Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What do you guys use the summer for?

  1. Jun 1, 2012 #1
    What do you guys use the summer for when your not taking courses over the summer. I like to prepare for courses for over the fall. I'm not exactly sure how to but the idea of having courses just being review sounds very nice to me. Last summer I was able to find past tests, assignments, syllabus, etc. and was able to read through the sections that we would be going over during the fall, solve some old exams etc.

    This summer however I was only able to find one syllabus which had the textbooks that we were going to use next semester (i.e. same syllabus that I'll probably get) which has a couple of questions. I plan on finishing the questions. I plan on reading all my textbooks over the summer but after that I don't know what I'm going to do. I suppose reading them multiple times can help, but when you have no idea if the teacher is going to directly use the book, use only certain sections of the book, reading the whole thing can just be pointless. So this summer I think I'll read through all of them once. I've had several teachers who didn't even use the textbook period (it was a complete waste of money buying it) some who use the book frequently and you actually solve problems from the book. I dislike teachers who just come up with their own material and stuff making spending $100 dollars on a book pointless, but it's all good and they can do what they want.

    So like I don't know what I'm going to do with myself once I finish all the reading. What do you guys do? I mean I got a job and stuff but that's only like 30 hours a week and I need something productive to do. Finding another job and working like 80 hours a week is not a option, lol I applied to over 60 places (I kept a list). It's hard to get a job period, especially only for a couple of months and then they have to hire a new person so they don't like hiring college students.

    I would like to get an internship next summer so that way I have something to do but like I applied for some this semester and was pretty pointless as far as I haven't even taken enough major related courses.

    I don't know what I'm going to do O.O. Any ideas to help prepare me for next summer after reading all the books?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    How about reading/studying in some fields that are not related to your major?

    There are so many fields of study and so little time... Just a thought.
  4. Jun 1, 2012 #3
    is that what you do? have you experienced any benefits from it yet?

    hmm... this sounds like a good idea, but would be the benefits in doing so?
  5. Jun 1, 2012 #4
    You'd learn something different?

    This summer before I start my PhD program I'll do some studying of topics of interest but that aren't related to my field. I'll be TAing gen chem.

    I'm most excited for taking some EMT courses. 1 day CPR training + 8 weeks of EMT training - basic and advanced first aid, emergency patient moving, etc, etc and emergency childbirth!!
  6. Jun 1, 2012 #5
    hm... pursue certifications... o_O something extra to add to your resume i guess, something that would get noticed. Like studying something different is cool and sounds interesting but I don't know much about how it would help or that i would forget all of it. Like if i got certified as a emt i could through that on a resume even though i would completely forget all of it because i wouldnt use it lol
  7. Jun 1, 2012 #6
    are there any certifications that you would recommend obtaining. are there any that are relatively easy to earn or maybe ones that are possible to engineering? I don't know much about engineering ones (anything actually).
  8. Jun 1, 2012 #7
    I'm not doing it for a certification or to pad a resume - I wouldn't even put it on an academic resume. It just seems worthwhile and is something I'd like to do.

    Somethings you just do because you like them or want to.

    Look at local community colleges. They often have programs that actually are quite useful like pharmaceutical lab technician program and stuff like that.
  9. Jun 1, 2012 #8
    From my first year of undergraduate to my last year of graduate school I either worked (research) or took classes every summer. Now that I'm out of school I obviously work all summer.

    If I could do it over again I would take more advantage of summer breaks to travel and enrich myself outside of academia. You've got your whole life to work all summer. That is just my opinion, though, and obviously does not help toward any short term goals related to graduating early or preparing for upcoming courses...but it might be appreciated in the long term.
  10. Jun 4, 2012 #9

    Enjoy your summer. Play video games. Learn CPR. Travel. Hang out with friends/family. Enjoy not having any major responsibilities while you still can.

    If you enjoy studying then by all means study. Don't study for stuff you will have to study in school though, that is a big waste of your life. Study something different, and something that is interesting.

    You can study dry undergraduate material once you have a test that week on that material. Until then, enjoy your life.
  11. Jun 4, 2012 #10
    I take a summer course during this summer. Aside from that, I use any spare time I have to learn Quantum Field Theory and General Relativity, and also watch online lectures.
    Well, sounds like I do not have any life outside physics..
  12. Jun 4, 2012 #11
    Personally I dropped my physics double major last semester to do more math, so summer is a good time for me to go back and look through some fun physics stuff. I plan on going through electromagnetism with differential forms and then doing some QFT this summer. I've also been going through the MITx 6.002x intro EE course which is free online; it's freshman level so it's pretty chill, but there's some cool stuff in there.

    This is of course on top of ~50 hours a week of research and maybe another 10-20 hours a week looking at algebraic topology and random algebra things that I find interesting or potentially relevant to my work.
  13. Jun 4, 2012 #12
    Last summer I played Mario Kart Wii 24/7. This summer I am doing research, developing some study materials for PGRE, building up my calculus (for future physics classes and analysis in the fall), and play bass and video games here and there.

    I already started my study materials tonight: really excited to make some progress on these.
  14. Jun 4, 2012 #13
    If you find yourself to be weak in any specific area, then that would be something good to go over. Beyond that, it seems like everybody else has covered it well enough.

    And just a side note, even though this is an online forum, using the phrases "like" and "I mean" frequently in your writing is unattractive. I mean, like, it's not like that big of a deal, but I mean, you can see how it can be annoying, right?...... I'm not trying to be nit-picky, it's just that you really aren't supposed to write how you would speak, and using fillers often isn't a good habit to get into.
  15. Jun 5, 2012 #14
    For me I am doing an engineering major, but I still have interest in biology and I can't handle the workload of engineering + bio courses at the same time so during the summer I read up on biology.
  16. Jun 5, 2012 #15
    I haven't had a summer off since I began working at 18. Now that I am unemployed, I take summer classes with a full-time schedule. I hate the heat anyway, so I save my outdoor activities for fall before the snow hits.

    Frankly, I really enjoy learning, and that means any subject. Turbo is right: there are so many interesting things to learn about this world, and so little time to learn them.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook