Textbooks have been returned, notes have been tossed, and dorm rooms are cleared out, except for a few stray hangers and dryer sheets forgotten on the cold tile floors. Another school year has come to a close and with the turning in of their last final, students ran faster off campus than they would if they heard the words, “free food.” It’s summer, my friends, and that means we have 12 weeks to do all that we couldn’t do when burdened down by the weight of heavy backpacks and packed schedules.
Sure, many of us now find ourselves trapped not by clingy, dramatic relationships, but instead by the meager square footage of a cubicle. If you’re lucky enough to have an internship, you’re pretty damn lucky, but you also know the challenge of working forty-hour weeks and having no time for anything other than work, a shower, and the occasional meal. The second the weekend rolls around, don’t waste precious time. These are probably the only Saturdays you won’t drink cheap beer and uphold some semblance of a social life and the only Sundays you don’t have to spend nursing a hangover and spending quality time with your fellow degenerate classmates in the library.
Summer is the time to go on adventures and be bold. Don’t let your summer job (or lack thereof) hold you back. You have ample time to catch up on Netflix in the fall, as you lounge between classes or neglect your studies. The second you clock out of your shift, it’s time for fun. Here’s a few ways to make this summer the best yet:
Learn to love your job.
We need money to do all the things we love back at school, like eat bad food, drink cheap alcohol, and buy cute clothes. Because of that, we subject ourselves to enlisting in the work force. There’s no doubt that our parents play an integral part in making us get the hell out of the house and do something with our lives, but the reality is, a summer job is how most of spend our days. Whether you work at a fast food joint or intern at a fashion line, the first step in making your summer the best it can be is learning to love your job. You’re going to spend the majority of your summer at said job, so why not embrace it? There’s a reason you applied in the first place, and even if it isn’t your dream job, try to find even just one thing about your occupation that gets you psyched to go to work in the morning.
Try something new.
Whether you’re living at home, living at school, or living somewhere new, there is always something within a feasible radius of travel that you haven’t done in your lifetime. This summer, try that something you haven’t done. Summer is packed with so many cool opportunities, like fairs and conferences and day trips that aren’t so scenic in the other seasons. No matter where you are, there’s bound to be something new to try. Try out a Renaissance fair or a day trip to Alcatraz or bungee jump. You’ll learn so much outside of the hallowed halls of your university and undoubtedly get some good people watching in.
Take a weekend trip.
I’m spending my summer in Los Angeles, and although I am technically a Southern California resident, it recently came to my attention that I have never been to Palm Springs, San Diego, or Las Vegas, all of which are reasonable traveling distance from Los Angeles. Weekend trips not only provide you with a chance to get away from the office, but a chance to meet up with friends from college. A girls’ weekend in Vegas is a classic way to blow off steam after a long week. Call up your squad and plan out a weekend to remember. Use Tilt (https://www.tilt.com/) to make managing your hard-earned money a little easier by having everyone deposit the money they won’t spend gambling into a single Tilt and cashing it out to spend on delicious meals and fun shows.
Treat. Yo. Self.
While you should definitely be saving those dollars you’re racking up by working long hours, don’t hold back when it comes to splurging on the occasional luxury. Spend a day poolside lounging and sipping on something with an umbrella coming out of it if you feel so inclined, or try out a fancy haircut at a luxurious salon because you’ve got time to grow it out if it ends up being a colossal mistake. Buy yourself some cute new clothes you can carry into the fall, because the summer is a fantastic time for sales. Get yourself a gym membership and begin working on that beach body you meant to work on months ago. Summer is a great way to set yourself up to feel good in the coming school year, so don’t be afraid to treat yo’self.
Spend time with the people you love.
Your family, whoever or whatever or however they be, undoubtedly doesn’t get to see enough of your during the school year. Conflicting schedules and busy lives make holidays seem like a blip on the radar and it feels like you’re constantly playing catch up with your siblings. No matter where you are, find a way to spend time with the people you love. Take a weekend trip to see them, make them fly out and see you, or Skype them on a free weekend. The summer provides a lot of time to see the people you owe it all to who don’t get enough credit. Show them how much they mean to you by parceling out some time for them, no matter how that time is spent.
Summer isn’t just about tanning and taking cute pictures by the pool. It’s a chance to take a mental recess and catch up on all of that you neglected when time didn’t permit for you to focus on yourself. Whether you spend your weekends exploring, relaxing, or whatever else makes you happy, do all that you can to make this summer the best one yet.