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What to do over summer? (College freshman physics major)

  1. Mar 13, 2013 #1
    I'm in my first year of college as a physics major and I am not taking any courses this summer. I only have to work part-time, so I will have some spare time on my hands to do some extra studies. Since I am going to a small and affordable college for my AA, they have no research programs available, nor is there any around in my area here. Since I also have a baby due in a couple more weeks, traveling for a summer research program will not be an option.

    I'm considering studying German (since I've heard it's good to know for a physics major), studying some kind of computer programming (maybe C++), and studying the Morin physics book (just bought it, but learning the calculus I need to understand it this semester). I was also thinking of doing a little personal physics experiment, like building my own laser and toying around with it, but I don't know if that will end up being anything I can toss on my college resume since I don't have the money to really invest into something science fair worthy. So, I'm all ears, what suggestions do you have?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2013 #2
    I think you should try to have fun and make memories while you have the free time. The summer between my freshman and sophomore year was my favorite.
  4. Mar 14, 2013 #3


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    Well, it never hurts to self-study for classes you plan to take in the fall. Also, learning a programming language like C++ and Python can only benefit you in the long run. Other than that, there is much you can do or should. The baby phase feels long, but it goes by in quickly. I missed most of it due to being deployed, so I encourage you to not get caught up in work and school, and enjoy the little surprises that come with a baby.
  5. Mar 15, 2013 #4
    Thanks for the feedback. I'm not planning on getting too crazy with my studies over the summer. The only reason I want to do something academic is because my goal down the road is to have as many options for grad schools as possible. So, anything I can do now to increase my value and grades I want to try to do. I definitely plan on enjoying the time with the family though, and appreciate the feedback.
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