When school gets out for the summer, this new-found freedom might make you want to move back home. While living with family is great, there are benefits to staying in Winona for the summer—the natural summer beauty and the countless outdoor activities being just a few.

Here are some ways staying in Winona can benefit you this summer:

1. Gain more independence

Sure, living at home with your parents over the summer is great. There are home-cooked meals, no rent, and you can do all the laundry you want. But living on your own in the summer gives you more time to practice “adulting.” You can buy your own groceries, cook your own meals, and make your own plans. With this extra sense of responsibility, you are able to manage your own time and make memories you wouldn’t be able to make if you were living at home. 

2. Find volunteer opportunities

With school out of session, volunteering is now much easier. You can lend a helping hand to a worthy cause and build up your resume in the process! The Winona Area Humane Society is a great place to volunteer if you’re an animal lover. You can volunteer to socialize with the cats to keep them company and get them better acquainted with human interaction to prepare them for adoption. Or If dogs are more your forte, you can volunteer to be a dog walker to give the dogs some fresh air and exercise. If you like working with people, Winona Volunteer Services also has opportunities for volunteering in their food shelf and clothing store.

3. Get a summer job 

WSU offers student employment positions even in the summer. Most of these summertime positions are offered through the Housing & Residence Life Office. Through various positions, you can gain leadership and professional skills right on campus! You can also find many on and off-campus jobs in the area through Handshake.

4. Get ahead with some summer classes

Taking one or two classes over the summer might not seem like much, but it can help you get ahead in your degree completion. Why not take a few classes now when you have more time, instead of squeezing them in when you have an already packed semester? It’ll help reduce stress in the long run, and you probably won’t regret it.

There are lots of opportunities here in Winona. Consider staying and gain a whole bunch of great experience, whether it be volunteering, finding a new job, taking some extra classes, or simply living here to feel more like a Winonan. Just because school is ending doesn’t mean you need to move away. You are a part of this town all-year round!

Authored by Anjuli Harris