Here’s What Computer Science Students Should Do in Vacations [Checklist]

Computer Science Students Vacation Checklist

Dur­ing vaca­tions, you might start mak­ing a list of movies you wish to watch, plan a meet­up with your friends, trav­el some places or do some­thing else you like.

Vaca­tions are that time of the year when you can do most of the things you want to do and final­ly bring your plans to real­i­ty.

How­ev­er, if you’re still blank and haven’t got any ideas, we’ve got you cov­ered.

How about using your time in the best possible way?

We’ve com­piled a list of activ­i­ties you can do in your vaca­tions to be pro­duc­tive, enhance your skills, focus on per­son­al devel­op­ment and put to the best use every sec­ond that you spend.

Often, stu­dents become clue­less about what they can do in the few weeks which they get such that time used pays-off lat­er.

We have made a com­plete list of activ­i­ties which com­put­er sci­ence stu­dents can do dur­ing vaca­tions, after which you can imme­di­ate­ly start act­ing on what you find right for you.

Volunteer

How about using your free time to con­tribute to some­thing good?

You can tem­porar­i­ly join an NGO, find a skill-based vol­un­teer­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty or search for online vol­un­teer­ing pro­grams.

You may also teach, serve and con­tribute to your com­mu­ni­ty in many oth­er vir­tu­ous ways.

Bet­ter if you can find any local groups which you can join, as that gives you a chance of direct par­tic­i­pa­tion and actu­al­ly allows you to bring a change.

Take up an internship

Use your skills to solve real-world prob­lems and put your knowl­edge to some good use.

Con­sid­er your intern­ship as a demo of the actu­al job you wish to do in future.

You get to learn about your work, know whether you like what you do, learn some new skills, and gain a valu­able expe­ri­ence while you’re still a new­bie.

Get a job

Get­ting a job has its own advan­tages.

You can earn and be self-depen­dent, learn new skill and find some­thing appeal­ing to attract poten­tial hir­ers.

If you suc­ceed in find­ing a rel­e­vant job in your vaca­tions, it’ll help you grow in your respec­tive field. You can back up your future plans both in finan­cial and devel­op­men­tal terms by apply­ing for a job.

So instead of doing some ran­dom stuff in your vaca­tions and watch­ing the time fly, you might want to get a job where you can learn a lot of new things to expand your skills.

Read

Do you have a list of books you wish to read, or want to read the ones your friends always keep talk­ing about? Vaca­tions are the right time to do it.

Read non-fic­tion. Or per­haps, the sub­jects which make you curi­ous but they don’t teach you in col­lege.

All you have to do is down­load some PDFs, buy a few paper­backs, or go to the library and read as much as you can.

If you wish to pre­pare in advance for your aca­d­e­mics, then that’s a fine idea as well. Read those upcom­ing sub­jects.

Start a blog

You may cre­ate a per­son­al blog to share your life or pub­lish con­tent relat­ed to a spe­cif­ic sub­ject. Hav­ing a blog serves a plen­ty of good pur­pos­es.

It improves your writ­ing, makes you a bet­ter thinker and helps you estab­lish an online pres­ence — you appear on Google!

Also, it gives you the sta­tus of a thought-leader in your indus­try when you do it pro­fes­sion­al­ly, and pre­cise­ly share the details of what you’re learn­ing.

There are a lot of ben­e­fits – start one. It’s pret­ty easy.

These guys can help you to grow one after you start it:

  • Blog­tyrant If we had to start a blog and read just one blog to learn, this would be it. Ram­say Taplin writes ever­green and flaw­less con­tent. Peri­od.
  • Quick­sprout Neil Patel writes detailed posts which cov­er almost every con­cern you might face. He knows his thing inside-out.
  • Copy­blog­ger These guys are gods. The arti­cles in their archives are enough to teach you how to write like a pro.
  • Hub­spot Start­ing a blog won’t be enough and you’ll like­ly need some mar­ket­ing skills. Learn them here.

Join some courses

If you want to study cer­tain sub­jects, espe­cial­ly the ones which aren’t a part of your aca­d­e­m­ic cur­ricu­lum, then join­ing some exter­nal cours­es is a fan­tas­tic idea.

This will help you gain new skills and to devel­op your knowl­edge beyond your con­ven­tion­al stud­ies and cur­ricu­lum.

You may enroll your­self in any of the cours­es pro­vid­ed by cred­i­ble local insti­tu­tions in your region, or even do it vir­tu­al­ly via any of the reput­ed web­sites.

Learn something new

There are still a lot of things you still don’t know. You can learn them in your vaca­tions. Here are a few ideas to get you start­ed.

  • Soft­ware
    Learn the soft­ware which you might need to work with in future or the ones which you wish to include in your skills. You choose them. It can be Blender, Pho­to­shop or Excel.
  • Musi­cal instru­ment
    Buy a gui­tar or key­board of your favorite brand and get start­ed if you wish. There’s inter­net to help you out. Join a course if you pre­fer the usu­al method. Any­way, this was just a sug­ges­tion we thought you’d like. It’s worth it.
  • Lan­guage
    This idea can be par­tic­u­lar­ly use­ful to you if you’re con­sid­er­ing mov­ing to anoth­er coun­try for your future stud­ies. You can acquaint your­self with some basics of the oth­er lan­guage. Use this guide to know most used lan­guages world­wide. Decide which one might be help­ful to you and start learn­ing it. A tool we rec­om­mend for this pur­pose is Duolin­go. It’s phe­nom­e­nal and you might bare­ly need any oth­er appli­ca­tion.
  • Find new tools
    If you’ve become accus­tomed to cer­tain tools and find it hard to adapt your­self to oth­er alter­na­tives, then vaca­tions are the right time to try out new options. This will give you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to adapt to the chang­ing envi­ron­ment with­out pos­ing any obsta­cles.
  • Oth­er stuff
    We may go on expand­ing this list. How­ev­er, in gen­er­al, find out the things which inter­est you and you have a knack for. For exam­ple, there might some­thing you still don’t know, such as swim­ming.

How about cook­ing? No, not kid­ding. Even that’s some­thing essen­tial you can learn in your vaca­tions so that you don’t have to starve or spend more mon­ey on food when you’re alone.

Any­way. Let’s get to the point.

If you’re look­ing out for activ­i­ties per­tain­ing to your respec­tive field then check out Instructa­bles, Hackaday.io and eHow for some crazy, fun and use­ful ideas. Look no fur­ther. Browse through the home­pages of these sites to get ideas and start doing any­thing that inter­ests you.

Enhance your hobbies

You can either treat your hob­bies as sup­ple­men­tary activ­i­ties, or use them to you own advan­tage. Your hob­bies can serve as an addi­tion­al skill in your port­fo­lio or even help you to earn a side income.

It depends on how you treat them. But with a few wise steps, you may har­ness the poten­tial of your hob­bies.

Be impec­ca­ble at what you do, achieve some pro­fes­sion­al­ism and you’re all set to use what you know to help oth­ers.

Here are some ideas:

  • Pho­tog­ra­phy
    Learn to click like a pro. Give up using the auto mode on your DSLR and gain some skills. Click pho­tos and sell them on stock pho­to sites, or start a web­site and give away all the out­come your hard work to watch it spread. It’s some­thing which depends on you. But it’s a good thing to pur­sue your pas­sion when life seems to be con­trol­ling you.
  • Danc­ing
    If you know how to dance, you can teach oth­ers how to dance. If some play school in your vicin­i­ty needs a dance teacher then you can start earn­ing some bucks while spend­ing some time teach­ing those chil­dren. Per­form at some events which pay you. You can even form a team with some of your inter­est­ed friends. You got a bet­ter idea? Start using it.
  • Writ­ing
    You have a lot of prospects if you have great writ­ing skills. No doubt about that. You can instant­ly start sell­ing your ser­vices on free­lanc­ing sites such as Fiverr or Upwork. Your gigs can range from writ­ing arti­cles to proof­read­ing other’s work. Come up with a cre­ative idea and start sell­ing it. You can even apply for a long-term job via any of the online job boards.

Phew!

To be hon­est, you have a lot of options at hand. Start doing things which are rel­e­vant to what you do.

The inter­net is vast. You have oth­er fun options like graph­ic design­ing, web design­ing, video edit­ing, etc.

Also, don’t miss a chance of work­ing in the real world if you have a job option to do so.

Read this post and this one to get a gen­er­al idea about the oth­er options which you have.

Get some certifications

Cer­ti­fi­ca­tions can be lot help­ful to exhib­it your tal­ents. At least when you’re a begin­ner.

They can be of impor­tance even lat­er if your gain them from cred­i­ble insti­tu­tions or if your cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is direct­ly relat­ed to some pro­fes­sion.

Your cer­tifi­cates are a proof of your hard-work and prac­tice. So if you’re among those who like col­lect­ing a dozens of cer­tifi­cates while they learn then go for it!

Create

What a joy it is to cre­ate!

What­ev­er be the things you cre­ate, you can always smile when you look back at them. The more you cre­ate, the more you learn.

  • An appli­ca­tion
  • A sketch
  • A poem
  • A scrap-book

Find some­thing you love doing and start cre­at­ing.

Exercise and sweat a bit

Most com­put­er sci­ence stu­dents are alike – the ones who sit on a chair star­ing at the screen all day long.

Vaca­tion is the time when you can get in shape. Go run­ning in the morn­ing, use the skip­ping rope, lift the dumb­bells, chal­lenge your­self to do some­thing you might nor­mal­ly won’t do.

How about fifty press-ups each morn­ing?

Buy a fit­ness band to track your progress maybe. Get a gym mem­ber­ship if you need to.

Prepare for your upcoming classes

This will keep you from get­ting over­whelmed by the sud­den bur­den of stud­ies and the has­sle of learn­ing sev­er­al sub­jects alto­geth­er.

Buy some books relat­ed to your aca­d­e­mics. Watch YouTube videos. That helps a lot.

By doing so, you’ll be already pre­pared for most of your class­es which will save you the trou­ble of learn­ing the same things repeat­ed­ly, and it’ll get eas­i­er for you to grasp any new con­cepts.

Contribute to open source

If you’re among the techies pos­sess­ing extreme skills, then con­sid­er con­tribut­ing to some open-source projects.

Use this arti­cle to learn more about what open-source actu­al­ly is, or read this one to learn how to get start­ed with it.

Join a coding camp

How about join­ing a cod­ing boot camp?

Cod­ing boot camps are tech­ni­cal train­ing pro­grams that teach the parts of pro­gram­ming that are rel­e­vant to cur­rent mar­ket needs. You may learn more about them here and here.

There are sev­er­al online cod­ing camps as well. The most pop­u­lar one is the Free Code Camp.

You may find a right cod­ing camp as per you pre­ferred skills, bud­get and dura­tion from the numer­ous options avail­able out there.

Code a lot

Pro­gram mer­ci­less­ly.

If you had the thought of enhanc­ing your abil­i­ties and lev­el­ing up your­self then there’s no bet­ter oppor­tu­ni­ty than your vaca­tions.

Find the skills that are most rel­e­vant to your aspi­ra­tions and start learn­ing them. Spend a lot of time prac­tic­ing and per­fect­ing your­self.

By the time your vaca­tions end, you’ll have already learned a lot.

Join some communities

Ever thought about giv­ing a try to online forums and com­mu­ni­ties?

They can be a lot help­ful when you face any obsta­cles or need to learn about cer­tain sub­jects which you don’t know.

Although you can search solu­tions online for all the prob­lems you encounter, com­mu­ni­ties pro­vide sort of cus­tomized answers based on your needs.

Use your vaca­tions to start accounts on a few sites you find reli­able and see if this idea works for you.

Join some groups or com­mu­ni­ties on social media which are relat­ed to your inter­ests. This will help to learn things you don’t know about from oth­ers.

Some sites which we rec­om­mend are as fol­lows.

Quo­ra Ask almost any ques­tion and get it answered from the hun­dreds of pro­fes­sion­als and geeks out there.

Stack­over­flow Post any dif­fi­cul­ty you’re fac­ing and the huge com­mu­ni­ty will respond back to help you out.

Meet­up Use it to find out the cool events hap­pen­ing in your vicin­i­ty.

Github Use github to col­lab­o­rate online with oth­ers and form a group of enthu­si­asts who share sim­i­lar inter­ests as you.

Customize your computer

It’s hard to exper­i­ment with new soft­ware or mess up with your lap­top and OS when you’re busy with your chores in col­lege.

You always need your com­put­er. This pre­vents you from try­ing the geeky stuff.

How­ev­er, if you don’t have much to do dur­ing vaca­tions, you can install new tools or get a new OS and try it imme­di­ate­ly.

Shop

Spend some bucks on the right things which can make you more pro­duc­tive or add up to your resources.

Pur­chase a stur­dy lap­top bag, antivirus or maybe an exter­nal hard-disk. The over­all point is that you fig­ure out whether there’s some­thing you need which can ease your life or secure your devices.

If you’ve been ignor­ing your needs since a long time then it’s bet­ter to be on the safer side by spend­ing some mon­ey on the essen­tials.

As the old say­ing goes – a stitch in time, saves nine. Or to rather make it sim­ple – buy what makes you hap­py.

Build a new computer

It’s the time when lap­tops and note­books are dom­i­nat­ing. But there’s still a thing about build­ing your own com­put­er.

You can cre­ate your own beast if you’re pre­pared to spend some mon­ey. It’ll only take some time and a bit of tech­ni­cal know-how.

The best thing? It’s worth it and you can feel proud about doing it.

We rec­om­mend you to read this sim­ple arti­cle to get start­ed.

Develop yourself

You might not be per­fect, but you can try get­ting clos­er to per­fec­tion. Or at least, you can try fix­ing your imper­fec­tions.

Use the time you get in your vaca­tions for work­ing on per­son­al devel­op­ment and enhanc­ing your­self.

Devel­op a refined accent, enhance your body lan­guage, change your diet, or learn new healthy habits.

Work on the parts in which you find your­self lack­ing. It can be any­thing like pub­lic speak­ing or improv­ing your cur­rent skills.

Doing this will not only increase your self-esteem but also dimin­ish your inse­cu­ri­ties and doubts you have about your­self.

If you’re strug­gling while try­ing to devel­op new habits then con­sid­er read­ing the free eBook by James Clear.

Update your online presence

Either you believe it or not but your social media pro­files too can be use­ful to your careers.

A sim­ple about.me page can tell a lot about you, and your LinkedIn pro­file is much like your online port­fo­lio.

Opti­mize these things and you might even get your name to show up more eas­i­ly in search engine results.

It’s nec­es­sary.

Although you might think that it’s need­less for you to focus on the online part of your exis­tence, it may pay-off lat­er in some or the oth­er way.

Your per­son­al blog can take you one step clos­er to your next job. Your descrip­tion about your skills can attract a recruiter if it’s enough pow­er­ful.

You can­not real­ly tell which oppor­tu­ni­ties are wait­ing for you out there. There are lots of them.

But if you don’t pay heed to the advan­tages which your online pres­ence can bring to you, then you’re only under­es­ti­mat­ing the poten­tial of the Inter­net.

In fact, accord­ing to the Job­vite social recruit­ing sur­vey, 93% most of hir­ing man­agers check the social media pro­files of job can­di­dates before mak­ing a hir­ing deci­sion.

Some­times, they even judge you on the basis of the posts you share and the qual­i­ty of gram­mar in your posts.

So take some time out to declut­ter your pro­files dur­ing your vaca­tions.

Delete the old posts which embar­rass you. Update a new head­shot. Add some links to your works.

That would be enough. Make your pro­files look clean, decent and pro­fes­sion­al.

Explore your field

It doesn’t take much effort to read some mag­a­zines or to dig into the inter­net.

Com­put­er sci­ence is a vast field and there’s a lot which hap­pens each day.

Although it isn’t pos­si­ble to ded­i­cate time to this when you’re busy, your vaca­tions are the right time to get a grasp of what’s hap­pen­ing around you.

The best way to explore your field is to find the trends pub­lished by var­i­ous sites, and to learn from what the lead­ers share.

You can choose which skills to learn and decide your career path eas­i­ly. Also, it’s always wise to keep your­self updat­ed instead of slow­ly get­ting left out.

A nice way to do it is sub­scrib­ing to the web­sites or mag­a­zines which pub­lish con­tent rel­e­vant to what you want to learn.

Read this arti­cle to find out how can stay updat­ed with the lat­est trends.

Network

Con­nect.

Con­nect with all your pos­si­ble prospects, rel­a­tives, recruiters you know or any­one else who can help you grow pro­fes­sion­al­ly.

The expe­ri­ence and knowl­edge of oth­ers can assist you to thrive faster. All these peo­ple can be great men­tors.

Don’t under­es­ti­mate the use­ful­ness of oth­ers’ help. Don’t hes­i­tate to ask them for their guid­ance either. Every­thing you learn from oth­er peo­ple ulti­mate­ly pre­pares you for what you’re like­ly going to face. So the best thing you can do in the long-term for the wel­fare of your career is net­work­ing with peo­ple.

Why should you do it dur­ing the vaca­tions? That’s because you meet a lot of new peo­ple when you do all of the above men­tioned things.

What else?

We’re search­ing for some more ideas. We’ll update this post when­ev­er we’ll find some­thing use­ful.

How­ev­er, for now, we wish to hear from you.

Start by telling us some of the best things which com­put­er sci­ence stu­dents can do in their vaca­tions accord­ing to you.

How do you plan your vaca­tions? What are some inter­est­ing things you do? Tell us in the com­ments below.

Also read: 15 Cru­cial Things You Must Do Before You Grad­u­ate