5 Ways to Stay on Track Before Summer Break

5 Steps For University Students To Stay On Track While Dreaming Of Summer

Summer Break Is Right Around The Corner! Here Are 5 Steps To Staying Focused During The Home Stretch.

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As summer break approaches, it's hard not to automatically switch our focus from practical schoolwork to exciting summer plans. Whether you're going home just to relax or you're jetting off to an alluring foreign country, the idea of summer is appealing when you're stuck cramming for finals and finishing projects. It may be tempting to spend time daydreaming about all your fantastic plans; however, it's important to finish the semester just as strong as you started it. Here are some tips that I have found helpful to keep me on track before my fun-filled summer.

1. Keep an Organized Routine

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It's easy to lose track of all the tasks you have to complete, especially when your mind is pre-occupied. Therefore, it's important to keep a list of everything you have to do. Whenever a professor or club president announces an important date, I quickly jot it down on my notes app. It's an easy reference, as a phone is an essential accessory for most, and it's liberating to backspace the text of a task you've already completed.

2. Make healthy choices

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Focusing on exercise, proper nutrition and keeping your mind healthy are good ways to distract yourself in a positive and constructive way. By making healthy choices, you will also make yourself feel better and work towards a good summer body!

3. Immerse yourself in on-campus events

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As a university student, it is likely that there are events going on around campus in the coming weeks (it could be anywhere from sporting events to a movie festival). Keeping myself busy with school-sponsored events (such as our upcoming spring football game, and club meetings) to outside volunteering and charity helps me pass the time before summer productively. There are so many ways to get involved with your school, be sure to ask your peers about organizations they're interested in, check local message boards, or look on Facebook to see what you could do!

4. Let off some steam by having fun with friends

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While it's important to stay focused on work, having fun with the friends you have made in college is a vital part of ending your semester. Make sure to make time to relax and do fun activities with friends such as hitting local restaurants or planning exciting staycations in your area. Studying with a group or doing work with friends in your classes is also a great way to connect with people while getting through finals season.

5. Enjoy yourself!

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Remember, college only lasts once! As much as you are itching to get to your fun summer plans, remember that one day you'll probably reminisce on these memories and wish that college could last longer. In other words, make the most of your experience! When you are feeling the stress of school and exam season, make sure to remind yourself of the more exciting parts of college and all that you have accomplished.

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
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The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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Coming Home From College For The Summer Is Much Needed

Wait, how do you drive a car again?

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Since finals week began, I believe I can say for all college students that we were ready to come back to our hometowns for the summer. We had grown tired of eating at the dining hall, spending countless hours in the library, and pulling laundry from the dryers for it to still be damp. Being home for the summer rids you of those worries and only provides a sense of comfort and security with a furnished home and bedroom to yourself. We sometimes forget how things were before college, with a fully stocked refrigerator and even a dishwasher to keep things clean. Coming home often makes life much easier.

Coming home means revisiting all of your favorite places around town — restaurants, parks, or museums — with fresh eyes. Being away from these places for months on end only causes you to develop a deeper appreciation for the little things. In my case, the first thing I did upon arriving home was take a trip to my favorite local coffee shop. Not only is the coffee delicious, but going back to the shop itself also brings back numerous memories made over the past four years.

That is one of the best things about coming home — it's as if you're rediscovering parts of yourself that you left behind.

Being back in your hometown also enables you to reconnect with only friends and classmates whom you haven't seen in months or even a full year. Whether it be going for a walk together or grabbing breakfast, being able to update one another on your year of college life makes for great connections. You oftentimes find yourself missing your old friends more than you thought, but once you all get together again, it seems like nothing has changed.

One of my favorite parts of being home is spending more time with my family. I have never felt so grateful for home-cooked meals or a real washer and dryer until I stepped into my house again. Rather than talking on the phone with my parents about our days, I can sit down with them at the kitchen table and have a conversation in person. I also never realized that I would miss my parents — or my dog — as much as I did over the past year.

Though finding activities to pass the time can sometimes get "boring" in one's hometown, spending some time away can reinstate plenty of ideas. My sister and I found ourselves making a list of things we can do throughout the summer, and though some of the things we had done before, it sounded so much more exciting after spending the school year in a different city.

In the end, coming home makes you appreciate your town even more.

Even if you didn't love it before, being home for just a few months keeps you from taking life's finer things for granted. Especially when it's summer, you can relax on your own couch without the stress of school in front of you. Enjoy your city while you can, because it is always there to welcome you back.

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