8 Summer Goals that are still attainable

8 Summer Goals that are still attainable

They are still in reach.

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Let's face it. Summer is almost over. It is almost time to go back to school and get back into the swing of things for the next nine months. Even though it is the end of July, these goals are still attainable and are able to be reached.

1. Lose weight.

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This can be done at any time of the year but most people strive to lose weight in the summer because they are not as busy and can work out and it's easier to eat healthily.

2. Read x many books.

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There is still plenty of time to hunker down with a good book either on the beach or in the woods or on your couch. If you dedicate time to reading, you will be able to accomplish your book goal.

3. Travel.

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Even if you don't go far, there is still a lot of time to get in your car and go on an adventure.

4. See or hangout with your friends.

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There are still a few weeks left before people start going back to school, which is more than enough time to see your friends or hangout with them at least one more time before everyone goes back to school.

5. Make some money.

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There may not be many jobs available, but there might be something that you find even if it is just a few hours a week that can make you a little money.

6. Get a new hobby.

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Before you go back to school, you can still pick up a new hobby that you can take with you to school.

7. Go shopping.

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There is more than enough time to go on a shopping spree before school starts and get some new and cute clothes.

8. Get a tan.

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Summer isn't over yet! you can still hit the beach and work on that sweet tan.

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A Love Letter To The Girl Who Cares Too Much About Everyone But Herself

You, the girl with a heart full of love and no place big enough to store it all.

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Our generation is so caught up in this notion that it's "cool" not to care about anything or anyone. I know you've tried to do just that.

I'm sure there was a brief moment where you genuinely believed you were capable of not caring, especially since you convinced everyone around you that you didn't. But that just isn't true, is it? Don't be ashamed of this, don't let anyone ridicule you for having emotions.

After everything life has put you through, you have still remained soft.

This is what makes you, you. This is what makes you beautiful. You care so deeply and love so boldly and it is incredible, never let the world take this from you.

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

You are the girl who will give and give and give until you have absolutely nothing left. Some may see this as a weakness, an inconvenience, the perfect excuse to walk all over you. I know you try to make sense of it all, why someone you cared so much about would treat you the way they did.

You'll make excuses for them, rationalize it and turn it all around on yourself.

You'll tell yourself that maybe just maybe they will change even though you know deep down they won't. You gave them everything you had and it still feels as if they took it all and ran. When this happens, remind yourself that you are not a reflection of those who cannot love you. The way that people treat you does not define who you are. Tell yourself this every day, over and over until it sticks. Remind yourself that you are gold, darling, and sometimes they will prefer silver and that is OK.

I know you feel guilty when you have to say no to something, I know you feel like you are letting everyone you love down when you do. Listen to me, it is not your responsibility to tend to everyone else's feelings all the time. By all means, treat their feelings with care, but remember it is not the end of the world when you cannot help them right away.

Remember that it is OK to say no.

You don't have to take care of everyone else all the time. Sometimes it's OK to say no to lunch with your friends and just stay home in bed to watch Netflix when you need a minute for yourself. I know sometimes this is much easier said than done because you are worried about letting other people down, but please give it a try.

With all of this, please remember that you matter. Do not be afraid to take a step back and focus on yourself. You owe yourself the same kind of love and patience and kindness and everything that you have given everyone else. It is OK to think about and put yourself first. Do not feel guilty for taking care of yourself. You are so incredibly loved even when it doesn't feel like it, please always remember that. You cannot fill others up when your own cup is empty. Take care of yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Charcoal Alley

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There Is Something About Camp That Is Just Pure Magic

When you're over-tired and lost among the trees and songs, it's like magic

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If you've ever been to summer camp, you know that it is a place of pure magic.

I didn't really grow up going to summer camp. I went once when I was nine, again for a class trip in middle school and then when I was 15, my mom told me that being a counselor-in-training would look good on my college resume. So I packed my giant duffle and went to camp without knowing a soul who would be there. I'm not going to lie, I was a little terrified the moment I got there, surrounded by longtime returning campers. Immediately, I wanted to get back into my comfort zone that included my bed and air-conditioned home.

Once I got over myself, I fell head over heels for camp. It's a place where within hours, you create inseparable bonds. Because you're constantly together, star gazing, trying to fit three people on a paddleboard, or putting on your war paint for capture the flag. And maybe you will never talk to these people after camp, maybe they will pop up on your newsfeed, maybe you'll host camp reunions every once in a while, maybe you'll talk every single day. And it doesn't matter, because those endless camp days were real, that bond is irreversible and irreplaceable.

As a CIT, I remember looking up at the counselors who were teaching us all of their best tricks and tips for becoming a leader. I hoped that one day I could be a tiny bit like them: inspiring and authentic. I had this dream that maybe I could spend just one summer camping in the woods, getting so lost in the nature that the rest of the world disappears. So instead of getting an internship like all the type-A personalities at school, I spent my spring semester applying for counselor positions at camps. Somehow, I landed a job in California and I ran with it. I jumped far outside of my comfort zone, not knowing a soul who would be at this camp, half terrified and excited to be spending the summer doing something that I'd only dreamed of. That year, I was also lucky enough to join Camp Kesem. But that meant that after my ten weeks of working at a summer camp, I'd spend another one volunteering. And it's hardly a question to say that it was by far my favorite summer despite the 96 hour work weeks.

So this year, when I decided to build my resume over the summer with a nice sounding internship, I wished that I could go back in time to my days under the redwood trees in California; and I couldn't wait for my one week of camp at Camp Kesem. But after I'd spent the majority of the summer interning, doing homework, and going on bike rides, a week of Camp Kesem was a culture shock, an absolute roller coaster and I wasn't sure how I'd done 11 weeks of camp the previous summer. But by the end, when I got off the bus and to my dorm and collapsed into bed, I couldn't even sleep because my heart was full to the brim. And just like that, I remembered why camp is so remarkable and why all summer long, I was wishing that I could just be at camp instead of sitting in a desk and staring at a screen.

Because, by God, campers are some of the strongest, bravest, most full of life and inspiring people you'll ever meet. They remind me that I don't need to think so much or stress so much because there are s'mores and laughter and it is so easy to just be there, to be in that moment. It's like magic. That's what kesem means, after all.

So, that week that I spent in a disgusting cabin with floors covered in a mixture of water and dirt with the occasional spider, stinky socks, smelly shoes, and clothes strewn everywhere--yes, welcome to a cabin full of the contrasting personalities of nine-year-old girls--where I was on my toes all day long, keeping track of kids, allergies, and ghosts was worth it. The endless days, the chanting, the laughter, the views disappeared all too quickly.

It's been a week now since I've returned from Kesem, and although I can look at my wrist where the strings that tied us all together are, I still keep forgetting the magic. I've squashed it with stress, limitations, and expectations I put on myself. Which is why I'm taking the time now to remember the magic.

These kids get to be kids for one week. They get to be their complete selves, surrounded by counselors who care about them, who are there for the purpose of their growth and making sure that everyone is having a good time. And these kids love you and look up to you like crazy, even if they don't show it. Some will draw you pictures, others will never say thank you. Nevertheless, their laughter and grins say it all. Camp is for them. They create the magic, we just make the space for it.

Because camp counselors are role-models, that's what we signed up for, so we let our best selves shine, putting aside our fears of spiders and our aching heads (because as much as we tell the campers to stay hydrated, it's unlikely that we are) and we create the space that is absolute magic.

And I'm thinking that maybe we should take some of that magic with us, remind ourselves that even though life isn't perfect right now, the magic is real.

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