Summer is such a wonderful time of year, especially for us students, because it means that there is finally a little time for us to relax. No more tests, or homework, or anything, just you and whatever you want to do. But, here’s the thing. It’s a trap. You could spend your whole summer doing nothing, but when it comes close to fall again, you will have managed to completely empty your brain of all things school and it will be terribly difficult to adjust. So what can we do about this summer daze that we are to be inevitably stuck in? Well, there are a couple things.
1. Set your mindset.
The first thing you have to do in order to keep yourself productive during the summer is getting your mindset right. No longer is summer a respite from the burden of doing work. Try to recontextualize this summer as a period of time to better yourself, whether that be mentally, physically or culturally. Each day you should strive to do something to further yourself one of those three days. If you are a creature of routine, you could design a schedule in which you alternate these things. If you manage to tell yourself that this is for the greater good, you will have a much easier time justifying positive behaviors.
2. Stick to a routine.
The second thing you have to do is stick to a routine. It’s really easy to get sucked into a week-long hole of Netflix binges and snack foods and it’s even easier to have that week stretch into a month and then into a whole summer and then you’ve ruined all that opportunity. If you can force yourself to get to the gym or picking up a book once, you can do it again and again, until it just becomes second nature to you. I’ve managed to make a little bit of headway on my weight loss by cutting an hour out of my day to go down to the gym. You can apply this logic to any kind of pursuit. Devote an hour to reading a book or solving a puzzle or math problems. Spend an hour learning a few words in a new language or watching an insightful documentary. Anything is possible!
3. Share with others.
The last thing you have to do is tell people what you’re doing. They say that telling people about a plan or an idea activates the same part of your brain as actually doing it. So why not give yourself a little bit of a pick me up and spread the idea around to others? Giving others the idea will also build a social expectation into the whole matter. As soon as you tell someone else about your brand-new “make summer productive” plan, you’ve made a promise to them that you are going to stick to it. If you are anything like me, the idea that you might let someone down fills you with complete and utter anxiety. Use that feeling to propel you into being a productive member of society this summer. I’ve given you the blueprint. Now, the rest is up to you!