Taking summer classes
Thought the first way would be something related to freelancing? Well, depending on what your goals are, you may want to finish up school as soon as possible so you can turn your freelancing gig into a full time paycheck, and what better way to do this than to take summer classes.
This will be my second summer taking courses (online) to help take care of required courses and graduate faster. Between last summer and this summer, I will be shaving off an entire semester from my time as an undergrad. Keep in mind, you don’t (and shouldn’t) take a full load in the summer. Depending on how your college or university offers classes, you could sign up for two at a time, or even one at a time, based on how you feel and what you want to do with your summer.
Last summer I opted for two classes at the same time, that consumed about a month of my summer. It felt sort of like I was taking a full load (four-five classes), but I had alot of distraction issues because of it being the summer time and wanting to do summer things like swimming. This summer though, I opted for one five-week course, followed by a two week break, then the second course for another five weeks, then a two week break before the fall semester. This way, I can spend a couple of hours a day focused on these two classes, and still enjoy all the things summer has to offer.
However, if you are a freelancer who isn’t sure what they want to major in, or want to stay in college for a while (hopefully you have a rich uncle or lots of scholarships to pay for it), then you may not want to take the fast route through college to get that expensive paper. As always, do what will benefit you the most.
Expanding your skillset via tutorials online
This isn’t only related to your freelancing. For instance, if you are a designer or developer that uses Adobe’s Creative Suite often, then you may want to take some time every day (or whatever schedule you want) going through the thousands of quality online tutorials that involve using the software such as Photoshop and Illustrator.
Learning on your free time will not only help you become better at the software end of things, but it helps you become faster at achieving certain design elements faster without having to constantly looking up how to do things with client projects. Not to mention that it will also help you work through any of your school assignments involving that software faster, because you already have a step up from your classmates who may be using this type of software for the first time, or may not be as experienced.
Reading field-related books/magazines/etc.
Enjoy reading books by the pool? Why not kill two birds with one stone by reading some freelancing books, or magazines that are related to your field? I don’t know about you, but I have a nice stack of books that I have bought/acquired and have been too busy to read because of school.
Don’t have any books? Well maybe now is a good time to see what books you would be interested in reading/purchasing that could help you with your freelancing. There are tons of books out there about freelancing, and there are even some that focus on certain fields, such as photographers, developers, and writers. Check out this post I wrote about books that are especially helpful for starting and student freelancers.
Freelancing or field books are not the only types of reading materials you can read next to the pool. There are many high-quality magazines and publications relating to your field of freelancing. For instance, if you are a designer you may want to check out Communication Arts. When you purchase a subscription (which saves you alot of money than buying each copy on newsstands–plus it is a good business expense), you get five different types of annuals a year–photography, illustration, interactive, design, etc. They are great idea resources and often provide well-written articles about the business side of being creative.
So, how are you going to spend your summer?