3 Ways to Ruin Your Summer

3 Ways to Ruin Your Summer

Turns out it's easier than you thought.

The sun is out. The pace seems to have slowed down. Life can seem really good some days. Other days, life can seem to go downhill. Nonetheless, summer is a special time. The days turn into more days turn into more days turn to a quick end of summer.

It goes so fast.

What can be done to make the most of it?

Here's three ways to be sure these precious days will (actually) be wasted.

1. Compare

Yep, some of your friends are doing some pretty sweet things. Internships, new jobs, and (uhm) vacations and amazing travels.

Maybe you have some of these experiences this summer, too, but maybe you don't.

One way to waste whatever experiences you do have is to incessantly compare the experiences to what everybody else has.

What they're doing can always seem more exciting than what you are doing.

Who they're meeting can seem way more cool that who you're spending time with.

The places they're going can seem so much more wonderful than where you're spending time.

But somebody else could be sitting on the other end of a screen somewhere and thinking the same things about your life.

Compare, if you want. It's just going to use your mental energy and drain motivation while you head towards a summer ruined from some of the joy and thankfulness that it could have.

2. Excuse

If you get your eyes off analyzing other people's lives and focus on yours, then you can run into another problem. You can find excuse after excuse to not ever buckle down and make your summer all it can be.

Maybe all you want from your summer is to relax. But you can make excuses to not actually do this if you decided to let yourself get mad at your sister and put yourself in a bad mood.

Maybe you have some tangible goals for your summer. You can find every reason to not get up and get it done. It can be anything from the reality that you just don't feel like it right now, that something else is going to be more fun to do, or that a different goal seems like a better idea.

No matter what your hope for your summer is, you can always make an excuse that keeps it from being that very thing.

3. Disengage

You are going to encounter certain people over your summer months.

You are inevitably going to engage in certain activities throughout the days.

You are going to be confronted with different experiences and have the opportunity to learn and develop through what happens in the months.

You can engage with what fills these summer days.

You can make the most of that relationship (even if some conversations and actions are so much harder than you thought they were going to be).

You can make the most of those activities (even if some of them present more difficulties than you thought).

You can choose to learn from all of the difficult elements. You can learn to work hard. You can learn to keep a good attitude. You can learn what it really takes to be an overcomer. You can see what it really means to put in the effort and become more than you were before.

The summer is yours, but the choice is also yours.

Summer can be ruined, or it can be maximized.

It's up to you.

Cover Image Credit: Deborah Spooner Photograpy

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.

It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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8 Things You Learn When You're Related To A Drug Addict

1. No one is obligated to choose you.

Being the child, or family member of a drug addict can be hard but depending on how you look at it, it can also be a blessing in a very weird way. Here are eight things you learn about life from being the child or family member of a drug addict.

1. No one is obligated to choose you.

2. When people choose you, you know to cherish it.

3. Not everyone is going to understand your situation.

4. People have very skewed opinions about families of drug addicts.

5. People can change.

6. Not all people choose to change.

7. Being selfish is actually a lot of work.

8. Don't judge a book by its cover, or a person by their family members.

There are many things you learn about life, often sooner than most, when you're related or close to a drug addict. In my case, I have many members of my dad's family as well as my dad, who overdosed when I was young, who are addicted to drugs. Seeing people choose substance over blood at a young age is eyeopening, and hard to understand. As you get older and begin to understand the severity of the situation; life becomes clearer. You don't trust everyone you meet, you try to stay away from risky behavior, and family that chooses you becomes all the more important.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

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