This summer, I will be going from my tiny village in rural Ohio with a population of 600 to Columbus, OH, with a population of 850,000. It's going to be my first summer away from home for something that's not a camp, and that's incredibly scary. To soothe my soul, and anyone else who is in this position, I created a list of things that anyone living away from home for their first summer should definitely do.
Take these as a set of goals or a guideline to make the best of this scary but exhilarating summer!
1. Try a new food.
Traveling is always a great opportunity for new food choices. Who knows, you might discover your future favorite food!
2. Meet at least 100 new people.
An entire summer is a long time. You should definitely have the chance to meet 100 people, if not more! You don't need to know their whole life story, just enough that you can see them around and say hi or catch up!
3. Find a new close friend.
Though loose connections are valuable and fun, we all need people we can confide in. Finding one more person in your close network will probably be hard, but it won't be the hardest thing you'll do your first summer away from home.
4. Find a way to make some cash.
I guarantee your parents don't want to be fully funding your spending in a new city. You're going to want to go out and spend money all the time. Your parents aren't a bank, you know.
5. Explore as much as possible.
New places have new opportunities behind every door! Don't be afraid to explore businesses or nature or anything else in your summer home.
6. Meet up with some old friends you don't get to see often.
Who knows, maybe they can introduce you to something amazing that you'll love doing all summer.
7. Find some time to get outside.
You might be working or interning crazy hours, but take some time to be outdoors. (It's actually unhealthy to stay inside constantly.) Even "real adults" take some time in the summer to get some sun on their skin.
8. Step out of your comfort zone.
You'll probably have to do this a lot. Don't be afraid of it! Make the most of every moment you have!
9. Call your parents every once in a while.
It's your first summer away, but it's also their first summer without you. They miss you. Make some effort to tell them how you are. They'll appreciate it more than you can understand.
This summer I plan to do all these things and more! Leaving home for the first time is scary but with some guidelines and an open mind, you can make it the best summer ever!