Thanks for the question. Whether a summer job or an internship is the right choice for you depends on what you are looking to get out of the experience.
A summer job can help you earn money that can be used to help cover the cost of college. The more of your personal funds you put towards your education, the lower the student loan debt in your adult life. You will also learn the value of money and how to budget your finances. It also teaches you valuable life skills. Your organization and time management skills will improve and so will your communication abilities. These talents will also help you in your college years.
On the downside, free time won’t be as plentiful with a summer job, even if it’s part time. That means less time hanging out with your friends, participating in activities, or kicking back and relaxing at the pool. You may be earning decent wages but if it has nothing to do with your intended career path, you may not get that work experience that would hold you in good stead when the time comes to apply for a job.
Doing an internship during the summer can give you an insider look in a field of study you wish to pursue. This insight will help you either solidify your career choice or help you realize that it is not the right fit for you. You will get the opportunity to network with professionals in your prospective career. If you make a right impression at the workplace, these professionals will go out of their way to help you out, whether as a mentor while you are in college or to give you a job opportunity after you a graduate. Also, the work experience will look good on your resume.
However, keep in mind that some internships are unpaid internships, meaning that while you’re earning valuable experience, you won’t earn money for your hard work. If money is tight, this may not be an ideal option.
It’s a tough choice but in the end you have to make a choice depending on what you are looking to get out of the opportunity. It is also possible that you might find a paid internship opportunity so you can earn some money while getting valuable work experience in your intended field.
Hope this helps and Good Luck!