11 Best Parts About Summer

Forget Spring, I Can't Wait For These 11 Summer Things

I just want it to be warm. Is that too much to ask?

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I am the person that is ALWAYS cold. I detest the winter because, for 5-6 months straight, I can´t get warm. While spring is really pretty, and there are some wonderful things that happen in the spring, I want to skip straight to summer. I want to be warm and not have to sit and shiver anymore. On top of the warm weather, summer is just the best season all around. For an immense amount of reasons. Here are the things I am looking forward to the most about summer.

1. Shorts

Warm weather means I don't have to bundle up with so many layers!

2. Trips to the beach

I love going to the beach. I can feel the waves calling my name!

3. Ice cream shops

The ice cream shop is closer to my house than the store is. I'm not ashamed of that.

4. Days off

Vacation > working

5. Driving with the windows down

Music is just so much better with the windows down.

6. Baseball games

I love summer ball, both watching and playing! Warmer weather means we're that much closer to baseball!

7. Campfires

S'mores - need I say more?

8. Spending time with friends

Summer is always an easier time to meet up with friends. I can't wait for outings, dinner dates, and even road trips!

9. Concerts

Nothing beats live music in the summer!

10. Fireworks

Between the colors and the excitement, I can't wait for July to come around!

11. Longer days

There's more time to do fun things before it gets dark. I'm sick of it getting dark so early!

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40 Things To Do During Summer Vacation

Because we all know four months without college friends or classes is WAY too long.
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It's been less than a week since finals wrapped up at the University of Minnesota, and I, among many of my other friends, are already lost on things to do. Since January, our entire schedules have been filled with homework and studying. The new freedom summer brings provides endless time (in between our summer job shifts, of course) for new activities and things you wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to do during the school year. Below is a list of 40 different activities to keep you entertained during your break and to ensure you make the most of your summer.


1. Learn a new language.

I highly recommend starting with Duolingo. It's an app that provides free language tutoring through a series of activities and exercises. It offers a wide variety of languages such as Spanish, German, Greek, Swahili, among many others.

2. Volunteer.

There's an endless amount of volunteering opportunities offered throughout every major city in the country. For example, many hospitals will accept volunteers, as well as organizations in Minnesota such as Feed, My Starving Children, or the Ronald McDonald House. Most positions only require an application but be sure to check for minimum requirements such as age or experience.

3. Read a book.

Go to a library and wander until you find a book you think you'll like. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

4. Watch a TED talk.

This is one of my favorite hobbies any time of the year. TED is a nonprofit organization that shares short, approximately 15-minute videos ranging from science to business to global issues. There's a topic out there for everyone.

5. Start a garden.

Even if you don't have any outdoor space, succulents and cacti are very low maintenance and still add a little "green" to your indoor space.

6. Go camping.

Whether it's at a campground or in your backyard, enjoy the technology-free time with your family or friends.

7. Paint.

If you're not an artistic person, go to the store, buy a set of Crayola watercolors, and just paint.

8. Take an online course.

Coursera and edX both supply free online courses from top universities such as Yale, MIT, and Harvard. If you're trying to further your understanding of a particular topic such as physics or biology, I suggest starting with these websites.

9. Bake brownies or cookies.

Most stores stock up on the prepared cookie or brownie mixes, but if you have the time and ingredients, try making them from scratch.

10. Fly a kite.

Kites are available on Amazon for $10-$15, and instruction videos are available on YouTube to help you get started.

11. Play board games.

Life and Scrabble are my go-to's.

12. Make a scrapbook of old memories.

If you have the time and a little extra money, I promise the end-product will be worthwhile.

13. Start a journal.

You don't have to go buy the fancy Moleskin journals or buy an expensive one from Barnes and Noble, a simple notebook will do the trick. Write down your thoughts and document your summer.

14. Go to the beach.

Enjoy the sunshine, but don't forget sunscreen!

15. Go fishing.

Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and one of them is most likely within driving distance. Take the time on a nice, calm morning, and go fishing.

16. Binge-watch a TV show on Netflix.

"The Office," "Friends," "New Girl," "How I Met Your Mother," and "Grey's Anatomy" are good places to start.

17. Start a bucket list and cross off one item every week.

The items added don't have to be spectacular and nearly unattainable, they can be little things, too. In other words, I'm not expecting you to go skydiving, swim with sharks, and go on a cruise all in one month.

18. Learn to rock climb.

Both indoor and outdoor rock climbing are available depending on your level of comfort and experience. Remember to take every safety precaution and have fun.

19. Catch up with an old friend over coffee.

Call the friend you haven't seen in three years and ask to catch up over coffee. You never know how much their life has changed since last speaking with you.

20. Have a picnic.

Pack a basket with sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, and juice, and find a nice spot with a view. Maybe bring a book for a post-picnic activity.

21. Meditate or do yoga.

If you're unexperienced in both of these activities, many YouTube channels provide instructional videos. I'll post a link to one of my favorite YouTube yoga instructors here.

22. Learn a new instrument.

Whether it's piano, guitar, or even this $7.49 recorder from Amazon, try something new.

23. Discover new music.

Spotify and Pandora are great music platforms to discover different songs and artists. Keep checking your local venues and maybe attend a concert if possible.

24. Complete a puzzle.

You can buy puzzles online for around $10-$15. However, thrift stores and stores like Goodwill often sell them for less than $5.

25. Visit a museum.

The Science Museum of Minnesota and Minneapolis Institute of Art are two of the post popular museums in Minnesota. If you check their websites and other internet sources such as Groupon, you might be able to find a discount for admission.

26. Go to a comedy show.

I'm unaware of good comedy events around the country, but if you ever find yourself in downtown Minneapolis, check out Brave New Workshop.

27. Build a card tower.

If you're unsure how to do so, here is a link to instructions.

28. Reorganize and redecorate your room.

If you'd like a change in your life, try redecorating or reorganizing your room. Donate old clothes, books, or furniture no longer in use.

29. Marathon the entire Harry Potter series.

I challenge you to do this back-to-back with each movie, but I also realize that is 19 hours and 39 minutes of watching movies, not including snack or bathroom breaks.

30. Play with a pet.

It doesn't have to be your own. For a real adventure, check out the nearest animal shelter.

31. Start a blog.

Wordpress and Weebly are two online blogging websites that I highly suggest. Although it takes awhile to become accustomed to the platform, these websites are great because they're entirely customizable to the type of blog you wish to create.

32. Go for a bike ride.

Whether it's along the river or out on back roads, go for a ride.

33. Teach yourself how to juggle.

This might be easier said than done, but some videos on YouTube might be useful.

34. Take a bubble bath.

Some bubble bath or a bath bomb, music, and a good book will have you relaxed almost instantly.

35. Go to a farmer's market.

Support the farmers in your community and try buying local. With a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and flowers, there's something for everyone. The farmer's market in downtown Minneapolis is open Thursday's from 6am-6pm, while the Lyndale Market is open daily from 6am-1pm.


36. Exercise.

Go for a walk. Run. Bike. Do yoga. Play soccer. Just get up, and get moving.

37. Become a tourist in your own city.

Pretend you're from out of state and only have a limited amount of time to explore your city. Take yourself and your friends or family to the must-see places around town.

38. Color.

Adult coloring books have become an increasingly popular trend. Available online, Barnes and Noble, and Target, they're easily accessible. You can buy a book, some colored pencils or pens, and enjoy the relaxing day.

39. Spend time with your family and friends.

Whether it's a movie day or going out on a walk, put away your phone or laptop for a day and appreciate the people standing around you.

40. Enjoy all the time you have not worrying about studying or homework.

Cover Image Credit: Joe Pizzio // Unsplash

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15 Steamy Summer Date Ideas That Won't Burn Through Your Bank

Don't let date night get repetitive this summer...

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With a new season, comes new opportunities for super fun date ideas to keep your love life fresh and fun. I'm sure your favorite brunch place is great, but why not take advantage of the beautiful weather and try out some new things with your significant other this summer?

1. Go to the farmers market.

There is something so refreshing about walking through a farmers market. How could you not be happy when surrounded by fresh fruit, coffee stands, and live music? This is such an easy way to get some sunshine and grab some AMAZING food. My farmers market used to have everything from freshly pressed lemonade to waffle sandwiches. If you want to take the date a step further, find a recipe before you go, and buy fresh ingredients to cook a yummy dinner together later that night.

2. Tie-dye matching T-shirts.

Tie-dye is messy, so take advantage of the beautiful weather and head outside where things can get as messy as you want! What a cute little date souvenir too!

3. Late night ice cream run.

Ice cream is cool and everything, but something about ice cream in the middle of the night seems way more adventurous than a mid-day scoop. And the only time of the year that its going to be warm enough out to get ice cream late at night is, of course, summer!

4. Draw with chalk.

Honestly, your possibilities with this are pretty endless. Drawing contests, hop-scotch, make a masterpiece together, whatever your heart desires. Bring a speaker and maybe some bubbles too while you're at it, sometimes embracing our inner child is a necessary, grounding experience.

5. Throw a barbecue.

Who says spending time together is limited to only the two of you? Cooking together for your friends can be great bonding time too. Invite the crew and spend the afternoon outside at a park or in a backyard. Bring some music and maybe some activities like frisbee or kickball and enjoy some beautiful social time.

6. Take partner dance lessons.

Salsa, tango, swing, rumba, foxtrot, your opportunities are endless. Nobody is saying you have to be good, but how fun will it be to have some new moves to show off next time you and your friends go out dancing or to a concert?

7. Float down a river.

Go with just the two of you or bring some friends, either way, this is a perfect way to spend a few hours out in the sun while staying cool in the water!

8. Take your dogs to the dog park.

Parks are already fun, but when they're full of dogs they're about a million times better! Also, who doesn't love watching their significant other play with puppies?!? It doesn't get cuter than that.

9. Go cliff jumping.

In a safe spot, of course! You know what they say, you should do something that scares you every day...

10. Go on a road trip

A road trip is perfect because it's not as huge of a commitment as going on a real vacation together, but it's still a good little getaway where you are sure to bond a ton. You will have the whole car ride to talk and jam out to each other's favorite songs, how could that not be a grand time?

11. Get artsy and do a photoshoot.

Even if you're not a photographer, its kind of fun to get creative with a camera! Pick a spot somewhere nearby with cool scenery (try golden hour for extra gorgeous photos) and be each other's models. It will be a nice simple date, plus you will get some good Insta content!

12. Go to a sports game.

Plan ahead and get some tickets to go see a sports game in your town or one nearby! Sports games have such a fun upbeat atmosphere, plus fun food, and they're a good excuse to get decked out in fun fan gear!

13. Go mini golfing.

SUCH a cute and fun date idea. Mini-golfing dates never fail to bring out peoples silly sides. Why not make it a competition? Loser buys ice cream for the two of you when you're finished.

14. Go rollerblading.

OK, this one scares me personally, but for anyone with the athletic ability to attempt this, I fully encourage (and envy) you! What cuter sight to see than the two of you holding hands gliding down the city walk together? Just please wear your pads!

15. Have a car wash.

I don't mean go to the car wash together! I mean break out the speaker, the buckets, the sponges, the hose, and get soapy and silly together in the sun. Who knew cleaning could be so much fun?!

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