Deciding How to Spend Summer Break

By Gracie Riley
Staff writer

With the number of days until summer vacation dwindling down, it becomes increasingly difficult to study for exams, sit through lecture and finish homework. This disease of senioritis — an ailment that even takes hold of freshmen — comes not only because of beautiful weather, but also because many University of Maryland students have so much to look forward to this summer.

Freshman business student Tatiana Garcia is counting down the days until she leaves for Colombia. Although the main reason for the trip is to visit her extended family, Garcia manages to make the most of her time there and soak in a little South American sun as well.

“My family is from the capital, Bogota, but we usually also visit Cartagena or Santa Marta for the warm weather and beautiful beaches,” she said.

Family is extremely important to Garcia, and she is grateful to be able to see them in Colombia twice a year.

“I always really look forward to visiting because I’m very close with all my family, especially with my cousins who are all around my age,” Garcia said.  “We always have a really great time together no matter what we do. I value the time we spend together so much because I know it’s limited.”

Freshman Nora Steuart is using her summer to boost up her resume by running and operating a company called College Works Painting.

“Basically, we are running our own business,” said Steuart, a government and politics major. “We do marketing, making estimates and finalizing sales. It’s really cool.”

Besides getting hands-on experience and meeting and working with potential references, another incentive to work hard and get sales is a trip to Cancun, Mexico at the end of the summer.

“Once your company makes a certain amount of revenue, you can go to Cancun and all you have to pay for is your flight,” Steuart said.

What better motivation than a paid-for vacation at a beautiful resort on the beach? Although Steuart admits it is a lot of work, she is excited to have this opportunity to learn more about the business world.

Kyle Brinker’s summer plans do not include relaxing on a beach somewhere. Instead Brinker, a freshman finance and government and politics major, will be enrolled in a six-week-long training course called Platoon Leaders. He hopes to earn a commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.

“I’m excited for the challenge,” Brinker said. “I don’t really know what to expect, but I hear a lot of people fail out. It’ll be nice to get away and do something new that is different from the college curriculum and handle obstacles physically.”

Maryland students are nothing short of impressive. Even when classes end, many of them continue to improve themselves and experience new adventures. Summer vacation is the time to choose exactly how to spend each day, and students at this university have chosen wisely.

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