I'm An Anti-Social Butterfly And I hate Summer Vacation

I'm An Anti-Social Butterfly And I hate Summer Vacation

I have a love-hate relationship with the summer months... Well, mostly hate.

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Ah, summer. Hanging out with friends, staying up late and sleeping in, going to the beach and swimming, and absolutely no responsibility! It is every teenager's dream. Unfortunately, it is not that way for everyone, especially not me.

How could anyone hate summer, you ask? Well, coming from someone who is an anti-social butterfly, there is a lot to hate.

First of all, social interaction can become limited when you are not forced to see people every day at school. I get into the comfortable habit of curling up in a cocoon of blankets, binge-watching shows on Netflix, and not seeing the light of day for what seems like weeks at a time. Being someone who does not ask friends to hang out very often, they eventually cease to reach out to me and I find myself in a slump.

As someone who also suffers from depression, you can see how this is not a good thing for a mind like mine. I'm a person who needs structure, schedule, and something to keep me accountable. If I have nothing to do, why even get out of bed? Of course, this does not make me happy in the grand scheme of things, and I find myself longing for school to start by July.

So the cycle begins. Not seeing friends, sleeping for 12 hours at a time, literally not doing anything all day, which all results in an anxious, depressed mess that is my mind. As I become so lazy, I get angry with myself for being this way. I put myself down for doing what a teenager does. I feed off stress and busy days, and when I don't have that, my brain takes it and runs.

This happens every summer, ever since middle school, without fail.

Now, I bet you're saying, "okay but why should I care? I'm having fun in the sun with my huge group of friends. I love being lazy, and sleeping is my favorite activity!" Don't lie to yourself. I know someone out there feels the same way as me, so I am here to discuss solutions!

One thing that has been helping me survive this summer is forcing myself out of bed at 7:00, so I can make the 8:30 work out class at my local gym. I get home after a good sweat before 10, I feel good, and the day seemingly has endless possibilities! Even if you scoff at any exercise more intense than walking to the fridge to get a snack, I encourage you to challenge yourself and your physical limitations. You will only grow stronger and more motivated to do something with your bundles of time.

After my work out, I attempt to plan out a day of mild responsibility to get my fix of productivity. Whether it be going shopping for something I know I need, cleaning up my room, or doing laundry, just doing a small chore or two can make me feel like I'm not completely useless.

After that, the day is yours to seize! Don't plop back down on the couch and turn the TV on. If you do, try to limit yourself to one or two episodes of Netflix. A full-on binge will pull you right back into your old habits. Step out of your comfort zone- ask your friends to do something fun, go somewhere new by yourself, create something!

I'm probably preaching to the choir and I definitely should take my own advice. I want to have fun just like everyone else this summer, but in my own, type A way. I'm still dreaming of school and "busy-ness," but maybe I can have some fun with my remaining weeks of summer while I wait.

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40 Things To Do During Summer Vacation

Because we all know four months without college friends or classes is WAY too long.
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It's been less than a week since finals wrapped up at the University of Minnesota, and I, among many of my other friends, are already lost on things to do. Since January, our entire schedules have been filled with homework and studying. The new freedom summer brings provides endless time (in between our summer job shifts, of course) for new activities and things you wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to do during the school year. Below is a list of 40 different activities to keep you entertained during your break and to ensure you make the most of your summer.


1. Learn a new language.

I highly recommend starting with Duolingo. It's an app that provides free language tutoring through a series of activities and exercises. It offers a wide variety of languages such as Spanish, German, Greek, Swahili, among many others.

2. Volunteer.

There's an endless amount of volunteering opportunities offered throughout every major city in the country. For example, many hospitals will accept volunteers, as well as organizations in Minnesota such as Feed, My Starving Children, or the Ronald McDonald House. Most positions only require an application but be sure to check for minimum requirements such as age or experience.

3. Read a book.

Go to a library and wander until you find a book you think you'll like. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

4. Watch a TED talk.

This is one of my favorite hobbies any time of the year. TED is a nonprofit organization that shares short, approximately 15-minute videos ranging from science to business to global issues. There's a topic out there for everyone.

5. Start a garden.

Even if you don't have any outdoor space, succulents and cacti are very low maintenance and still add a little "green" to your indoor space.

6. Go camping.

Whether it's at a campground or in your backyard, enjoy the technology-free time with your family or friends.

7. Paint.

If you're not an artistic person, go to the store, buy a set of Crayola watercolors, and just paint.

8. Take an online course.

Coursera and edX both supply free online courses from top universities such as Yale, MIT, and Harvard. If you're trying to further your understanding of a particular topic such as physics or biology, I suggest starting with these websites.

9. Bake brownies or cookies.

Most stores stock up on the prepared cookie or brownie mixes, but if you have the time and ingredients, try making them from scratch.

10. Fly a kite.

Kites are available on Amazon for $10-$15, and instruction videos are available on YouTube to help you get started.

11. Play board games.

Life and Scrabble are my go-to's.

12. Make a scrapbook of old memories.

If you have the time and a little extra money, I promise the end-product will be worthwhile.

13. Start a journal.

You don't have to go buy the fancy Moleskin journals or buy an expensive one from Barnes and Noble, a simple notebook will do the trick. Write down your thoughts and document your summer.

14. Go to the beach.

Enjoy the sunshine, but don't forget sunscreen!

15. Go fishing.

Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and one of them is most likely within driving distance. Take the time on a nice, calm morning, and go fishing.

16. Binge-watch a TV show on Netflix.

"The Office," "Friends," "New Girl," "How I Met Your Mother," and "Grey's Anatomy" are good places to start.

17. Start a bucket list and cross off one item every week.

The items added don't have to be spectacular and nearly unattainable, they can be little things, too. In other words, I'm not expecting you to go skydiving, swim with sharks, and go on a cruise all in one month.

18. Learn to rock climb.

Both indoor and outdoor rock climbing are available depending on your level of comfort and experience. Remember to take every safety precaution and have fun.

19. Catch up with an old friend over coffee.

Call the friend you haven't seen in three years and ask to catch up over coffee. You never know how much their life has changed since last speaking with you.

20. Have a picnic.

Pack a basket with sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, and juice, and find a nice spot with a view. Maybe bring a book for a post-picnic activity.

21. Meditate or do yoga.

If you're unexperienced in both of these activities, many YouTube channels provide instructional videos. I'll post a link to one of my favorite YouTube yoga instructors here.

22. Learn a new instrument.

Whether it's piano, guitar, or even this $7.49 recorder from Amazon, try something new.

23. Discover new music.

Spotify and Pandora are great music platforms to discover different songs and artists. Keep checking your local venues and maybe attend a concert if possible.

24. Complete a puzzle.

You can buy puzzles online for around $10-$15. However, thrift stores and stores like Goodwill often sell them for less than $5.

25. Visit a museum.

The Science Museum of Minnesota and Minneapolis Institute of Art are two of the post popular museums in Minnesota. If you check their websites and other internet sources such as Groupon, you might be able to find a discount for admission.

26. Go to a comedy show.

I'm unaware of good comedy events around the country, but if you ever find yourself in downtown Minneapolis, check out Brave New Workshop.

27. Build a card tower.

If you're unsure how to do so, here is a link to instructions.

28. Reorganize and redecorate your room.

If you'd like a change in your life, try redecorating or reorganizing your room. Donate old clothes, books, or furniture no longer in use.

29. Marathon the entire Harry Potter series.

I challenge you to do this back-to-back with each movie, but I also realize that is 19 hours and 39 minutes of watching movies, not including snack or bathroom breaks.

30. Play with a pet.

It doesn't have to be your own. For a real adventure, check out the nearest animal shelter.

31. Start a blog.

Wordpress and Weebly are two online blogging websites that I highly suggest. Although it takes awhile to become accustomed to the platform, these websites are great because they're entirely customizable to the type of blog you wish to create.

32. Go for a bike ride.

Whether it's along the river or out on back roads, go for a ride.

33. Teach yourself how to juggle.

This might be easier said than done, but some videos on YouTube might be useful.

34. Take a bubble bath.

Some bubble bath or a bath bomb, music, and a good book will have you relaxed almost instantly.

35. Go to a farmer's market.

Support the farmers in your community and try buying local. With a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and flowers, there's something for everyone. The farmer's market in downtown Minneapolis is open Thursday's from 6am-6pm, while the Lyndale Market is open daily from 6am-1pm.


36. Exercise.

Go for a walk. Run. Bike. Do yoga. Play soccer. Just get up, and get moving.

37. Become a tourist in your own city.

Pretend you're from out of state and only have a limited amount of time to explore your city. Take yourself and your friends or family to the must-see places around town.

38. Color.

Adult coloring books have become an increasingly popular trend. Available online, Barnes and Noble, and Target, they're easily accessible. You can buy a book, some colored pencils or pens, and enjoy the relaxing day.

39. Spend time with your family and friends.

Whether it's a movie day or going out on a walk, put away your phone or laptop for a day and appreciate the people standing around you.

40. Enjoy all the time you have not worrying about studying or homework.

Cover Image Credit: Joe Pizzio // Unsplash

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5 Things You Should Expect During The First Week Of Your Disney College Program

Set yourself up for success.

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Whether you're moving to Florida as a College Program or International College Program intern, there are a few things that all new CPs go through before they get access to the parks. Knowing about these things beforehand will help you better prepare for what's to come, and maybe even help you get even more excited for your upcoming program.

1. You're going to meet a lot of people.

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During the first week of your DCP, you're going to meet way too many people. This will seem overwhelming at first, especially if you're not good with names. Nevertheless, this will be one of the most important things (if not THE most important thing) you will do during your entire program. Getting to know new people will set the tone for the rest of your time in Orlando, because you will now have a ton of new friends to hang out in and out of the parks with!

2. You're going to resort hop. A lot.

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Since you won't have park admission just yet, you're probably going to want to visit all the different resorts that Walt Disney World has to offer, as well as other stuff around Orlando. This is a truly great experience that you might not have had the chance to do in the past, simply because you were too busy touring the parks. Make sure to take in all the different activities that Orlando has to offer, especially the free stuff.

3. You're going to miss your family.

https://unsplash.com/photos/NhU0nUR7920Arthur Poulin

It's important to note that during the first week of your DCP, you will be moving into an entirely new home, with new roommates, and you're going to start a new job. All of this will seem quite a bit overwhelming at first, and you're going to miss your family, your friends, and your home. If you're ever feeling really down, don't be afraid to tell your roommates and your friends. You might be surprised to learn that they're feeling the exact same way, and maybe then you won't feel as lonely.

4. You're going to do a lot of cleaning up.

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As soon as you've completed your check-in, you're going to run to your apartment only to open the door and step into a dusty, dirty, old place. It won't feel very homey right off the bat, so you and your roommates will probably want to clean up before you actually start moving in and decorating. This would also be a good time to make a chore chart in order to keep the apartment ready for inspections.

5. You won't be able to contain your excitement.

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I promise you will scream and shout every single time you drive below the famous Walt Disney World Resort sign, and that's totally okay. You're about to spend the next few months living and being a cast member at the Place Where Dreams Come True, and it's honestly going to feel like a dream in itself. Make sure to take in all of this excitement, because this is a time in your life that you will never get back.

Whether you're very excited, very overwhelmed, or all of the above, the first week of your Disney College Program will definitely be a whirlwind of emotions. Just remember to sit back and meditate every once in a while, because you've been given an opportunity that a lot of people would die for. Enjoy each and every single day, because it will go by so fast. I promise that by the time your program ends, you're going to yearn for the time when you couldn't even get into the parks yet.

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