From one student to another: 10 self-improvement tips for Summer 2020


Developing friendships and entertainment are important to people’s wellbeing, but they shouldn’t be the only thing you focus on this summer. You can probably guess from the title that I think you should focus on self-improvement. Instead of explaining why here, I’ll let you discover the many reasons for yourself.

Here are my 10 student self-improvement tips for summer 2020.

1. Further your education

Education is simply learning, and we do that every single day. If you enjoy more structured learning, check out reasons to take summer courses.

What we know (knowledge) and how we apply it are arguably the most important things in our lives because they dictate what we believe and how we act. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” Spend this summer furthering your education; spend it furthering your intelligence and character.

2. Work a summer job or internship 

The best way to learn anything is to experience it. Work experience helps you learn skills like communication, organization and public speaking. Employers look for these skills in applicants. Work experience will also help you decide what you are passionate about and want to pursue as a career. Spend time looking for work opportunities. If there aren’t any, create your own business or internship per your goals. When I was in high school, I wanted to make money but also have time for all my other summer activities. I decided to start a lawn mowing business and it was a great decision for me.

3. Build your professional portfolio 

A professional portfolio is more than a resume. It’s a complete picture of who you are. It should include your work experiences, accomplishments, skills, interests and professional goals. A sheet of paper can only tell someone about you, but sometimes you have to show them. Build a website and utilize social media. You can create a free website at

4. Improve your online presence 

Take a look at your social media. If you go back far enough, you will probably find a cringey picture or caption. Employers look at social media when they are deciding who to hire, so make sure that they see the best, yet genuine, side of you. If you don’t have much of an online presence, now is the time to build it. Social media is good, but focus more on developing your business experience and connections. HandshakeLinkedIn and other job recruitment sites are good places to start.

5. Volunteer

Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, once said, “What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.” Volunteering in your local community is a great way to serve others and do good. Union Rescue Mission, Salvation Army and Kansas Humane Society are just a few of the great organizations you can volunteer at. Volunteer work looks good on a resume, but don’t let that or other selfish reasons be the reason you volunteer. If you serve others selfishly you are only serving yourself.

6. Find a mentor

Having a mentor can be very helpful in discovering your passions, networking and making career decisions. Think about finding a mentor at the next networking event, asking a professor or searching for people online. I am interested in video creation, so my mentor is someone who used to create documentaries overseas. I would suggest you find a career mentor, but any kind of mentorship is valuable.

7. Disconnect from technology 

Cell phones and other technologies is used primarily when we are sitting and not being active. This can negatively affect your health. When you get a chance to relax, don’t spend it using technology. Go outside, read, play games and check for local events. My friends and I are planning an outdoors trip to Buffalo River in Arkansas so we can unwind and separate ourselves from technology.

8. Learn how to cook

I get it. You don’t have a lot of time to make food when you’re are balancing college and other responsibilities. However, you won’t always have a meal plan or the Rhatigan Student Center to go to for food when you leave college. Cooking is a useful skill and it’s fun once you learn the basics. If you aren’t sure where to begin, check out Pinterest. The social media platform has a lot of great recipes that are easy to follow.

9. Travel somewhere that will benefit your self-development 

If I were a betting man, I would say most WSU students will travel out of state during summer break. I would also bet that many of you aren’t traveling to benefit your career or self-development. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; it is a missed opportunity. Take educational trips, but remember to abide by social distancing rules. If you are interested in geology, travel to geological landmarks. If you want to be a filmmaker, attend a film festival. You can also take trips that develop your character. Travel to a religious site or spend time in a culture different from your own. Make this trip about making a better you.

10. Turn a weakness into a strength 

We all have strengths and weaknesses. It is easy to focus on our strengths because they make us feel good. However, if we want to become better people, we need to determine our weaknesses. This requires honest self-examination from you and people you trust. Once you have identified your weaknesses, focus on one of them and get to work.

It’s important to remember that you will fail on your way to success. Just remember to embrace those failures, because they can be a source of knowledge and growth.

Those are my tips. I hope that they will help you make this summer a productive and life-changing one. Have a great summer, Shockers! 

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