How to Have a Productive Summer Without Traveling and Focus On Yourself
“One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”
–Jeanette Walls, “The Glass Castle”
Summer is portrayed as a perfect week in paradise, swimsuits, parties and going on pricy trips but let’s face it it’s not a commodity we can always enjoy. It’s more than that and lets be real it’s not realistic at least not to everyone.
Some of us don’t have the pleasure of being rich or are simply not always or very outgoing at all.
I mean it there is nothing wrong with the “perfect summer” but I feel it can be differently defined by everyone. We are all different. This is what my experience this summer and how I made the best of it even though it was not per say amazing. I love to travel but it’s not something that I was able to do this year. My summer pretty much consisted of staying at home with my family and occasionally friends and rarely going to a nearby town.
I live in a really small town where there isn’t much to do and get bored pretty fast. So you can imagine the struggle. Being a college student used to always being busy and surrounded by things and places to nothing. I love my town but I got to admit, pretty frustrating for a while.
One would say what a boring and depressing summer, no job, no volunteering, and pretty much “nothing to do…” It’s not that I am lazy or anything I am quite an active person and my friends can attest to that.
My freshman year was insane and I literally never stopped I was running from class to club to volunteering to work and barely had any time for myself. This year will be different or at least I will try lol.
I enjoyed everything that I did. However, I never had time for myself and soon stress took over and finals, you know how that goes. Then summer came and I decided that it was going to be a lazy summer.
At first it was quite relaxing and really nice to be home and I really enjoyed it but then my workaholic side came out and being me I had to find something to do.
I decided that a great way to make summer productive was to read helpful and empowering books.
My freshman year although successful, got very tiring and along the way I forgot why I did it all in the first place, why I even went to college in the first place.
It was then that I decided that I needed to dedicate my summer to reminding myself of who I was before the battles. The hopeful college student that wanted to find herself and was passionate about her majors rather than the stressed and overwhelmed people pleaser I had become.
I mean don’t get me wrong helping others is awesome I totally live for it but one must never forget to care for oneself.
As a friend once told me you can’t pour from an empty pitcher.
If you aren’t well then you can’t do much and just because you can do a lot, it doesn’t mean you have to.
Even though my summer wasn’t super fun or very active I worked on myself which I believe is a great and necessary thing to do.
There is a difference between being on your own and actually being your own person.
The girl that one day started college only knew she wanted to be her own person, be happy and be that change but in order to be that change she needed to change her ways and care for herself just as much as she does for her friends and those around her.
Some ways that I found useful to work on myself, reflect, grow in wisdom mind and spirit were: - Reading great books on people who conquered or faced similar challenges to the ones I was going through and seeing the ways they faced them and learning from that.
1.Write In A Journal or Two..
I got a few journals and wrote reflections on what I had been learning, thinking and feeling up to that moment in time. I have found that it’s a great way to convey and vent your feelings. I always feel relaxed when writing thought on paper its quite empowering.
I spent time reminding myself of everything I had already conquered and of why I even chose the path I chose in the first place.
3. Praying and Spending Time With God
I am a big believer so I also found prayer as a great way of finding peace and answers to my problems and doubts. That’s just me though.
I went through all my stuff and got rid of everything I didn’t need and tried to start a more minimalistic lifestyle and it was quite refreshing, it was a new start. It’s still a work in progress but I came far. I have found that when you let go of things you are letting the new things in and can enjoy life to the fullest. Yes, we love our old things, they have special meaning but sometimes those things hold us back. The memories that come from them will always live within us but we don’t have to have the object to know that. I also made some cash as a result and found new owners for those items, although I loved them and great times with them it was nice to let them go and give them to new owners that would value and use them.
5. Spend Time With Elders & Parents & Learn From The Wiser
I found that a great way to reflect and learn is to talk to my parents in particular my mom and elders. I know, boring.. actually no its quite awesome if you actually listen there is a thing or two we can learn from our parents and elders. Remember they are wiser and have already gone through a similar path and can help. Plus you get to hear some pretty cool stories.
6. Creativity is a great way to relax and express yourself
Doing arts and crafts is quite relaxing and is also a great to develop skills and pass the time.
7. Reminiscence and Revisit Your Memories (Reconnect with your past and present self)
Listening to old songs and going through old pictures is one of my best ways to come to my senses, yes a few tears but then Baamm! I would finally remember why. I remind myself who I am and see everything that has already been accomplished and imagine what is still to come.
8. Friends Will Always Have Your Back & =FUN
Spending time with friends is obviously a great way to talk, have a good time and relax. At least in my case when I go back home on breaks I always see how much I have changed when spending time with friends and its nice to have that support and shore experiences with people going through somewhat similar paths and support each other.
9. Meditating and Seeking Peace of Mind.
Sometimes just meditating and not doing anything is quite helpful we don’t always have to be doing something to feel productive. There is power in acquiring a peace of mind.
10. No Place Like Home.
Sometimes just going back home and getting back in touch with yourself is good enough. Embrace it.
This is just me but it different for everyone. Just know that you are capable of having an awesome summer. No trips this year, don’t worry, look back and reflect you probably had a great summer and learned quite a bit.
An awesome summer is what you make it regardless of the circumstances. Shine on and be awesome, summer may be over now but next summer can be productive and enjoyable, not just summer, every day of the year. Remember you come first and life is what you make it to be. Best of luck. Hope you all have a great school year.