Freshmen at Ferris State await their first summer break with the anticipation of working and setting themselves up for success in their next years of higher education.
The Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), a graduate research organization based out of the University of California, Los Angeles, developed a survey of college freshmen asking them questions about their overall health, work/life balance and even what they planned to do over the summer break.
During the summer of 2015, the vast majority of freshmen surveyed, a whopping 83.7 percent, said they planned on working for pay during the summer. Student loans only seemed to increase the number of freshmen who planned on working for money over the summer, and 90 percent of those who had loans over $10,000 planned on working rather taking an internship or traveling.
“I was just planning on trying to find a job in my hometown with some vet to get some experience,” said Ferris pre-veterinary freshman Taylor Hare. “I’m looking for something that’s paid rather than an internship.”
Many other freshmen don’t take a break from classes during summer. Of those surveyed, 17.7 percent said they’ll take at least one course at the university or college they attend and 25.9 percent planned on taking a class at another institution.
“I’m possibly going to take a higher level English class so I don’t have to take something like that during the regular school year,” said Ferris television and digital media production freshman Nick Derr. “I can take that at Muskegon Community College, and when I come back I’ll have that done so I can concentrate on other higher level classes.”
For Ferris advertising and integrated marketing freshman Elena Macino said she’s planning on taking summer courses to put herself in a better position for getting an internship next year. While men were slightly more likely than women to plan on participating in an internship, Macino is doing what she can this year to prepare for her future internship opportunities.
“I plan to take three classes over the summer, so that way it opens up my ability to do an internship possibly next year,” said Macino. “I do work at a cheerleading gym, as well as my mom helps me do volunteer hours for colon cancer awareness, so we normally do a lot of walks over the summer.”
While the study said 66.1 percent of freshmen surveyed said they will travel during summer break, more Ferris students would need to be interviewed to get a better idea of how many will travel.
The study “Your First College Year” was developed by HERI and is given to students nationwide every year by the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP). 11,267 freshman students at 46 institutions answered questions for the survey.