Summer is the season that we all long for as we spend our days in a restless routine that involves waking up at the crack of dawn and using our free time to catch up on sleep. Many of our dreams of vacationing on sandy beaches or booking a plane ticket to the opposite side of the world remain to be just that. Dreams. Because there's no way that the twenty dollars remaining in the bank account is going to cover even a portion of the cost.
As someone whose last vacation was a week's trip to Disney World five years ago, I understand the pain that comes with browsing Instagram and being bombarded with everyone's fun vacation pictures while you wither away on the couch. But, even if you aren't scuba diving in Hawaii or hiking Mount Fuji, it doesn't mean you can't make the rest of summer worthwhile.
Here are some fun experiences you can have this summer without dropping a dime:
1. Learn a new language.
You might think that binging on Netflix shows is a waste of time, but that isn't the case! While you're re-watching your favorite series for the tenth time, change things up and try watching it in a different language using subtitles. You'll surely pick up a few phrases so that by the time you've saved up enough to travel abroad, you can impress the locals by greeting them in their own language.
2. Develop some resume building skills.
Didn't land a summer internship? Don't freak out! If the internet is good for anything, it's the million tutorials that you can find on just about any subject imaginable. Many employers are seeking candidates that have basic skills in areas that apply to our majors. For most of us, Microsoft Office skills are a must! Take some time this summer to expand your knowledge both in and outside of your fields of interest. It will be very beneficial in the long run when you start applying for jobs!
3. Find a new hobby.
You can make the most of an endless summer by trying out new things that you've never done before. If you've ever wondered how to fix the seam in your dress or grill salmon like Gordon Ramsay, you can discover the answers without leaving your house (as long as you have an internet connection!. If not, check out your local library and you'll surely find books that cover the basics on a variety of skills.
4. Explore the outdoors.
Not to sound like your typical millennial-hating baby-boomer, but this generation could use a little less time in front of screens, and a little more time out in the open world. If your childhood was anything like mine, you might remember scraping your knees on the ground after falling off your bike and putting a bandage over the wound to get back up and peddle away. Just like when you were younger, wheel your bike out of the dusty garage and take it for a ride at the park. Maybe even grab a few friends and set up a tent at a local campsite. You'll find that spending some time outdoors in a place other than the beach really isn't so bad.
5. Save up for next year.
The last thing most of us want to do in the summer is work. It's supposed to be the one time of the year that we shouldn't have to worry about the stress that plagues us every other season. Taking a summer job may not be ideal, but the extra funds make it somewhat worth the trouble. But, if you're really opposed to lifting a finger there may be hope for you. With websites like Mercari, you can make revenue off of items that you no longer need by selling them to other people. It's never too early to start saving up for next summer!