Summer is almost here, and you know what that means: sleeping in, road trips, and wasting the day away by the pool. After all, this is your last summer of freedom before entering the year-round working world. It's a great idea to embrace what will soon be the last of your college years, but don't let this summer pass you by, or you just may miss a golden opportunity. So, while you're taking a break from the pool to let your sunburn heal, take a moment to do something that can positively impact your future.

  • Network: This one's easy: Networking doesn't have to be intimidating or hard work. It can actually be quite fun to go to events and meet new people in your community. They might not be keg parties, but have a good time seeking out parties, charity events, and other get togethers where you can get to know the professionals you'd like to work with in the future. They can help you land a job, launch your start-up, or provide guidance along the way.

  • Make sure you're on track: If you haven't already, you should check, double and triple check your requirements for graduation. Nothing would be more tragic than expecting a diploma to greet you next summer, only to find out you're just a few credits shy. Talk to your academic advisor, check out your school's catalog, and be absolutely sure of what you need to take care of next year.

  • Snipe the best classes: On a similar note, as a soon to be graduating senior, it's essential that you make it into the classes you'll need to complete your degree. So this summer, make sure you know when the course listings come out, and be among the first to build select classes for the fall semester.

  • Identify and meet recruiters: Get to know recruiters in your chosen industry. Let them know you'll soon be hitting the job market so that they will be familiar with you when it's time to start looking-and remember to follow up when that time comes.

  • Intern: Yes, it might put a dent in your busy schedule of sleep and partying, but taking on an internship is easily the most valuable thing you can do this summer. Do your time and work with a company that you'd like to be a part of in the future, and you just might find yourself with a job offer before graduation comes. Look for one that works with your schedule, while still satisfying your needs for experience and networking. Let your friends enjoy their hangovers. If you take these steps, you may find yourself enjoying a nice paycheck next summer.

By taking on these helpful summer tasks, you'll be well on your way to a successful senior year and a promising future upon graduation. Be sure to enjoy your last college summer, but don't forget that now is the time to plan for the successful career in your future.

This guest post is contributed by Angela Martin, who writes on the topics of Career Salaries.  She welcomes your comments: