9 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Summer

9 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Summer

Here's a list of my favorite ways to spend my free time during the summer, besides sleeping of course.
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You survived yet another year of school and made it back home to your own house and your own bed. As much as we all enjoy being able to sleep because there are no tests to study for or papers to write, after a few weeks, it is inevitable that you get bored without the constant activity that you have to deal with when you're away at school. Here's a list of some of my favorite ways to spend my summers at home.

1. Read

I will be the first one to admit that having to read for school all year long sometimes puts me off the idea of reading for fun when I'm at home, but taking the time to sit down with a good book helps to expand your imagination and escape reality for a while. I've often noticed that reading can provide me with some insight into my everyday life. Plus, nothing beats the feeling of closing the back cover of a book knowing full well that you alone completed the task of reading it. Who knows, you might discover a new favorite author.

2. Travel

Getting out of familiar areas and into a different element is pivotal in helping you to understand other people and the lives that they live. I'm not saying that you have to spend all your money on a plane ticket to somewhere on another continent. Exploring a nearby town is sometimes just as interesting.

3. Write

Again, having to do this during school is exhausting and tedious. However, writing in your free time about whatever you want is great practice for all those essays and projects you have during school. Even just sitting down with a journal or keyboard and writing whatever comes into your mind can help to prepare you, as well as to organize your thoughts. This is one of my favorite pastimes during my summers.

4. Visit family

While you're at home and don't have classes and studying to worry about, take some time to visit your extended family. Spending time with your loved ones can be one of the most relaxing and rewarding things you can do, especially if there are young kids in the family. Take some time to be present in their lives. They will love having the cool older family member around and you will probably have some really great laughs -- I know I do.

5. Take photos

They don't have to be professional quality or anything. Taking photos of wherever you are or whatever you're doing allows you to document your experiences and remember different times in your life. Candid photographs are the best way to show a person's character and personality, both of which can be easily forgotten after spending months apart from each other.

6. Listen to different music

We all get in that rut where we listen to the same songs over and over again and have no idea where to even begin looking through Spotify's endless collection of playlists. Choosing a new genre or an artist that you've never heard of helps to shake things up and keep you from getting stuck in that annoying cycle.

7. Meet up with old friends

Definitely another of my favorite things to do during the summer, getting together with my friends from back home is always a great time. Getting to hear their stories about their new lives at college and the people that they have met there is so interesting- it's like having your own personal windows into so many different worlds. Not only will you love hearing their new stories, being able to reminisce and laugh about times that you all shared provides an immeasurable comfort after having been away.

8. Embrace your artistic side

One of my favorite quotes is from the philosopher Ananda Coomaraswamy: "The artist is not a special kind of person, rather, each person is a special kind of artist." This has always inspired me to keep on creating, no matter how jealous I am of other artists' abilities. The summer is a perfect time to try out a new hobby, and being artistic allows you to constantly test your creativity and think on your feet, both of which are skills that can be greatly helpful when you have to return to the real world.

9. Relax and recharge

You're at home, you have your own room again and your pet is there to lounge on the couch with you for as long as you want. Take this time to rest your mind and prepare for what's yet to come -- you deserve a break.

Hopefully this list gave you a couple of ideas of things to do this summer to help keep the inevitable boredom at bay. Remember to savor the free time because soon enough you'll be back to in the craziness and longing for the lazy days of summer.

Cover Image Credit: Girls Sense

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13 Summer Struggles Only Thick Girls Understand

Chaffing. So much chaffing.
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Summer is a lovely time. A time of cookouts, swimming and sunny weather. But if you're a " thick girl," summer sometimes brings more unpleasantries than it does for slimmer women. No matter how beautiful and confident you are in your body, it can bring some struggles.

1. The living hell that is shorts shopping

Step 1: Find the biggest size the store has.

Step 2: (If you can even get those on): Realize your stomach is being squeezed into the top, your butt is falling out of the back and your thighs are having the life squished out of them.

Step 3: Realize why winter isn't so bad.

2. And dealing with them even after finding a pair that "fits"

Nothing like taking a pair of shorts home you remember fitting you okay in the store and then walking for 45 seconds and pulling them out of your butt or crotch 17 times. Truly a magical experience.

3. And every bathing suit you try on shows more skin than you'd planned

Even the most conservative bathing suit turns into cleavage-city and a non-cheeky set of bottoms turns into a thong. I promise, older people glaring at me in my sexual bathing suit, I didn't mean for this to happen!

4. Chaffing. So much chaffing

No better feeling than 4 minutes into wearing short shorts realizing that your inner thighs are literally tearing themselves apart. Body Glide and baby powder are a thick girl's #1 necessity.

5. Loving rompers. Rompers not loving you.

Rompers are made with short and skinny girls in mind. Heaven forbid you're not short, and heaven forbid you're not skinny. Rompers are like a mystical article of clothing that, no matter what, always just barely doesn't fit.

6. Imagining wearing a sundress with a strapless bra and just laughing

Of course, not all thick girls are well-endowed in the boob department, but if you are, you understand how hilarious the thought of you wearing a strapless bra truly is.

7. And bralettes are a thing of fantasy

Once again, bralettes are designed for a very specific body type. One that I do not fall into.

8. Feeling like you need to constantly defend yourself for dressing like you want to

There are so many posts and tweets and just general ideals that people have that certain sized women can't wear certain clothing. You shouldn't feel the need to defend yourself for wearing a cute crop top or a bikini, but you will.

9. And always feeling looked at when you're rocking your swim suit

Yes, I see your judging eyes, and yes, they are making me feel like shit. It doesn't matter how confident you are in your body, people looking at you like you just killed somebody just because you're wearing something typically made for smaller women doesn't make you feel good.

10. Did I mention chaffing?

I just felt like something so horrible couldn't just be mentioned once.

11. Online shopping for cute summer outfits and then none of them fitting you correctly

There's always the dreaded "one size fits all" for plus-sized women. As if there's just one way to be plus-sized. No matter how much they promise online that it'll fit well, it won't.

12. Seeing tiny girls complaining about losing their "summer bodies"

So many tweets talking about choosing food over a summer body. So many profile pictures of traditionally skinny women. I'm not saying that thick girls are the only ones who can complain about their summer bodies, and thick girls do not have a monopoly one not feeling confident in their bodies. But it is hard to see those posts knowing that those women would be glorified in their swimwear while you'd be gawked at.

13. The "you go girl!" comments on your oh-so-brave bikini photos

Compliments are nice, and positive comments while wearing a bikini go a long way. But the dreaded "you go girl" comment just seems so condescending. Just treat me like anyone else you'd see wearing a bikini. I promise, I'd like to feel like that.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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10 Times I Love Returning Home To Suburbia Maryland

What are yours?
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During the summer I temporarily part ways with the concrete jungle of NYC and return to my home childhood home in Maryland for a few months. I miss the Big Apple dearly during this break, but there are a few little things I can only do in suburbia, that I don't have the ability to enjoy when I'm back the city.

1. Driving

There's something invigoration about driving your own car and not having to depend on the subway or an Uber to get around town.


2. Friends

I'm really blessed that I have so many good friends at home. I miss them all A LOT during the school year, so it's nice that I'm able to come back and pick up exactly where we left off.


3. My queen-sized bed

I think this one is self-explanatory.

4. Drivethru

This goes along with driving, but I LOVE being able to order a McFlurry and fries from the comfort of my own car.


5. Movies (with reclining seats)

The average movie ticket costs about $17 in New York, which gains you access to a packed theater with tiny seats. In Maryland, $12 gains you access to a movie theater with seats that recline to the point that you are laying almost horizontal, for an optimal viewing experience.


6. Nature

I'm not even the outdoor type, but it's so nice walking outside and seeing actual green grass and trees without having to ride the train half an hour to Central Park.


7. Wild Life

This might just be because I live near the woods, but I see all type of wild animals on the daily. Most of the time its deer, but I also sometimes get glimpses of bunnies, fox, squirrels, birds of all sorts and horses occasionally.


8. Baths

I don't trust dorm bathtubs so there's something about coming home to all my bath bombs and shower jellies to taking a nice relaxing bath.


9. Annoying my baby brother

Okay, well, he's, like, 14 now, but still messing with him (out of love) is one of the best things ever.


10. My parents

I wish I could go back in time and tell my high school self to spend more time with my parents because they're really amazing people and they're probably the biggest thing I miss when I'm at school.

Cover Image Credit: Tessa Dobrow

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