40 Things To Do During Summer Vacation

40 Things To Do During Summer Vacation

Because we all know four months without college friends or classes is WAY too long.
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It's been less than a week since finals wrapped up at the University of Minnesota, and I, among many of my other friends, are already lost on things to do. Since January, our entire schedules have been filled with homework and studying. The new freedom summer brings provides endless time (in between our summer job shifts, of course) for new activities and things you wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to do during the school year. Below is a list of 40 different activities to keep you entertained during your break and to ensure you make the most of your summer.


1. Learn a new language.

I highly recommend starting with Duolingo. It's an app that provides free language tutoring through a series of activities and exercises. It offers a wide variety of languages such as Spanish, German, Greek, Swahili, among many others.

2. Volunteer.

There's an endless amount of volunteering opportunities offered throughout every major city in the country. For example, many hospitals will accept volunteers, as well as organizations in Minnesota such as Feed, My Starving Children, or the Ronald McDonald House. Most positions only require an application but be sure to check for minimum requirements such as age or experience.

3. Read a book.

Go to a library and wander until you find a book you think you'll like. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

4. Watch a TED talk.

This is one of my favorite hobbies any time of the year. TED is a nonprofit organization that shares short, approximately 15-minute videos ranging from science to business to global issues. There's a topic out there for everyone.

5. Start a garden.

Even if you don't have any outdoor space, succulents and cacti are very low maintenance and still add a little "green" to your indoor space.

6. Go camping.

Whether it's at a campground or in your backyard, enjoy the technology-free time with your family or friends.

7. Paint.

If you're not an artistic person, go to the store, buy a set of Crayola watercolors, and just paint.

8. Take an online course.

Coursera and edX both supply free online courses from top universities such as Yale, MIT, and Harvard. If you're trying to further your understanding of a particular topic such as physics or biology, I suggest starting with these websites.

9. Bake brownies or cookies.

Most stores stock up on the prepared cookie or brownie mixes, but if you have the time and ingredients, try making them from scratch.

10. Fly a kite.

Kites are available on Amazon for $10-$15, and instruction videos are available on YouTube to help you get started.

11. Play board games.

Life and Scrabble are my go-to's.

12. Make a scrapbook of old memories.

If you have the time and a little extra money, I promise the end-product will be worthwhile.

13. Start a journal.

You don't have to go buy the fancy Moleskin journals or buy an expensive one from Barnes and Noble, a simple notebook will do the trick. Write down your thoughts and document your summer.

14. Go to the beach.

Enjoy the sunshine, but don't forget sunscreen!

15. Go fishing.

Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and one of them is most likely within driving distance. Take the time on a nice, calm morning, and go fishing.

16. Binge-watch a TV show on Netflix.

"The Office," "Friends," "New Girl," "How I Met Your Mother," and "Grey's Anatomy" are good places to start.

17. Start a bucket list and cross off one item every week.

The items added don't have to be spectacular and nearly unattainable, they can be little things, too. In other words, I'm not expecting you to go skydiving, swim with sharks, and go on a cruise all in one month.

18. Learn to rock climb.

Both indoor and outdoor rock climbing are available depending on your level of comfort and experience. Remember to take every safety precaution and have fun.

19. Catch up with an old friend over coffee.

Call the friend you haven't seen in three years and ask to catch up over coffee. You never know how much their life has changed since last speaking with you.

20. Have a picnic.

Pack a basket with sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, and juice, and find a nice spot with a view. Maybe bring a book for a post-picnic activity.

21. Meditate or do yoga.

If you're unexperienced in both of these activities, many YouTube channels provide instructional videos. I'll post a link to one of my favorite YouTube yoga instructors here.

22. Learn a new instrument.

Whether it's piano, guitar, or even this $7.49 recorder from Amazon, try something new.

23. Discover new music.

Spotify and Pandora are great music platforms to discover different songs and artists. Keep checking your local venues and maybe attend a concert if possible.

24. Complete a puzzle.

You can buy puzzles online for around $10-$15. However, thrift stores and stores like Goodwill often sell them for less than $5.

25. Visit a museum.

The Science Museum of Minnesota and Minneapolis Institute of Art are two of the post popular museums in Minnesota. If you check their websites and other internet sources such as Groupon, you might be able to find a discount for admission.

26. Go to a comedy show.

I'm unaware of good comedy events around the country, but if you ever find yourself in downtown Minneapolis, check out Brave New Workshop.

27. Build a card tower.

If you're unsure how to do so, here is a link to instructions.

28. Reorganize and redecorate your room.

If you'd like a change in your life, try redecorating or reorganizing your room. Donate old clothes, books, or furniture no longer in use.

29. Marathon the entire Harry Potter series.

I challenge you to do this back-to-back with each movie, but I also realize that is 19 hours and 39 minutes of watching movies, not including snack or bathroom breaks.

30. Play with a pet.

It doesn't have to be your own. For a real adventure, check out the nearest animal shelter.

31. Start a blog.

Wordpress and Weebly are two online blogging websites that I highly suggest. Although it takes awhile to become accustomed to the platform, these websites are great because they're entirely customizable to the type of blog you wish to create.

32. Go for a bike ride.

Whether it's along the river or out on back roads, go for a ride.

33. Teach yourself how to juggle.

This might be easier said than done, but some videos on YouTube might be useful.

34. Take a bubble bath.

Some bubble bath or a bath bomb, music, and a good book will have you relaxed almost instantly.

35. Go to a farmer's market.

Support the farmers in your community and try buying local. With a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and flowers, there's something for everyone. The farmer's market in downtown Minneapolis is open Thursday's from 6am-6pm, while the Lyndale Market is open daily from 6am-1pm.


36. Exercise.

Go for a walk. Run. Bike. Do yoga. Play soccer. Just get up, and get moving.

37. Become a tourist in your own city.

Pretend you're from out of state and only have a limited amount of time to explore your city. Take yourself and your friends or family to the must-see places around town.

38. Color.

Adult coloring books have become an increasingly popular trend. Available online, Barnes and Noble, and Target, they're easily accessible. You can buy a book, some colored pencils or pens, and enjoy the relaxing day.

39. Spend time with your family and friends.

Whether it's a movie day or going out on a walk, put away your phone or laptop for a day and appreciate the people standing around you.

40. Enjoy all the time you have not worrying about studying or homework.

Cover Image Credit: Joe Pizzio // Unsplash

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The Stresses of Break

When you just want to be able to rest but can't
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We have all gone away and now returned back to school. I feel that, in a sense, many things haven't changed, but that's not really the case. Truth be told, things have changed in crazy and dramatic ways. When I got back to college I faced a familiar problem. I would ask people how break was and the answer would come, "It was good," and that is where everything ends. Then they ask me how my break went and I can't help but feel my heart drop. I want to say, "Oh yeah, it was all nice and dandy." But honestly, my break was horrible. I had to do things over my break that stretched me to new limits; I cried, I got angry and snapped and said some things that I shouldn't have. These are things that, if they ever happen to me, happen on such a rare occasion, and some of the things are completely new. I went to a bunch of places: Charleston in South Carolina, then Atlanta, then Brevard in North Carolina, then I came home and finally I went to Buffalo for the end of my break. By the time I went to Buffalo, things had just gotten out of hand and I needed to get away from home to truly be able to rest.

First, we went to see my aunt, as a whole family. After a six-hour drive to Charleston, West Virginia, we reached my aunt's house. It was a fairly uneventful night. The next day my uncle took us on a tour of the city, showing us the old houses and old city buildings. Later that day, my family went to a fort which had helped to mount an attack on Fort Sumner. The fort was really interesting and we saw a dolphin swimming in the waves of the bay. That night, we had a small fire with my aunt and uncle, and things unraveled. First I had to stop someone from running away, then there was a trip to the ER, and finally, someone was put in long-term care at the hospital. From all this, I had to go eventually go see my counselor at college. I wasn't in a good spot until then.

Next, we drove five hours to my other aunt's house who lived in Atlanta. When we arrived, we had dinner and tried to relax. The next day my brother went for a run and tried to burn some steam off. That night we had a family gift exchange, and it was awesome.

The following morning we packed up again and proceeded to go to Brevard where my Grandma lives. The morning after getting there I was able to go for a nice long walk and try to clear my mind. That same day my mom, sister, grandma, and I went to see some really cool gingerbread houses, and my mom and I were able to go and see some awesome waterfalls. It was a nice time to just be able to relax and get some time with my mom to talk about all the things that were bothering me and that I had been wanting to discuss all of break.

After getting home, I decided to go to Buffalo and spend time with my sister. To be perfectly honest, it was the only time that I was able to really rest and relax. The two days I spent in Buffalo were the best and most enjoyable part of my break. I was just able to spend time in the Word, time praying, and also time having fellowship with some really awesome people.

That was my break; I told some people that, but not all of them. I really want to talk to more people and tell them what really happened over my break, but not just that. I also want people to tell me about their breaks and how they went. I know I am not tight-knit with everyone, but it would be nice to know a little more about what others did and what happened to them.

When you see your friends, either after a break or weekend try to dive deep and see how their breaks went. If something is bothering them, be willing to listen and let them open up.

Cover Image Credit: HogtownDad

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The best Features and Benefits of Pillow top Mattress

Features & Benefits of a Pillow Top Mattress
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Most of the people want to relax at home and take proper rest after their busy schedule and work. In such case, the pillow top mattress is the best choice for you as they are soft and provide superb comfort making you feel warm to sleep for a long time. You can find the popular pillow top mattress everywhere if you when to buy a new mattress.

Why you need to choose pillow top mattress:

Pillow top mattress is manufactured with memory foam, so they are helpful to give you relief from pain and provides better comfort.

Pillow top Mattress consist of additional padding stitched top layer similar to Euro-top beds, and these mattresses are so soft with a uniform appearance. The extra padding can be anything such as memory foam, fibrefill cotton, latex, wool or regular foam. Pillow top mattresses have even more added benefits in the winter season. Pillow top mattresses are the luxury mattress in the world. The user can enjoy a lot of benefits by using this pillow top mattress.

You can find airbeds and innerspring beds included in the pillow top mattress 

Benefits and significant features of pillow top mattress:

Luxury with pillow top mattress: the pillow top mattress offers comfort to you and is good for the pressure points of your body as it automatically adjusts. You can have a sweet long sleep since it won’t get disturbed by your changing position during sleep and absorbs the movement.

Offers full support: pillow top is manufactured with more cushion, and they are substantial as a result they provide more support when you sleep on it. The pillow top mattresses are the best supportive mattress as it gets adjusted to all pressure points of the body. The pillow top mattress checks that the moment at one part won’t reach the other end of the bed.

Eases pain: as the pillow top is made with full of cushion to support all body part such as hips, shoulders, back and spin. The extra cushion in this pillow top mattress tends to relieve the body pains so that you can sleep happily.

Lasts for a very long time: the pillow top mattress lost for a very long time when compared with that of a traditional mattress. You can enjoy the reduced wear and tear of the pillow top main body due to the inner cushion of the intermediate layer. The pillow top mattress will return to its initial shape after every single use it observes the body weight, and it avoids the wearing down.

Best to buy:

The pillow top mattresses are made with a variety of materials and natural materials of top choices. Because the quality of the product the pillow top mattress are a little bit expensive than a non-pillow top mattress, but they have added benefits and comfort. The pillow top beds also made with spring system so that your partner won’t get disturbed while you change your position.

Thus pillow top mattresses are the best investment you can have an assured comfort and healthy sleep. At present tri fold memory foam mattress has been being most popular in the market for anytime and anywhere use too.

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