6 Things to Do During Summer Internship Downtime

By Nayra Mendoza on April 29, 2017

Realistically, you’re probably going to use the summer time to relax from school more than you’ll be at your internship. Don’t worry — I’m not here to tell you to get up right now and find more work. If anything, this article should encourage you to use your downtime more productively without necessarily taking on more responsibility.

I mean, it’s summer and you have an internship lined up. Congratulations! You’ll be keeping your brain muscles active and engaged during the school break. An internship will only take up a certain amount of time from your day, though. How you spend your summer downtime is just as important as the internship.

A major benefit to doing more than the bare minimum during the summer is the skill of time management. Just two years ago, a Cengage Learning survey reported that 87 percent of the 3,000 surveyed students struggled with time management, sometimes or always.

6 Things to Do During Summer Internship Downtime

Image via cengage.com

Seeing as this is an issue that more than half of this polled student population can identify with, part of the solution lies in the individual’s willingness to learn how to better manage time constraints. Here are six fulfilling habits you can pick up and implement during your downtime this summer to get the most out of your day.

Try the early riser schedule

Becoming a morning person is just a power struggle between your self-control and your sub-conscience to not snooze your alarm. This process will take lots of discipline and self-motivation. Dedicate the whole summer to rewiring your internal clock by pushing back how early you go to sleep every night and setting your alarm to however early you should be awake the next morning.

I used to wake up just a few minutes before my alarm went off so I would turn it off and “unintentionally close my eyes.” This led to the waste of a whole hour — a perfectly good hour I could’ve spent getting out of bed, prepping myself, and eating breakfast before heading out to start my day. Now, I am running two or three miles at eight every morning. Waking up early has become a great way of taking advantage of the best hours of the day to accomplish multiple things.

Start or refine your self-care routine

Many friends constantly voice their worries about how they are not paying enough attention to the evaluation of one’s mental health and well-being. Personally, I have never struggled with finding time to consider how well I’ve been eating and the amount of sleep I get. Some friends would say I spend too much time on my self-care habits. I would say it’s not enough.

Creating a self-care routine doesn’t require drastic measures or a grand shift in your daily life. In fact, all you need to do is start recognizing all the small ways you can accomplish a self-care action. Some simple self-care habits to start with are:

•tracking what you eat

•cooking a new recipe

•calling a friend to catch up

•calling home

•taking a bubble bath

•writing a bucket list

•checking something off of said bucket list

For more inspiration, GoodTherapy.org’s own staff, from web developers to editors, shared their personal self-care regimens and compiled a list of 134 things to do to treat yo’ self. Feel free to customize your self-care routine to best match your lifestyle and schedule. If your mental health took a hit during the semester, use your summer downtime to recover with meditative, soothing techniques that bring you comfort and can be easily done anytime, anywhere.

Document your accomplishments

Have you ever tried to create a curriculum vitae, or CV, after you’ve accumulated about 30-some scattered volunteer hours of service, completed three internships, and actively participated in extracurricular organizations, all while trying to maintain a healthy GPA? I don’t recommend that you wait until your last year of school to think about everything that credits your goals and experience.

If you’re forgetful about the specifics of certain events, it is important to immediately log your service hours, record the organizations’ and peoples’ names you work with, and significant dates.

Pursue old or new interests

Is there a high school sport or activity you gave up to focus on your college studies? Just because you’re studying business or biology doesn’t mean you have to give your other interests up. The summer is also the perfect time to learn a new skill or hobby. Sign up for a dance class at your local gym or hire someone to give you guitar lessons.

Don’t be discouraged by how long it’s been since you last worked out or your inability to remember how to read sheet music. Old tricks are hard to forget; revive your passion by practicing often. Developing your interests in the summer will provide you with strategies on discipline and self-control.

Get active

As dreadful as the idea sounds, starting is always the hardest part of getting and remaining active. Being physically fit can boost your confidence and energy levels, prepare your body and mind for laboriously heavy situations, and balance your overall health. It doesn’t hurt that if on a constant regimen results appear fast and motivate you further. It becomes an endless cycle of organically working toward a goal and being able to witness the progress.

With that said, it’s perfectly fine to start small. I suggest finding a scenic route to go on walks with a friend, your pet, or yourself. Upgrade from walking to jogging. Jog a full mile. Next workout: run half a mile. Run a full mile the day after. Set a pace of improvement for yourself that is both ambitious yet feasible. Constantly push yourself to go longer and harder than the day before and be patient with your progress.

Read more

While not everybody shares the “knowledge is power” attitude about reading, reading a few minutes per day can improve several skills that can prove valuable in the workplace. For example, staying informed on current affairs can prepare you in a conversational environment. Any reading material that inspires you to know more about the content is a good reading piece. Researching for a writing-intensive class will prove easier to do because you have learned how to dedicate time to a simple task: reading.


Remember: the easiest way to start a healthy routine is by working at it every day. Progress in small increments prevents any disillusion or misunderstanding of the results of the work you put in. Wake up, kick ass at your internship, and still have enough time to pursue your interests when you get out of work. If you’ve been reading closely, I’ve listed other skills that these activities can teach you. Now, rise above the minimum bar and produce more!

Nayra Mendoza is a junior majoring in International Relations - Business and minoring in Journalism at St. Edward's University. She enjoys meeting new people, learning random facts, and occasionally discloses about her lack of sleep although she gets plenty. Currently, she is trying to accomplish a book bucket list, daydreams about travelling to pretty beaches untouched by tourism, and always owns 3 pairs of earbuds. She interned for Uplifted, a marketing and web development company, prior to writing for Uloop.

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