7 Ways to a Fun, Exciting, and Budget-Friendly Summer

7 Ways to a Fun, Exciting, and Budget-Friendly Summer

Because we all can't go to Santorini on a cup ramen allowance...
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We college students are no strangers to being frugal in the ways that matter. Money management is important during the school year to make sure that there is enough to go about the school day (as well as for having a little fun on weekends!). Summer is no excuse to not continue good habits.

However, being frugal doesn’t mean the fun can’t happen! Beyond the traditional summer internship, here are some ways to stay within your budget while also making sure you have the story of a lifetime to tell once school starts again.

1. Summer job

Summer jobs are as classic as any teen movie. For decades, college students have been picking up jobs to support their summer spendings—and for a good reason! Beyond the monetary benefits, summer jobs are a great way to stay productive and meet new people. They are also a great way to get out of your comfort zone. Keep an eye out for businesses nearby who are hiring for the summer months, and don’t be afraid to apply!

2. Local trip

Sure, that Peru trip may only be $2000, but that’s $2000 more than you have in your bank account. No fear! Taking a trip is easier than ever with Airbnb’s low rates and the accessibility of car services like Uber and Lyft. There’s nothing wrong with going on an old-fashioned road trip, or even having a spontaneous weekend in San Diego with family. With a little willpower and clever planning, an inexpensive and local trip to explore places nearby your home can become the highlight of the summer.

3. Volunteer

Volunteering can be one of the most fulfilling things you can do during the summer. Not only are you doing the most for your community, volunteering can get you valuable experience in your chosen field, while also allowing you to make meaningful connections with a wide variety of people. Some great places to consider are your local hospital, shelter, and vet clinic! Keep an eye out for open spaces and get your adventure started.

4. Self-improvement

There’s no time like the present to start feeling better! Summer is a great time to start the exercise you’ve been meaning to during the school year, or start switching up your diet for the better! Practices like meditation or self-worth talks do wonders for the mind and the body, and can make sure you have a healthy transition back into the school year.

5. Pick up a hobby

Hobbies are inexpensive, fun, and engaging. Beyond the obvious like knitting or drawing, there are things you can do that cover almost any interest imaginable. How about craft kits, learning to code, or extreme ironing? (Yes, that’s really a thing.) Regardless, what better time to try something new than summer?

6. Learn Another Language

Did you know that studies have shown that those who speak two languages or more find it easier to do well in their studies when it comes to organization and perception? Bilingualism is an ambitious goal for the summer, but it’s an achievement definitely worth trying for. If you already have a second language that you speak at home, summer would be a great time to brush up on it. If not, acquainting yourself with Chinese, or Spanish (voted two of the most important languages to learn) through sites like Duolingo can be a rewarding pastime.

7. Explore your hometown

Last, but not least, your very own backyard! Whether you’ve just moved right before heading to college, or if you’ve been there all your life, there is probably a bounty of experiences and locations that you haven’t been to or seen yet. Check the local attractions using Yelp or blog pages, and see if your friends have any good ideas.


Summer at home can be challenging, if not occasionally boring. Even if you’re not traveling to exotic locations for this extra long break, there are plenty of things beyond this list to do and explore and experience. Adventure is out there and waiting!

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

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First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

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Top 10 Things To Do In the United State's Capitol

This is your guide to a fun-filled weekend ing Washington, DC.

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There's never a dull moment in Washington, DC. From educational activities to festivals and fairs to nightlife there is always something to do for people of all ages. I've been living here in the city for a little over a year, and there is still so much to see that I haven't gotten to yet. This beautiful place is fun and exciting to visit during all times of the year, and I highly recommend spending at least two days in the Capitol of the United States.

The Smithsonian Museums  

One of the top reasons to come to Washington, DC is to visit the Smithsonian Museums. They're full of beautiful artwork, remembrance, and facts. Best of all- they're all free!

The Eastern Market

On Saturday mornings the best place to get breakfast is at the Eastern Market in southeast DC. In the spring, summer, and early fall the streets are full of tents with artwork, clothing, and furniture, and the inside is full of fresh food, flowers, and pop up stands.

The Wharf

One of my favorite places to hang out is at the Wharf on the Waterfront. There's restaurants, bars, and a pier of fresh seafood. Not looking to spend a lot of money? Grab an ice cream cone from Ben & Jerry's and grab a seat on the end of the pier around the fire pit.

The Anthem, 9:30 Club, Echo Stage

Want to dance the night away after spending the day touring the city? The Anthem, 9:30 Club, and Echo Stage are all great venues that host a wide variety of artists.

Smithsonian's National Zoo

Hop on the metro and within a half hour from the National Mall, you can be at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. It's free entry and it's a great place to spend your Saturday afternoon!

Happy Hour 

Throughout the entire city, you can find some of the best happy hour's Monday through Thursday starting at 4. Cheap beer and a ton of new friends!

Regal Cinema in Chinatown

The Regal Cinema in Chinatown is the best movie theater I have ever been to. You can order chicken fingers and french fries that are delivered right to your reclinable reserved seats! Nothing better. If your early for your movie and have time to kill, there is a bar with bowling and pool tables which is always a fun way to kill time with friends.

National Mall - At Night

Everyone always talks about going to the National Mall, but the best time to go is at night. Everything is lit up and it's beautiful! Best of all, not many people are hanging around so you have the entire place to roam around and sit and hang out with friends on the monuments.

Cherry Blossom Festival

The best part of Washington, DC is in the spring because the cherry blossoms are finally blossoming. People come from all around the world to see these beautiful trees that were gifted to us. In March, there are many events happening on the weekends such as live music, food trucks, and other activities.

Street Fairs

My favorite part of the city is that there is something always going on. Something I really love to go to include the street fairs and the festivals happening within the street. They're great places to learn about different cultures, eat yummy food, and buy local handmade goods from local vendors.

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