When you are a pre-med, you often consider a variety of ways to spend your free time productively. It’s not always easy finding things to do over the summer, but with a blend of time and patience, you’ll be sure to find opportunities that will help you succeed on your path to medical school.

One of the most important things you can do as a pre-med is to ask questions and have good networking skills. It’s a good idea to connect with professors, advisors, and other fellow pre-meds because they could potentially give very helpful advice about where and how to find internships, jobs, volunteer opportunities, etc. Networking early on in your college career might open several doors. This is a great way to find out more about internships related to the fields that you’re interested in and how to apply for them or about places that have volunteer opportunities. Regardless, it’s important to start planning early, especially for internships which have early deadlines. You do not want to submit your application materials last minute because that may lessen your chances of acceptance to a particular program. It might be a good idea to apply to several different internships, especially if it is your first time applying. This also goes for volunteering. Whether you want to volunteer at a food bank, a homeless shelter, a nursing home, etc, most places require you to fill out an application and go through an interview process so it’s important to keep note of any deadlines. Usually, volunteer applications are less time consuming than internship applications, however, it depends on the organization.

There are countless ways to spend your summer and the activities listed above are just a few ideas. Many students choose to take summer classes, go on study abroad trips, shadow physicians, or get a job as an EMT, caregiver, etc. It depends on your own interests and what you need to do to make sure you’re ready to apply to medical school. When you start doing any of these activities over the summer, make sure to stay focused and committed. It’s a great quality to demonstrate on your applications that you were able to do something for a long period of time. This is essential which is why it’s important to choose an activity that you are passionate about and will enjoy over the summer. In other words, choose something you’ll be happy doing.

Summer is the perfect time to get quality experiences to build your resume. Make sure to find at least one activity that will help you stay productive and will help you grow as a pre-med student. The more you do, the more you’ll have to talk about during your med school interviews and on your application to med school. However, this doesn’t mean take part in a handful of activities just to impress med schools. You don’t want to do more than you can handle and get burned-out. It’s also important to remember to relax and have fun! You’re well on your way to success.