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.

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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Let's Give Michigan Winters The Benefit Of The Doubt

As cold as it gets, this is still the best place in the world.

Anyone who goes to a cold school understands how miserable the winter can be. We’ll do anything and everything to avoid being outdoors; skipping class sounds much more ideal than having to suffer through getting there and back. Every day, I wonder how people did it before Uber because I most definitely couldn't.

When I'm asked why I’d ever go to a school that's so unbearably cold, my response is the same every time: “Because it’s worth it.” Because there’s nowhere else, hot or cold, in the world that I’d rather be. Because even on the coldest, snowiest days, something about being at Michigan makes me happy.

As cold as it gets and as hard as the subzero temperatures make being productive, we all adjust and have our own ways of making it work. A scarf makes any outfit that much more adorable, and speaking of outfits, what’s wrong with rotating between the same few sweatshirts every day when no one sees whats under your Goose? Nothing! And that means waking up about 10 minutes before you have to leave for class. Every cloud has a silver lining!

Most days here, even though they're bitter cold, are nice and sunny, making for such a pleasant environment. If it were dark and gloomy every day, maybe it'd be harder to survive the winter. It’d be harder to leave bed every day, but luckily that’s not the case. It’s definitely cold, but layers are a pretty good solution.

You know how they say you can’t have a rainbow without rain? I’d argue the same about having seasons. The bitterly cold winter makes the summer that much more special. I, for one, will not be taking a second of this summer for granted. When I’m not working, I will be outside for some reason or another taking it all in. Yearlong heat definitely has its pros, but there is something amazing to be said about changing seasons.

Anyone would agree that it'd be nice if winter were just a little warmer. You know, not so cold that you walk outside and lose feeling in your extremities, but also cold enough for a cute sweater, scarf, hat, jacket and boots.

At the end of the day, I wouldn't change a thing about where I am, but I also can’t deny being really sick of the cold and more than ready for some summer.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Don't Use Valentine's Day As An Excuse to Show Your Love

It was just another day, but a slightly better, slightly happier day.

Valentine's Day has come and gone. That day was filled with love, affection, and care. You wake up in the morning with excitement for the day and show those special people in your life that you care. It was just another day, but a slightly better, slightly happier day because you can literally see the love in the air.

There are three positions on Valentine's Day: those people who have a valentine and therefore, they have the whole day planned out. The other extreme is those who yearn for a valentine and therefore, are bitter and cynical about this day. The third lot is rare because they are the ones that are completely neutral about Valentine's Day and they don't mind it.

It is most logical to be in the third lot. Valentine's Day is like Mother's Day. It is a day that's focus is to show your appreciation of people in your life that you love. Same for Mother's Day. It is a day that focuses on showing appreciation for your mother, but the important thing to remember is that this day is not an excuse. It is merely a day that tells you what you should be doing to show your love. That doesn't mean that you are very public in your celebration of those you love because sometimes, celebrating your significant other doesn't need to be a bouquet of flowers and serenading, maybe it is just a simple homecooked meal.

This day emphasizes on making those special people in your life feel special. It is a celebration of caring and love and there is nothing wrong with this. It doesn't need to be about romantic love, it extends to all loves like platonic and familiar.

This day shouldn't be a grand day because if it is the only day you go all out for your special people, you aren't doing it correctly. This is a day to go all out, yes, but so are other normal days.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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