer experience. Namely, how she perceives college students to be more productivity-oriented compared to high school.
“I also think that in college people think summer is more of an opportunity,” Smith said. “They’re like, ‘what can I do during this time to achieve my goals or work, or get an internship, or just do something that I’ve always wanted to do?’, while in high school , they think it’s a break where they can lay down for three months and enjoy it.
Other students will spend their summers in Charlottesville, such as third-year education student Evalyn Kim. Kim feels a tangible difference in her relationship with her hometown after spending nearly three years away from her.
“I’ve lived in my hometown all my life, so Warwick was all I knew before coming to U.Va,” Kim said. “I was quite happy with it, but there wasn’t much to do, and I knew that at the time, but now, coming back to it, it’s a whole different place. I love seeing my family and friends, but it’s definitely different because I feel more like a visitor.
Kim’s college experiences so far have made her feel more connected to Charlottesville and the people who reside there. This connection is so strong that she has come to regard Charlottesville as a place where she finds the most meaning and fulfillment. She can’t wait to find out more.
“I would think of Charlottesville more as home now, especially after being here last summer as well. I’ve really enjoyed exploring it so far and I’m really looking forward to finding some other cool places this summer” , said Kim.
Being in Charlottesville is a chance to be independent and to structure life around events other than classes. Kim says the absence of classes gives students more time to enjoy themselves and have fun while pursuing experiences that align with their career aspirations.
“I’m excited to do things that are really relevant to what I want to do in the future, but also to have the freedom to do what I want to do with my time,” Kim said.
School work can be an obstacle to students’ freedom of extracurricular or leisure activities that can bring them comfort and pleasure. Kim is personally thrilled to celebrate this freedom.
“It’s always really nice to be off schoolwork, and it’s a time to just have fun,” Kim said. “I think there’s a freedom in that your schedule can be whatever you want it to be, and it doesn’t have to be focused on when your classes are or homework. that you owed.”
Kim will spend the rest of the summer volunteering and working in the greater Charlottesville area as she prepares to begin her master’s program at the School of Education and Human Development next fall. She will also go on trips to visit hard-to-see family and friends during the school year using the new free time.
“I’m also planning on going to visit my brother in Austin,” Kim said. “He moved there in February so my parents and I are going to visit him and see Austin because neither of us have been there before. I’m also hoping to visit one of my best friends from high school attending Charleston College, so I might try to see her. I also plan to go home for a bit.
In addition to travelling, the warm weather also gives the opportunity to participate in more outdoor activities. Julio Buelna, a sophomore at the College returning from a gap year, says he has spent much of his time this year working at Outdoor Adventure through the University’s IM-Rec center. and plans to continue participating in outdoor activities this summer.
“[Outdoor Adventure] is a job, but it’s also something I love to do. As well [located] outside is a cave not too far from here that I plan to explore again,” Buelna said.
From spending more time outdoors to studying abroad, summer allows students to take a step back and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Buelna described her love for taking advantage of her free time as well as the cool of the evening to relax and indulge in some of her favorite hobbies.
“I really like swimming…but I also like the relaxing nights during the summer,” Buelna said. “The days are really hot and then the night comes and I can go out and relax. It’s warm, just like a cool breeze and great weather…I’ll probably do some skateboarding in the summer too.
No matter what students choose to do during their summer, summer provides a welcome break from academic stress before the fall semester.
” I see [summer] like a break,” Smith said. “It’s good because whether you work or not, whether you do an internship or something like that, it’s different from what you do most of the year. Even if you’re busy, it’s still a break from what you normally do before everything resets and it’s all new when you come back. So I think it’s a nice transition period.