Summer: working a job vs. taking a break

McGill’s winter term ends in late April and the fall term starts early September, which leaves 4 months of “summer vacation”. Obviously, this is the ideal and most convenient time to gain work experience, do an internship, volunteer, take classes, etc. Most people with whom I’ve talked have found the four months to be long, so without a task to keep them busy, they would quickly feel bored and underwhelmed. The great thing about having several months between terms is that there is both the time to gain valuable work experience and enjoy the warmer months.

For international students, summer is the time to go home. Especially for those whose homes are not in the US or Canada and require hours of travel to get to, and who couldn’t go back during the winter break, the urge to leave the city after the last exam in April rather than stay for the summer, is strong. The winter months in Montreal can feel very long and the combined stress of school and being a 12-hour flight away from family (particularly when things get tough) can be exhausting. There’s always a certain pressure to rush to the next thing after the end of the semester and fill up your schedule again – more classes, a full-time job, a 12-week fellowship. The truth of the matter is that your wellbeing should always come first, and if you need a break, take it.

Take time to do things for yourself, be with people you’ve missed, have fun, with no deadlines or fixed schedules. Recharge so that after your break you have the energy, motivation, and mindset to undertake the other summer plans that you may have apprehended rather than looked forward to in May. Another benefit of waiting until later on in the summer for work is that many opportunities open up. Since most people will be on vacation in late June to mid-August, there is a strong chance more positions will be available to you. If your hometown doesn’t offer much for students year-round, you may find there’s more for you to do in late summer than in the early months. And if not, opt to come back to Montreal earlier so that you have the time to work in Montreal (where opportunities for students are often plentiful), before the start of a new term.

Whatever you choose to do, remember that you can take still take a summer break and work on other projects at the same time. The four months from May to August make for an excellent opportunity!

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.

Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.