A few days ago, I was struck with a startling realization. In a month's time, I would be back at college, absorbed in homework, tests and campus life. My first thought, of course, was, where did the time go? My second was, How can I make the most of the time I have left?
I'm sure many college students—and even high school students—are in the same boat. This last month is a mad scramble to get in everything we originally set out to do at the beginning of June, before the unpredictability of life got in the way. So to help us all out, I've compiled a list of 15 things to do in the last 30 or so days of summer.
1. Hug your puppy.
Or your cat. Or your gerbil. Or any pet you have (though I would steer clear of your fish). In a few weeks, you won't be able to see them on a daily basis, so spend time with them while you can. They don't know what's coming, but they'll definitely appreciate the love!
2. Relax by the water.
Go to the beach, or the pool, or a nearby lake or pond. Sit there and watch the waves lap onto the shore. For some reason, sitting by the water always makes me feel a little more peaceful inside. Swimming also a great way to cool off on a hot summer day!
3. Go to the library.
I love reading, so for me this certainly isn't a chore. But does this sound like schoolwork to you? Maybe. But reading for pleasure is a great way to keep your mind sharp during the lazy, relatively education-free summer months. If you don't have any clue where to start, google a reading list for someone with your interests or ask your local librarian.
4. Spend a day in nature.
Go hiking or biking in the woods on a local trail. Take in the beauty of nature and let go of any of the worries you may have regarding the upcoming year. Remember, in a month's time you'll be sitting behind a desk, so get out there while you have lots of time to spare!
5. Sleep in really late one morning.
Because once 8 a.m. classes start, you'll never be able to do this again.
6. Wake up really early one morning.
Just to see what it's like to be awake when everyone else is asleep. If you're not thrilled with the experience or motivated to do anything, just roll over and go back to sleep.
7. Go somewhere you've never been before.
This doesn't have to be a different country or anything. Go to a restaurant or store in your town you've never been in before. Take a trip to another town to visit a friend. Maybe you will go to a different state, or even a different side of the world. It doesn't particularly matter where you go--just that you're broadening your horizons.
8. Eat a big, juicy slice of watermelon.
Sink your teeth into the typical summer treat! This is non-negotiable...unless you're allergic, of course.
9. And an ear of corn on the cob.
10. Organize your room
Ugh, another chore? But this one is important. Perhaps you (like me) just kind of tossed your school stuff in a big pile and kind of forgot about it. Now I'm realizing that I actually need to go through it to see what I need. Get a head start on this so you don't have to rush to get organized.
11. Buy school supplies.
If you're going into sophomore year or above, you've figured out what works and what doesn't in terms of school supplies. Now's the time to get a brand new start, with a year's more experience. Start early to get the best savings.
12. Start to pack.
Don't leave it all until the day before you go! Pack early and gradually. You'll be able to put some things in your "school" pile at once; others you'll use up until the day you go. But if you get a head start on this one, too, you'll be a lot less stressed when you go back.
13. Do one last get-together with your hometown friends.
Set a time to hang out once more before you go. For me, texting sporadically over the semester just isn't the same as actually spending time together. Make sure to make some great memories while you're still in the same place!
14. Connect with anyone you haven't been able to see yet.
If you're like me, you've probably been able to see most of your friends. But maybe there are those few people who you haven't been able to touch base with. If you really want to keep those relationships, you have to stay in contact! Try to schedule a time to catch up.
15. Spend a day with your family.
Though you probably see them every single day now, you won't be able to in a month's time. Plan an activity for your family to enjoy together, and make sure you tell them how much you appreciate them. They'll miss hearing it over the next few months and whether you admit it or not, you're probably going to miss them, too.
There's only a month left of summer, but there is still time to fit lots of things in. My best advice is to prioritize. Think of what you most want to accomplish in this time, and go from there. Enjoy your summer, everyone!