Ever since I was really young, I have always loved school. The bell schedules, new-book smell that comes from each textbook at the beginning of the year, and the sometimes-mindless tasks that come along with it. I am a lover of routine, and I always have been. It is for this reason, that summers can be so hard for me. Most people would think I'm crazy: who DOESN'T love being free, having no responsibilities for a few months?

Trust me, I love a few days of kick-back-relaxing just as much as the next person, but months on end of waking up and not having a plan can really take a toll.

For people like me, even the transition from high school to college was enormous. You go from waking up at the same time every day, going to classes separated by a bell which signals you have five minutes to make it to your next destination, eating the same packed lunch each day, and heading to practice after school. But, the routine didn't end here. It was followed by a shower, dinner, a couple hours of homework, and a pre-bedtime Netflix show. College is a little bit different, when you realize you have loads of free time on your hands.

But what I really miss in the summertime, is my mind being kept busy 24/7. Though it can be tiresome, meticulous, and boring, homework and papers keep my mind in tiptop shape. Knowing that I have things to read, papers (and articles!) to write, places to be, gives me less time to ponder the… less important things (What color should my nails be? Maybe I could use another swimsuit? I wonder what I'll watch next on Netflix?).

One thing that has helped me to combat my lazy brain this summer is reading. All the time. So far, I have finished 12 books, and I don't plan on slowing down. I bring my book with me everywhere I go: babysitting, appointments, lakehouse, car rides, etc. Whenever I find myself with a free moment, I open my book and attempt to make some progress. Some days I sit down and finish an entire book, and others I make it through just a few pages. Either way, I like to know that I've made some sort of dent in my book.

Along with this, I have found that starting a good book and becoming engrossed in the story, I watch fewer episodes of TV shows/movies. Once I become invested in a book, it starts to feel like a little movie in my head. I create images for the characters, the way their voices sound, what their homes look like, etc. It makes my brain feel a little more occupied during the long summer months away from papers, quizzes, and homework.

While I am not trying to shoo summer away, I definitely am ready to be back on a schedule again... even if it means staying up till 1 a.m. making flashcards. But for all you self-proclaimed nerds, here is a list of books I highly recommend to combat your summer lazy-brain!

"Little French Bistro" by Nina George

"The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain

"After You" by Jojo Moyes

"The One That Got Away" by Bethany Chase

"Ice Cream Queen" of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman

"The Shoemakers Wife" by Adriana Trigiani

"The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah (shoutout to my lovely boyfriend for finding this one for me!)

"The Last Letter" from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

"Jack and Jill" by James Patterson

"Still Me" by Jojo Moyes

Hope you enjoy these as much as I did!