Since it's barely spring break time, you probably haven't given much thought to summer. But if you want to make the most of those three luxurious months, now is the time to start planning.
Lots of students will be competing for summer jobs—if you don't have one locked down, it's time to start looking at your options. Wait until the end of the school year, you'll be wrapped up with finals and moving. Wait until school is out, you'll lose precious earning time, and your choices will be much more limited.
Think about what you want over the summer. Earning money is probably a biggie—it is for most college students. But what about the experience? College summers are precious opportunities to spread your wings, try new places and new things—all while earning money at the same time. So before you head back home to pick up your high school job again, think about your options.
Are you interested in checking out another part of the country? Maybe you could find a job at a vacation hot spot, or a kids' summer camp. If you do move away from home, consider the rent factor. Could you live with a relative for the summer? Bunk with a few roommates? Find an inexpensive dormitory-style place to live? Be sure you're not breaking the bank just to have a new experience.
Ideally, you want to build up a cushion of savings to get you through the next semester.
Looking to build experience in your field? You're not too young for some kind of internship. If you really want to break into your field, it's never too soon to start. If you can find a job that pays, great. If not, don't give up. You may just have to take a second job that pays. It's a sacrifice now, but when graduation day rolls around, you'll probably be miles ahead of your classmates who didn't make the effort to make those contacts and gain the experience.
It might be that your summer is all about living at home and making as much money as you can for next year. That's great too. When I was in college, I had one summer that was all about earning money, one summer where I moved away and saw another part of the country, and one summer where I worked an internship in my field.
Whatever you decide to do with your summer, just start planning early to make the most of it!