I live a good 500 miles from my school, so coming home for the summer feels a bit like riding the Hogwarts Express. To make things worse, I had no idea what I'd be doing this summer. I applied for several jobs, but most were looking for more permanent part-time employees, and I didn't get the internship I wanted, either. So I had to scramble to figure out how to fill the 96 days until I return to my university. It occurred to me that other college students might be having a similar problem, so I wanted to share my ideas.

1. Tackle a summer reading list

I read for fun every chance I get, but I know not everyone is afforded that freedom. Summer is a great time to check out that fantasy series your friend has been raving about or to stop by your local library and browse the shelves.

2. Teach yourself a new skill

Now is the time to teach yourself how to knit, bake, drive a stick shift, whatever. (I personally want to learn how to make a good pie crust and braid my own hair.)

3. Clean


It's not a chore just for the spring. Clear out your closet, vacuum, or wash the windows. The less clutter and dirt there is, the calmer you'll be.

4. Reorganize

This is partially related to the previous point. Summer is a great time to reorganize your books, CDs, DVDs, or clothes.

5. Explore your area

Yeah, you might've lived there for years, but there are always new things to discover - state parks, restaurants, shopping districts, and more.

6. Plan an adventure


Make like Bilbo and go on an adventure. Go some place further away, go to a museum, or plan a short weekend trip with friends.

7. Volunteer somewhere

Okay, so you couldn't find a job. It doesn't mean you can't do something that'll make you feel good (and it can go on your resume, which doesn't hurt). See if your church, the local library, the local animal shelter, etc. are looking for help.

8. Clear your Netflix queue

Weed out what you're no longer interested in watching - and then binge a couple movies or a TV series you've been dying to try.

9. Check out some web-series

If you need a Netflix break, check out the many web-series adaptations on YouTube. You can't go wrong with a classic like "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries" or "Emma Approved," but I also adore "Green Gables Fables." This summer, I want to try "Nothing Much to Do," "Charlotte's Web Series," and "Like, As It Is" for sure.

10. Take a summer course

Your university might offer some online; otherwise, a community college is always a good option (just make sure your school will accept the credits). You might be able to get a gen ed out of the way, or you can just take a fun elective.

11. Relax

This is the most important one of all. We only have a few more years where we don't have to go to a job every single day. Take the time to relax - read, watch movies, nap. After all, you deserve it; you conquered finals.