Goodbye School, Hello Summer

Goodbye School, Hello Summer

After working hard in school for so long, summer is finally here.

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Summer is here and I honestly can't believe it. Waking up every morning in my room instead of my dorm at school is still weird sometimes. Students get so used to having one routine every day and then summer comes and things tend to change. In no way am I complaining, but summer can take some getting used to.

When I first came home from college it felt weird being in my own house. Knowing that I wasn't just visiting for a weekend and was going to stay here. Being home for the summer definitely has taken some getting used to but it also felt strange to relax.

I didn't have any assignments, papers, deadlines, nothing- it felt weird, too. During school, I always had an assignment that I could be working on, so when I got home for the summer knowing that I didn't have things due, that felt strange. I almost felt kind of guilty or like I wasn't doing enough. This feeling went away, however, when I realized after working hard for so long I did deserve a break to relax.

After I got more acquainted with being at home and actually relaxing, it was time to reconnect with friends and family.

This is my favorite part of summer, by far. If you're like me and are away from your family and friends during school, it feels great being able to reconnect with everyone. Just being able to talk to my family every day and hang out with friends is truly amazing and is something that I missed a lot.

Another part of summer is finding something else besides school work to do.

Most students get jobs, internships, go on vacations, and so on. I think it is important to have some things to do over the summer so you're not completely bored and unproductive. Getting a summer job gets you out of the house and you're hopefully making enough money to save or spend with friends. An internship can provide you with experience and knowledge for something you're interested in career-wise. Both are very good options for being productive and making the most out of your summer.

Whenever I come home it feels different than it did before. There is just something about leaving a place then coming back that makes the return a little different.

The new experiences I gained in college make me see being home in a different light.

I notice things that before I didn't look for or didn't understand. At first, it was hard for me that home felt differently, but now I realize it is all about growing up. As you grow, your interests, thoughts, and outlook on things change and that's okay. If we all stayed the exact same that would be pretty boring and no one would grow.

So, even though I am a little different now and in turn see coming home differently, the core principles of summer still stayed the same for me. I still love seeing my family and friends, gaining new experiences and knowledge through jobs and internships, and feeling comfortable being in my own space again.

Most aspects of life are in constant change, but it still feels good knowing that some things about summer are the same.

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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Already Missing University Life? Try One Of These 17 Ways To Escape Any Case Of Summer Boredom

And if none of these work, sleeping is always an option.

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I don't know about you, but it's one month into summer and I'm already feeling kind of stagnant. I don't necessarily miss classes and homework, but I kind of miss the freedom of living on/near a college campus and being just a five-minute walk away from friends at any given moment.

If you're starting to feel that summer boredom—or if you're just looking for new ways to capitalize on summer free time—look no further. Here are a few ways to make the most of the summer months.

1. Find a new recipe and master it.

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You can make a personal dessert or dinner for the whole family—it's really up to you. I recommend finding a good smoothie recipe so you can kill two birds with one stone; you're escaping summer boredom and summer heat.

2. Use an online generator to randomly select a new Netflix show to binge.

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Even if it doesn't look like your kind of thing, you may be surprised. New summer, new obsession, amirite?

3. Shoot your shot with a potential summer fling.

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Keep seeing a cutie around town? Maybe you should make a move. There's never a dull moment with the right person.

4. Experiment with some new hairstyles/makeup looks.

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A fun new 'do is sure to help you feel less bored. If nothing else, you can send dramatic, glamorous selfies to your friends to pass the time.

5. Do some summer cleaning.

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If you're miserably bored, you could always start tidying up—maybe even pack up some old childhood things you've been meaning to donate/sell/throw away for a while now. Better yet, why don't you finally unpack your clothes from the school year?

6. Download a new game on your phone.

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This sounds juvenile, but come on. No one has time for games when class is in session, but you might as well enjoy the nostalgia of redownloading Candy Crush now that you're free again.

7. Explore your hometown.

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Don't normally hang out at the park or the local library? Maybe you've been missing out. Worst case scenario, you now have an opportunity to people-watch, which is always interesting.

8. Get a job, you lazy bum.

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Although I guess your summer job might be the primary source of your boredom, huh?

9. Try some form of journaling.

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I did a bullet journal planner for the entire 2018-2019 school year over the preceding summer, and it really kept me busy. You could also try a dream journal or just a thoughts journal—it could be refreshingly introspective to mull over your thoughts and experiences at the end of every day.

10. Do a thorough internship/career search.

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It might not be a very relaxing pastime, but it's definitely a productive one. If you have the mental capacity this summer, you might as well put some effort into planning for the years to come. Future you will be grateful.

11. Aimlessly walk around Target/Wal-Mart/Costco/etc.

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People-watch or take advantage of summer sales. Or literally just look at stuff. IKEA is a great option, too.

12. Spend hours watching videos on TikTok.

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Look, if you follow the right accounts it's literally just Vine 2.0. Do you really have anything better to do?

13. Video chat with school friends.

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Or at least shoot them a text. Maybe they're bored, too.

14. Clean out your closet.

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Whether you sell your clothes or donate them, at least you'll have a refreshed wardrobe. It might be time for you to let go of that shirt you've had since 7th grade, pal.

15. Try your hand at a new creative pursuit.

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Digital art, painting, poetry, novel-writing, songwriting, photography, dancing, singing, playing the clarinet—there are literally so many new things you could try in your free time. Who knows, you may have a hidden talent.

16. Spend some more time outside.

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Some people already do spend tons of time outdoors, but I've been wasting away in my bedroom for about a month now. You could go to the pool or even simply walk around your front yard to get some fresh air—just wear sunscreen either way because that summer sun is brutal. Also, if you can't afford a week-long beach getaway, maybe you could carpool with some friends for a day trip to the coast?

17. Read a new book (or, even better, a whole series).

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College ruins the fun of reading for a lot of students (if high school hadn't done that already), but don't let it destroy your own enjoyment. You could tackle anything from a fun beach read (I'd recommend "Crazy Rich Asians"; the whole series is fantastic) to some high fantasy (I'm reading "Lord of the Rings" myself) to a romance novel (I can't name any, but I'm sure there are really good ones).

Whatever you decide to do, try to make the most of this summer. Soon most of us will be year-round workers with no free time and no souls. Not yet, though!

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