It’s official, school is out and summer is in. If you’re like me and fall into the boat of fellow college kids who didn’t bother to (or didn’t manage to) intern at some fancy nine-to-five office job during this vacation, then you’re probably also at a loss of what to do with your time. So if you haven’t yet figured out how to make the most of these three months before we pack our lives away (yet again) and drive hundreds of miles back to school, then maybe you can draw some inspiration from what I’ve planned to do.
The first and most important thing to realize is that just because you might not have landed that fancy job, doesn’t mean you have to waste your summer sleeping in everyday and staring at your bedroom’s four walls. This is what I was most worried about when summer was approaching and I realized that I hadn’t sent in any internship applications. But my worries soon began to cease when I figured that the best thing I could do with this summer is dedicate it to bettering myself mentally, physically and emotionally.
I’ve made a conscious decision to spend my time wisely; this means that I haven’t left (and will not leave) any room for negative thoughts and energy. This summer is all about progressing, and with that being said, here’s what I’ve planned on doing.
1. Get my driver's license.
OK, so I’m admittedly a little late in the game. Nearly all of my friends rushed off to the DMV the second they turned 16. But here I am, 19-years-old and still clutching my driver’s permit. No worries, though. I’ve already taken the first step toward earning my magical ticket to the road! I signed up for my five-hour driving class and a few lessons as well — if you’re also a little late in the driving game, then I suggest that you take this summer as an opportunity to get that license.
2. Eat healthy and exercise.
Prior to my freshman year at Syracuse, I was all about fitness and health. I’d exercise every day and eat healthy, allowing myself one not-so-healthy meal per week. But somewhere along the line, I got consumed by Calios’ calzones and the dining hall’s pizza— and with that, the infamous “freshman 15” got a hold of me. This bummed me out for a bit (especially since my family members wouldn’t let me hear the end of it), but then I came to accept that everyone must gain a little weight when they go off to college. “Enough dwelling on the negative,” I thought. Time to make some changes! If you’ve also noticed your pants getting a little tighter, then maybe you’ll consider taking the healthy route this summer.
3. Spend time with friends and family.
Being hundreds of miles away from your home-friends and family during the school year can be rough, but nothing feels better than finally having time to hang out with them during the summer. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? This summer, surround yourself with friends and family who will bring positive energy to your life.
OK, so this might sound a little boring to some people. But honestly, there’s nothing like curling up (with your dog, perhaps) and reading a good book. This semester, I was far too busy to read anything that I actually enjoyed or chose for myself. But now, I have all the time in the world to read whatever it is that I please. And that’s just what I’ll do; if you’re a fan of reading, then take some time to read all of those books that have been covered in dust all school year. Even if you don’t like reading that much, I suggest you give it a try! Reading has not only made me a better writer, but also a better thinker. What I’m saying is, it can’t hurt — so go for it!
Nothing feels better than doing something nice for another person. This doesn’t always have to mean spending an entire day at the soup kitchen — random acts of kindness are always appreciated, too. This summer, I’ve decided to dedicate some of my time to those who need it most. If you’re stuck at home wondering what to do with your time, then maybe you’ll consider donating it to others! Volunteer at your local soup kitchen, animal shelter, museum or senior home; the possibilities are endless.
6. Spend time alone.
This one might sound a little odd, but seriously, try it. I know too many people who are afraid to spend time with themselves. Take this time to go to a cafe by yourself, walk through the park alone, or sit on the beach solo. You'll be surprised at how much you can enjoy your own company.
These are just few of the major activities I’ve decided to dedicate my summer to, but honestly, there are so many more ways to make the most of your time. So don’t feel bad if you’re not working this summer. Get up and make strides toward bettering yourself and those around you. Wishing everyone a fun and fulfilling summer; live it up!