Productive Summer Ideas

By Lisa Kim June 30, 2020

Thanks to the shorter-than-average semesters at Michigan, we tend to have almost four full months of summer to do just about anything. Here are a few nuggets of goodness that I want to share with everyone in the hopes that we all have productive, healthy, and happy summers.

Refresh your LinkedIn

Summer is a great time to reflect on the past academic year and update your LinkedIn and other professional profiles with all of your amazing accomplishments. For me, I found that there was a good amount of re-ordering that I could do to make my employment history a little easier to follow.

I also recommend thinking about all of the new people that you’ve met and connected with during the past year and sending them connection invitations. And while you’ve thought of them, shoot them a message to see how they’re doing! Now more than ever, I think it helps to show that we support our friends by letting them know that we’re thinking of them.

Take a walk (cue the Passion Pit song)

I haven’t had to sprint to catch a bus in a long time, and while I appreciate that fact, I miss the little bits of physical activity that were built into my day on campus. But to help make up for that, every evening, when the sun has just started to set, my mom and I take a walk around the neighborhood. Some of my friends like to call different people while they take their walks, and I think that’s a great way to help us all feel like we are still close together even though we are actually scattered all around the world.

Attend a virtual workshop

I’ve found all kinds of interesting and helpful workshops, speaker series, and virtual professional development meetings by browsing LinkedIn and Reddit and subscribing to many email lists. Just the other day, HackerRank (platform for coding practice) hosted a virtual Q&A session with Gayle Laakmann McDowell, the author of one of the most popular coding interview prep books. I loved that the live discussion gave me helpful tips on coding interviews and how the tech hiring process is adapting to everything having gone virtual. But even more, I loved that it helped me feel connected to a larger community.

Apply for a scholarship

I am all about people graduating with as little student loan debt as possible! Recently, I came across a scholarship (on Instagram, of all places!) offered by an influencer for women in STEM. If you like to write or you like free money, I know there’s a scholarship out there with your name on it.


But you’re thinking, how can you be productive if you’re resting? I would argue that building rest and relaxation into our lives helps us be more productive rather than working 24/7. To practice this as I work from home this summer, I’m making periodic trips to the kitchen to get water and let my eyes get a break from staring at a screen. I’ve also enjoyed taking advantage of online meditation classes offered through work to help let go of stress and relax. Check out a few free ones offered through Udemy here!

So that’s a look into some of the ways that I’ve been staying busy this summer. But I want to emphasize again that I hope all of us take care of ourselves, because out of all of the things to focus on this summer, I think it’s one of the most important things we can do.

Lisa Kim
Lisa Kim
Lisa Kim is a recent graduate of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, where she majored in computer science and minored in multidisciplinary design. Lisa is a big fan of doing face masks, reading thrillers, and listening to electronic music, and you can probably find her doing one of those three things now.