As I walk into a Starbucks at 7:30 p.m., with my sweatshirt and headphones on, my book bag on my back and a black coffee with two shots of espresso, I could not help but be thankful that I had only a month and a half at a summer job. There are pros and cons to having had a summer job since high school. Seriously, working at a cabinet company does have its perks: I work with my sisters, I get into a routine, and I learn lifelong skills. However, waking up at 5 a.m. to work and then try to stay awake until 9:30 p.m. to attempt a social life quickly takes a toll. Thus, as my senior year approaches – as does the real occupational world – vacations are definitely something students should take advantage of during college for ten important reasons.
1.) Your Brain Needs a Break
You just got out of 10 months of straight schoolwork. Not a good enough reason? You will be starting another 10 months of straight schoolwork in two months. Still not good enough? Read the next nine reasons.
2.) Summer Classes Are NOT a Break
Yes, I do love summer classes, for the sake of keeping my mind busy and learning as much as possible. Yet, refer to the above. Taking classes constantly will only go so far if you can think clearly . . . which requires a vacation ;)
3.) Most Jobs Won’t Allow a Summer in the Future
You may not realize it now, but your summers are quickly drawing to a close. Your time to get together with family and friends, to spend time away from everyday cares and job gossip, or just go on an adventure will end soon. Why not enjoy it while you can?
4.) You Will Be in a Classroom – or a Job – in Two Months
Summer only lasts for two months (if that!), and for those two months, you are pinching every penny to save up and pay off college debt or, if you're lucky, start off with money in your bank account after college. Then during school, you are slamming your brain and your emotions to stick with the classes you thought you could ace before you realized your teacher thought only C's existed. To not have a break in between those stressful moments is pure insanity.
5.) You Love to Relax
That childlike excitement that instinctively jumps into your head when you hear "summer" has some weight to it. Long days in the sun, hiking mountain trails, singing by a campfire with friends, building relationships, finally being able to read books, and so much more are things you love but you don't get paid for. Thus, you go without most of them during the year. You need to keep that child mindset alive, even if only for a weekend.
6.) Travel is “fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness” (Mark Twain)
If one of the most prestigious authors said it, you can't argue. I may be biased on this one because I love travel, but this world was created for a reason - to be explored and enjoyed! How can you do that if you are in school or in a job the entire time?
7.) You Need to Catch Up with People Outside of Your Office
Work gossip only goes so far. People love you and want to be a part of your life. If you are focused entirely on your work, you lose the quality time with them. From firsthand experience of living in Indiana in the summer and Georgia in the fall, winter and spring, I have to plan to talk to long-distance friends. Vacation gives you that time to catch up in person!
8.) The World is Much Bigger Than Your Office or Schoolbooks
There are 7 continents, 196 countries, and about 7.3 billion people in the world. Even the biggest introvert in the world desires a break and self-discovery.
9.) The Sun Exists
Sand. Sun. Beach. Vitamin D. Ocean. Fishing. Camping. Water Balloon Fights. Pools. Tans. Car rides with the windows down!
10.) Face it . . . Summer is AWESOME.
The workaholics can argue all they want, but you have to admit: vacations are some of the best times and include the best memories of your life. So go out and enjoy the last summers in college. Full-time jobs will be there forever; vacations are waiting!