Students, WE DID IT! School is finally out and now we can finally sit back, relax, and enjoy the long overdue sunshine for a few months. Yes, summer break is all about doing as little as humanly possible, but the more you sit around doing nothing, the more it sucks to go back to school in the fall. We've all been there: you walk into school on the first day after summer break and you sit down in your seat and immediately dream of every other place you'd rather be than in a classroom. Typically, its becausse we sat around all summer celebrating our time off and letting our brain cells rot.

How can you make the best of your time off while also not letting your brain turn to mush?

1. Read a book

Whether you’re relaxing on the beach or laying in your bed, read a book! You don’t have to be an avid reader to enjoy a good novel. With all that free time on your hands, summer is the prime time to start reading! Don’t know what to read? Click here!

2. Get a job

Scooping ice cream or selling clothes, anything works! Getting a job will ensure you’re getting out of the house and socializing, and who doesn’t like making money? Here are a few ideas for jobs you can pursue this summer.

3. Volunteer

Summer is the perfect time to do some volunteer work in your community. The challenges you may face while volunteering will keep your problem-solving skills sharp. Also, it will give you a sense of purpose to do good for your community.

4. Get a travel journal

I started a travel journal a few years ago and I will always cherish it! Not only is it a great way to hold your summer travel memories near and dear to your heart, but writing down your experiences is a great way to exercise your brain and keep your memory sharp!

5. Start a blog

Just like journaling, blogging is a fool-proof way to keep your writing skills intact for fall semester. Blogging is a great way to share your thoughts and feelings with the world, and you can even make money while doing it! Here are a few tips to help you kick-start your blog.

6. Get a penpal

I know I’m not the only one who still gets overly excited when I get a piece of mail with my name on it unless its a bill. Good old-fashioned snail mail is a fun way to stay in touch with long-distance friends and family while also improving your writing skills. Does your roommate go home for the summer? Ask them to be your penpal! Want to meet new people? There’s a whole website dedicated to finding penpals!

7. Learn how to play an instrument

Set aside one hour a day to sit down and learn how to play a new instrument. Learning how to play an instrument can improve your cognitive skills. Some studies even suggest that playing an instrument makes you smarter !

8. Write for The Odyssey

Writing for The Odyssey has not only strengthened my writing skills, but it has provided me with a community a loving, creative, intelligent people that I am proud to call my friends! As a creator, I am able to express myself while also building a portfolio of published articles. You can apply here !

Whatever your method is, just make sure you don’t lose all of your brain cells this summer, because then you’ll be less motivated than ever to go back to school in the fall.

Above all, the most important thing to do is to make the most of your time off! Have a great summer y'all.