4 Things To Help You Get Ahead This Summer

So we are about halfway through our summer…and only have about 2 months left before school starts again!

Have you been getting your summer to-do list done? I know I haven’t been completely faithful to it….

At the beginning of the summer I came up with a few ways to pass the time this summer (when I’m not working) AND to build some long-lasting skills and knowledge that will benefit my future endeavors.


They say that readers are leaders…and most of the time it’s true! The more you know, the better you are able to converse with people, impress your boss, and win the hearts of those around you. Well, I’m not sure about that last one, but you get my point.  They say that knowledge is power and much of the time it is. The more you educate yourself on topics of interest which include (but are not limited to) politics, business, economics, culture, music, and art, the more well-rounded of an individual you’ll be.

Now in reading, I’m NOT talking about reading the latest vampire teenage romance novels. Be a bit more selective in your reading.

Ask yourself, “will reading this book benefit me in a way that will (or should) affect my life?” If the answer is no (and I’m looking at you, teenage romance novels), then you should look for one that challenges you, inspires you, gives you a little perspective on a topic, or makes you think differently about something. If you want some suggestions to start off, here are a few.

  • Paper Towns by John Green
    • I wouldn’t whole heartedly approve of everything in this book, but Green really challenges some of your philosophical ways of thinking.
  • I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris
    • Whether you are having relationship problems or not, Harris leads you through analyzing and reevaluating your relationships.
  • A Classic (Man in the Iron Mask, Little MenSherlock Holmes, etc)
    • Classics are classics for a reason. Revisit some of the old times and writings of these famous authors to understand why their books have withstood the sands of time.
  • Any Agatha Christie Book
    • Agatha Christie was one of the most innovative mystery novel writers that ever lived. She has written quite a few mystery novels that twist and turn the very fabric of your mind. She is yet another incredulous author that continues to weave the words together in a way to inspire and create wonder and mystery.

Learn a language

Seriously, starting to learn a language could be an amazing investment. As the world is becoming a smaller place, the demand for multilingual people is growing (especially in the business world).

Learning a second language could be your golden ticket to more job opportunities (and puts you one star higher than your other job competitors).

Here are a few websites and apps that can help you start learning a language.

Learn how to code

If you are computer savvy (or even if you’re not), coding is the way to go. It’s incredible to think how many people live in our technologically advanced world where EVERYTHING runs on computers, and such a small percentage of people know how to read and write in computer code.

Even starting to learn the basics of HTML and CSS may help you understand how the web works a little more. There are even quite a few people who, after learning how to design web pages, started working full-time on creating webpages. Whether you use it in your daily life or not, understanding a bit of how computers work can help a great deal.

Here are a few websites where you can begin to learn how to code. I’ve even tried a few of these and they do a phenomenal job at breaking everything down to an understanding level.

Learn Something New

Learn something new about something you’ve been wanting to learn. Personally, I’ve added Deja Vu, features of the brain, gluten-freeness, relativity (interesting concept), supernovae (exploding stars), nebulae, and other stellar bodies.

Will I get to be an expert on all of these by the end of the summer? Probably not. But I’m keeping a list of “things to learn about” and in my free time or whenever I get bored, I start scouring the internet or the local library for books on these topics. The list grows weekly so I will most certainly ALWAYS have things to learn about.

Or, if you don’t want to take any energy to think up things to learn about and have time to kill, Stumbleupon is a site that you can choose what kinds of things interest you, and Stumbleupon takes you around the internet to various things that might interest you. Be forewarned…it can take up hours of your time. I just stumbled upon a site that shows you the different looks of gamma rays, x-rays, and infrared waves in picture of the night sky. Pretty interesting stuff.


Well I hope some of these things helped you find something to do with all your free time you have this summer as school is out. But this doesn’t just apply to students either. If you are working full-time, these are excellent hobbies to take up. It never hurts to read or learn something new!


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