The beginning of a new year makes us ask ourselves plenty of questions. What resolutions will we keep? What are our hopes for the new year? And most importantly, what the heck are we doing this summer?
For some, summer plans are already definite. Whether it’s an internship, a research opportunity or a startup they’re passionate about, these individuals have their plans laid out. But for those like me, planning for summer can feel daunting at times. Not to mention the stress from feeling like I’m the only one without summer plans.
A common misconception I had going into this process was that internships and research would be the most productive use of my summer. With the flood of emails in my inbox about this and that internship, I felt overwhelmed and didn’t even know where to begin. Though there were countless great opportunities, there wasn’t anything that really stood out to me. There wasn’t anything that I felt particularly called to do.
I had always been involved in my community through service, but I haven’t really engaged in many service opportunities at Stanford. The college bubble makes it hard sometimes to think about what’s going on in the world around us, and I knew I wanted to dive into the real world and all its issues during the summer. But I still didn’t know where to begin.
By chance, I happened to hear about the Haas Center’s Peer Advisors one day. The Haas Center is a great resource because it gives students the chance to explore options beyond just internships and research. The Center gives grants for service work nationwide and can also connect you with travel opportunities. No matter what you’re interested in, meeting with a peer to talk about your passions can really help you discern how to make summer plans fitting to you. The most important thing I learned is that there is no one right way to take on the summer.
Thus, I encourage you all to truly think about what matters to you and what will help you grow as an individual, not just as an intellectual. Instead of doing things just for resumes, let’s follow our passions and fall in love with new things. These diverse experiences are what make us who we are, and they will enrich our community when we come back next fall.
Contact Ayushi Tandel at atandel ‘at’ stanford.edu.