5 Perks of Summer, As Told By SpongeBob

5 Perks of Summer, As Told By SpongeBob

What you should look forward to this summer!
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Throughout school, the one event almost every student looks forward to the most is summer vacation. As a child, this meant spending countless hours running around outside with the neighborhood kids and staying up past your bedtime. This also meant countless nights out late playing manhunt. The summer then turned into the few months that you were not writing papers every week and the perfect opportunity to make some money! Here are 5 things to look forward to during the summer!

1. Being with friends.

If you have been away at college, this is the time to spend your time with your friends from home! Prior to leaving for school, you were inseparable and now is your chance to spend every waking moment with them! Whether you are going out or just watching Netflix, it is great to just be with them again. If you have just graduated and are heading to college in the fall, use these next two or three months to make the best memories you can before parting ways. My main tip for that is, take a lot of pictures!

2. Make money.

Whether you are working to save up for something like a car, or just spending money for the school year, now is the time. During the school year, even in high school, my schedule is always hectic. Throughout high school, there were days I would leave my house at 6:15 a.m. for a club meeting before school, go directly to volunteering after school, and not get home until 10:00 p.m. This left me with just enough time to zip through homework. The summer opens up your schedule to be able to work more days a week!

3. Go to the beach.

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a coastal town, meaning the shoreline was about a ten minute drive from my front door. I remember when I was little, I would wake up early and spend the entire day at the beach. Whether I was swimming or building sandcastles, I was always on the beach. There is also a boardwalk in my town that everyone jumps off of into the water! The beach is also the perfect place to catch the sunset at the end of the day.

4. Concerts.

When I was in sixth grade, my older sister was a senior in high school. This was fantastic because it meant she could drive me around and take me to concerts. My first concert was the American Idol concert. The town next to me is home to a small outdoor concert venue in which many country singers perform. The tickets are not overly expensive and I try to see a show there once a year. Last year, I went to see Lee Brice there and the year before I went to see Hunter Hayes!

5. Rest.

It is important to use the summer to get a job or an internship; however, this time off should also be used to refresh and prepare for the upcoming school year. In just a few months you will be back to writing papers under severe sleep deprivation. Sleep a little more and use this time to de-stress whenever possible. Even if you are working crazy hours, try to take a little time for yourself!

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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When Was The Last Time You Were Alive?

If you can't post it for everyone to see, was it truly a remarkable moment?

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Being alive is an essentially effortless act.

In theory, as long as you're eating food, drinking water, and performing as a human, assuming no major health conditions, most of us are living.

The tragedy I see most often is so very few of us are alive.

Now, I'm not suggesting you drop your textbooks and sprint up a mountain, or go broke trying to find yourself in new activities and events.

That's the illusion pressed onto so many of us. Social Media, more importantly, FOMO, has taught us that in order to truly be alive we need to make sure we travel far and wide, eat gourmet and unique food, and essentially, immerse ourselves in something phenomenal. However, regardless of what you do- don't do it without an audience and the value of your experience will only be justified by the number of likes you accrue on your #bestvacation ever because you #lovenature. With your back to the camera and wispy hair flowing in the beach air, you hit all of your angles, how else will you prove that you're alive to Instagram?

I fell for this too. I spent so much of my life constantly trying to get to the next phase life had to offer. High school was fun, but I was counting the days until graduation. Growing up in a small hometown wasn't awful, but I had sticky note calendars until my next vacation. And day in and day out, events would happen all around me that were just too "normal." I wasn't alive, but I was living.

Setting your soul on fire and truly living is so much more difficult than you could ever expect, but not because you have to drain savings and take along a buddy to snap all the perfect moments.

Choosing to be alive is realizing how important it is to be in this moment or phase in life and accepting it for all its worth. Instead of racing to the finish line or trying to sprint into your next season of assumed happiness, take time to notice all the beautiful and small things that make this moment so important. There is so much life to be found in simple moments.

Semesters are ending, we are all racing to summer. Perhaps in the process, take note of the routine cafeteria worker that constantly smiles at you and says hello. Or perhaps, giggle at the fact that in just a few short weeks that bus driver you see every single morning won't be apart of your morning routine.

The farther I get from what used to be my normal, the more I miss that season of life. I haven't lived in my hometown since I was eighteen, but I miss the simplicity that came with my drives to high school listening to Kanye West and the coziness of a small town opening its doors to start a new day. I never stopped to be alive in those moments, I was just simply living.

Wherever your next phase of life might be, it will always be there. You will always have something else coming. However, once this moment is gone. It's truly gone. Don't waste beautiful views trying to capture just the right picture for Instagram, take in the moment.

Living and experiencing life can be as simple as trusting that you're exactly where you need to be in life. Cherish each moment as you're in it. The next moment is coming whether you're ready or not.

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