The pressure to land that dream internship can be intense, especially when you’re in college. Obtaining some professional experience is an excellent way to squeeze the most out of your summer, but it’s definitely not the only option. Perhaps you have bucket list items you want to cross off, classes you need to take, or simply passions you want to pursue. If so, keep scrolling for our list of non-internship ways to spend your summer.

Camp counselor with campers in kayak

1. Be a camp counselor. If you grew up going to camp, you know that there’s nothing more synonymous with summer than sitting around a bonfire, playing capture the flag, and swimming in a lake. Camp was like heaven during your childhood, so why not return as an adult? Even if you’ve never gone to sleep-away camp before, becoming a camp counselor will increase your ability to work on a team, be independent, and contribute to a community.

2. Volunteer. Maybe you really want to give back between semesters. If you regularly volunteer, you know that devoting your time and energy to a worthy cause nurtures the soul — so imagine the difference you could make if you spent a whole summer on a volunteer project. Not sure where to start? The government actually has a website that will lead you to programs in need in your area.

3. Travel. A few free months during the most beautiful season is the perfect time to tackle that bucket list. Whether you’ve always dreamt of going abroad or envision yourself on a road trip stateside, consider summer an opportunity to catch the travel bug. And it doesn’t have to be pricey. You can keep your travel on a serious budget by booking more affordable lodging that isn’t a hotel, or even try couchsurfing. There are also many services that cater to travelers looking to experience world travel at prices that won’t break the bank. STA Travel, for example, offers various affordable tours, adventure packages, and even round-the-world trips. They also provide discounts on hotels and transportation, including special flight deals for travelers under 31.

4. Take classes part-time in your college town. If you have a particularly heavy class schedule during the school year or want to get that one pesky credit out of the way, think about enrolling in summer school. When you were growing up, summer school was probably considered punishment, but in college, it can be a terrific way to meet new people and enjoy your college town without the pressures of the school year.

5. Tutor or coach. Plenty of academic programs and summer sports leagues need tutors and coaches. If you grew up playing a sport in high school or at the club level, check back with those organizations to see if they need extra help during the summer. And websites such as TutorMe allow you to tutor practically any subject via video chat if you’re qualified — plus you get paid! Sharing your expertise with kids will be invaluable to both you and them as well as incredibly rewarding.

6. Start a business. The idea of starting a business or exploring a side hustle might seem daunting during the school year, but summer offers an extended period of time to really make some headway toward your entrepreneurial dreams. For those who are crafty, creative marketplaces such as Etsy provide a platform for monetizing your talents. Once you’ve listed your goods online, take Brit + Co’s social media branding class ($39) to take your online presence to the next level!

How are you planning to spend your summer? Let us know on Twitter @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)

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