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Sunday, October 1, 2023


Enjoy your summer, that internship can wait

Summer can be more stressful than people realize.

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

It’s summertime! The days are getting warmer, the mosquitos are out and it’s prime time to get some much needed rest as the soft sloshing of pool water lulls you to sleep. But just as soon as you’re about to enter dream land, you wake up with a start, thoughts racing through your brain. 

You realize you forgot to schedule an internship for the summer. Maybe you don’t even have a summer job set up, and all your friends seem way ahead of you there. Your parents are nagging you to “pad your resume,” whatever that means.

Sure, summer is supposed to be for resting, but it can be hard to relax when everyone around you seems to still be moving at lightning speed. Everyone else in your life is getting “career ready,” so surely there’s no time to lose — right?

The thing is, we weren’t made to go 100% all the time. Careers are important, but rest is important too, and you should consider using at least part of your summer to give your brain and body a break.

That’s not just friendly advice either. Science firmly backs the need for rest. One study, conducted by the American Psychopharmacological Association, showed that people who took vacations on a regular basis had reduced stress, anxiety and depression across the board. 

Moreover, participants in the study actually reported that rest allowed them to become more productive, not less. Some experts, such as University of Washington mental health counselor Julia Kocian, note that the human brain works differently while resting, allowing us to focus more.

“The idea is we need to spend time in different brain states,” Kocian said. “When we engage in a variety of activities that require more and less focus, our brain can spend time in the different states, which helps it function and allows us to be creative, to problem solve.”

When we don’t get enough rest, the consequences can be severe. One recent study found that stress associated with working excessively led to a significant increase in the potential for strokes and heart disease. 

But more importantly, you’re only in college once. Summer break is one of the things people tend to miss most about this period in their lives. You have the rest of your life to be stuck in an office for eight hours a day.

And while some, especially working students, may not have the privilege of a completely open summer, consider taking a break if you can. Get outside, be young, let your boredom push you to try something new.

Make this summer one worth remembering.

Malachi Spence Key is a journalism senior who can be reached at 
[email protected]

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