As your student finishes up the semester with their culminating experiences, the stress and exhaustion may cause them to want to only sleep, binge watch some Netflix and sleep some more. While you should let your student have the downtime they need and deserve, also encourage them to have a successful summer, so they will have an easier transition back to school in the fall.


Here are some suggestions to set them up for a successful summer break!

Read a book

Everyone should spend some of their free time reading. Whether your student has a fiction book that has been waiting patiently on their shelf all semester, or they found a new book on a topic related to their major, encourage your student to pick up that book this summer. By spending just a few minutes reading each day, your student could easily finish more than one book by the end of summer. Remind your student that this is their chance to read something not on a required reading list.

Work on their Personal Brand

Just as important as a resume and cover letter is your student’s personal brand. Encourage your student to take some time this summer to consider what they want their personal brand to develop into, and what it will take to get them there.

One facet of their brand that can be easily managed over the summer is their social media presence. While they may be immersed in social media, they may not be immersed at a professional level. Encourage your student to review their social media platforms and remove any content that may be seen as unprofessional by a future employer. The photos from a party may be fun, but probably aren’t going to impress their future boss and could potentially prevent them from being hired.

If your student doesn’t have a LinkedIn account, let them know that it is a great tool for networking and professional development. LinkedIn should act as a supplement to their resume, as there are many job opportunities listed on LinkedIn, and their potential boss may look at their profile before making a hiring decision.

Learn a New Skill

During the school year, your student is likely so busy learning what they need for their field of study, that they don’t have time to pursue other interests. Whether they have an interest that they just haven’t had time to develop, or they want to gain another skill that will help them professionally, summer is a great time to develop secondary skills. There is plenty of time for them to finally pick up that musical instrument gathering dust in the corner, or break out their computer and learn how to code. There are plenty of free resources online for learning new skills, and they always have access to Missouri Western’s online library resources over the summer. Encourage your student to think about their goals for the future and develop a skill that will help them succeed.

Get Healthy

College can be a stressful time. Add a global pandemic on top of it, and your student’s mental and physical health may be suffering. Sometimes, all they may want to do is curl up in bed with a good movie and a whole bag of chips. Several weeks of poor eating habits, poor sleep and lack of exercise can leave them feeling groggy, lethargic and just unmotivated.

Encourage your student to take some time this summer for their health. Exercise will keep them upbeat and motivated throughout the summer. You can also cook some family meals that are healthy and delicious. Some recipes may even be easy enough for them to take with them back to school in the fall. Keeping somewhat healthy routines throughout the summer will make it easier for them to transition back into college life in the fall – where they’ll go back to slamming a whole pizza before the big test on Monday.