For many of us, the end of August means a return to responsibility, stress and pressure. Whether you're going back to school as a student or a teacher, preparing for the busy season at work, or just lamenting the dying days of summer, cold and grueling days are ahead of us. We all have that Sunday night feeling of dread and anticipation for what's to come and what we have to do next. I, for one, refuse to let my last few idle days zoom away on the anxiety bus as a blur of stress and confusion. In less than a week, I start my last semester of my undergraduate career, and I intend to spend every day from now until then enjoying my last summer as a student.
1. Make plans with friends and actually stick to them.
I know when June rolls around we're all excited to hit up our friends making plans for social interaction that we don't actually plan on attending. Shout out to all my flakey friends for canceling at the last minute so I didn't have to! But now it's August and you've spent half the summer lounging around binge-watching "Stranger Things." NOW is the time to hit up your friends and follow through, social interactions are beneficial and you'll feel good about it in retrospect. Go to the local pool, get ice cream, spend a day at a museum, or even Netflix and actually chill (and lure your friend into an obsession with your TV shows).
2. Finish a task you promised you'd do this summer.
For me, I said I would read a book a week and unfortunately that didn't happen; I started a few and left them half-read. Set aside a few hours a day to read a book (or finish one!), draw or paint, do a "DIY" project, write a short story or poem, get creative! Soon you will be back on the grind of creating things for other people, indulge in creative outlets while you can.
3. Go outside and enjoy the weather.
I know it's hot. I KNOW. And I know it will be hot through September and winter will probably be mild and feel more livable than it does right now. But can anything compare to those August nights, hot and sticky, a roll of thunder across the sky but no sign of rain? Go for a walk and work on your summer glow, soon the gray of winter will be upon us. Feel the moment, enjoy the sun and the heat because I know we'll all be complaining in a few months when we step into slushy knee deep water at the corners of every street.
4. Enhance your fall wardrobe.
The perfect excuse for retail therapy! While you probably don't need any more clothes, the idea of buying a few new pieces for fall gets you in the mood for the change of season and your return to the real world. The magic of summer is ending, as are the days of wearing next to nothing. Buy some cozy sweaters and some boots and I promise the end of summer blues will melt into the Pumpkin Spice Everything fall frenzy.
5. Establish a routine.
While getting back into the groove of things might feel overwhelming, a way to reduce this stress is to help yourself out and get your stuff in order beforehand. Make any last minute phone calls to financial aid, organize your school supplies, lay out your outfits for the next few days. Start going to bed and wake up at a decent hour. Breakdown each day into a set of tasks you need to accomplish, and get to it. This way you can avoid the frantic chaos the night before you have to be somewhere important.
Remember, the end of one thing is the beginning of another. Beginnings are exciting because they are full of potential and promise, ready to be sculpted by you, the great artist of your life. Although your free time might feel like it is being torn away much too quickly, the hustle must continue. I'm positive the following months will be full of accomplishments!