As the fall weather starts to finally kick in (at least a few mornings are cool), we can see that we've turned the corner, and we are more than halfway through the semester. Like many of you, my mind starts to wander to what I'll do next summer. Seriously? Next summer? It's not even November!!?

There are tons of great opportunities for learning and growth in the summer. These could be research experiences, internships, or summer jobs. All of them can be valuable. I spent one summer in college doing research at a national lab. I spent another painting houses. I learned a lot about myself from both experiences.

It's never too early to start to plan. You can always change your mind. But if you put things off indefinitely, your options will be limited. Maybe you are interested in research? If you are looking for opportunities outside of UT, a great place to start is the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates. Maybe you are interested in an internship? This week CNS Career Services is co-hosting a Biosciences & Biotechnology Fair on Wednesday, October 21, from 1-5 p.m. in the Texas Union Ballroom.

Not interested in biotech? You should also check with CNS Career Services, who has strategies to find many different internships. Or maybe you are wondering about how to make the most of your summer as a pre-med. Check out the Health Profession's Office list of summer programs.

So it might be a job, research, internship, classes, or some other option. But start thinking about it now to give yourself the most options.

– Dr. Vanden Bout

P.S. Who would like to me my 500th follower on Twitter? @StudentDeanCNS

P.P.S. Why stop there? You should follow the College of Natural Sciences, as well: @TexasScience