5 Summertime Adventures To Fight Off Boredom

5 Summertime Adventures To Fight Off Boredom

I'm just going to say it. Summer can be mind-numbingly boring.

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I'm just going to say it. Although summer can be blissful, amazing, and wonderful, it also can be something else, especially for college students: mind-numbingly boring. Yes, we keep occupied with jobs, internships, or volunteering opportunities. But what does one do before these things start, or after they end? What about summer nights, weekends, and holidays? How do we keep ourselves entertained without the strange allure of a frat house basement or the drama Brad from Sigma Chi keeps you enthralled in? Read on for some ideas to battle your boredom this summer in the most satisfying ways possible.

1. Do a sunrise hike

There's no denying that sleeping in, with no place to be and no schedule to attend to, is amongst the best feelings in life. But, what will you remember more in 10 years: one lazy summer morning in bed, or a beautiful hike to the top of your favorite mountain or hill to watch the sun say good morning to the world? The morning temperature will be perfectly warm, the lighting perfectly dusky, and the trees wet with dew drops. I promise it will be a picturesque experience, and well worth the irritating alarm at 5 AM.

2. Get lawn tickets for a summer concert

Nothing screams summer like lawn tickets for your favorite band, with the sunsetting behind the stage and a lowkey crowd buzzing along to the music. Tickets generally aren't going to break the bank for this experience, but at the end of the night an experience like this is priceless.

3. Day trip to someplace new 

We all have our favorite beaches, ponds, and summer destinations. By all means, we should frequent these places during the summer, while we can. However, that does not mean that trying something new should be off the table. Some of the best summer adventures one can have is in a totally new place, surrounded by someone else's favorite summertime locations. Get in the car, google something like "ice cream shop" or "beach," pick a random one out an hour away, and go. Maybe it will suck, or maybe it will be the greatest experience you have all summer. Either way, you won't forget or regret this summer experience.

4. Visit your college friends

The most epic real-life crossover events have to be when college friends meet home friends, or when college friends visit each other in their hometown. This summer, take a weekend and visit your best friends from school. See how they lived their life before you, meet their friends, and have a good time. This type of adventure is bound to be a great time for you, and them. Plus, seeing where someone comes from is always a nice way to strengthen a friendship.

5. Visit your city 

Cities in the summertime can be fairly unenjoyable, with the heat, smells, and haze that high temperatures bring. However, if you know where to go, such as a wharf or a park, cities can be quite beautiful in the summer. Take some time to research nice spots in your city, pick a day, and drive in. You don't have to have any certain location or destination. Just drive in with a loose idea and see where the day takes you.

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40 Things To Do During Summer Vacation

Because we all know four months without college friends or classes is WAY too long.
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It's been less than a week since finals wrapped up at the University of Minnesota, and I, among many of my other friends, are already lost on things to do. Since January, our entire schedules have been filled with homework and studying. The new freedom summer brings provides endless time (in between our summer job shifts, of course) for new activities and things you wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to do during the school year. Below is a list of 40 different activities to keep you entertained during your break and to ensure you make the most of your summer.


1. Learn a new language.

I highly recommend starting with Duolingo. It's an app that provides free language tutoring through a series of activities and exercises. It offers a wide variety of languages such as Spanish, German, Greek, Swahili, among many others.

2. Volunteer.

There's an endless amount of volunteering opportunities offered throughout every major city in the country. For example, many hospitals will accept volunteers, as well as organizations in Minnesota such as Feed, My Starving Children, or the Ronald McDonald House. Most positions only require an application but be sure to check for minimum requirements such as age or experience.

3. Read a book.

Go to a library and wander until you find a book you think you'll like. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

4. Watch a TED talk.

This is one of my favorite hobbies any time of the year. TED is a nonprofit organization that shares short, approximately 15-minute videos ranging from science to business to global issues. There's a topic out there for everyone.

5. Start a garden.

Even if you don't have any outdoor space, succulents and cacti are very low maintenance and still add a little "green" to your indoor space.

6. Go camping.

Whether it's at a campground or in your backyard, enjoy the technology-free time with your family or friends.

7. Paint.

If you're not an artistic person, go to the store, buy a set of Crayola watercolors, and just paint.

8. Take an online course.

Coursera and edX both supply free online courses from top universities such as Yale, MIT, and Harvard. If you're trying to further your understanding of a particular topic such as physics or biology, I suggest starting with these websites.

9. Bake brownies or cookies.

Most stores stock up on the prepared cookie or brownie mixes, but if you have the time and ingredients, try making them from scratch.

10. Fly a kite.

Kites are available on Amazon for $10-$15, and instruction videos are available on YouTube to help you get started.

11. Play board games.

Life and Scrabble are my go-to's.

12. Make a scrapbook of old memories.

If you have the time and a little extra money, I promise the end-product will be worthwhile.

13. Start a journal.

You don't have to go buy the fancy Moleskin journals or buy an expensive one from Barnes and Noble, a simple notebook will do the trick. Write down your thoughts and document your summer.

14. Go to the beach.

Enjoy the sunshine, but don't forget sunscreen!

15. Go fishing.

Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and one of them is most likely within driving distance. Take the time on a nice, calm morning, and go fishing.

16. Binge-watch a TV show on Netflix.

"The Office," "Friends," "New Girl," "How I Met Your Mother," and "Grey's Anatomy" are good places to start.

17. Start a bucket list and cross off one item every week.

The items added don't have to be spectacular and nearly unattainable, they can be little things, too. In other words, I'm not expecting you to go skydiving, swim with sharks, and go on a cruise all in one month.

18. Learn to rock climb.

Both indoor and outdoor rock climbing are available depending on your level of comfort and experience. Remember to take every safety precaution and have fun.

19. Catch up with an old friend over coffee.

Call the friend you haven't seen in three years and ask to catch up over coffee. You never know how much their life has changed since last speaking with you.

20. Have a picnic.

Pack a basket with sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, and juice, and find a nice spot with a view. Maybe bring a book for a post-picnic activity.

21. Meditate or do yoga.

If you're unexperienced in both of these activities, many YouTube channels provide instructional videos. I'll post a link to one of my favorite YouTube yoga instructors here.

22. Learn a new instrument.

Whether it's piano, guitar, or even this $7.49 recorder from Amazon, try something new.

23. Discover new music.

Spotify and Pandora are great music platforms to discover different songs and artists. Keep checking your local venues and maybe attend a concert if possible.

24. Complete a puzzle.

You can buy puzzles online for around $10-$15. However, thrift stores and stores like Goodwill often sell them for less than $5.

25. Visit a museum.

The Science Museum of Minnesota and Minneapolis Institute of Art are two of the post popular museums in Minnesota. If you check their websites and other internet sources such as Groupon, you might be able to find a discount for admission.

26. Go to a comedy show.

I'm unaware of good comedy events around the country, but if you ever find yourself in downtown Minneapolis, check out Brave New Workshop.

27. Build a card tower.

If you're unsure how to do so, here is a link to instructions.

28. Reorganize and redecorate your room.

If you'd like a change in your life, try redecorating or reorganizing your room. Donate old clothes, books, or furniture no longer in use.

29. Marathon the entire Harry Potter series.

I challenge you to do this back-to-back with each movie, but I also realize that is 19 hours and 39 minutes of watching movies, not including snack or bathroom breaks.

30. Play with a pet.

It doesn't have to be your own. For a real adventure, check out the nearest animal shelter.

31. Start a blog.

Wordpress and Weebly are two online blogging websites that I highly suggest. Although it takes awhile to become accustomed to the platform, these websites are great because they're entirely customizable to the type of blog you wish to create.

32. Go for a bike ride.

Whether it's along the river or out on back roads, go for a ride.

33. Teach yourself how to juggle.

This might be easier said than done, but some videos on YouTube might be useful.

34. Take a bubble bath.

Some bubble bath or a bath bomb, music, and a good book will have you relaxed almost instantly.

35. Go to a farmer's market.

Support the farmers in your community and try buying local. With a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and flowers, there's something for everyone. The farmer's market in downtown Minneapolis is open Thursday's from 6am-6pm, while the Lyndale Market is open daily from 6am-1pm.


36. Exercise.

Go for a walk. Run. Bike. Do yoga. Play soccer. Just get up, and get moving.

37. Become a tourist in your own city.

Pretend you're from out of state and only have a limited amount of time to explore your city. Take yourself and your friends or family to the must-see places around town.

38. Color.

Adult coloring books have become an increasingly popular trend. Available online, Barnes and Noble, and Target, they're easily accessible. You can buy a book, some colored pencils or pens, and enjoy the relaxing day.

39. Spend time with your family and friends.

Whether it's a movie day or going out on a walk, put away your phone or laptop for a day and appreciate the people standing around you.

40. Enjoy all the time you have not worrying about studying or homework.

Cover Image Credit: Joe Pizzio // Unsplash

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5 Easy Ways To Make This Summer The Best Summer

Just a few changes can make a huge difference.

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Summer is a great time for students to catch up on sleep, relax, and prepare for the next semesters ahead. While it should be a relaxing time, it can also be a period that allows you to reinvent yourself. Unless you are taking a full schedule of classes over the summer, you will probably have some downtime that will allow you to do a lot. I like to think of summers as months where you can create good habits that can carry through to the next years of your life. Here are some things you can do to make your time off as a student worthwhile because after all, productivity is important!

1. Exercise And Workout!

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If you are not working all the time or in classes all day, there is no excuse for you not to work out. I know that during hectic semesters with 5 classes and extracurricular activities ruling lives, it can be hard for students to find the time to exercise regularly. But this summer, you have the power to hit the gym as many times as you want or can.

2. Takes Some Classes To Earn More Credits

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I don't think people should overload their brains with a ton of classes over the summer, because the school year is stressful enough. However, it is smart to take one or two classes during the summer to keep your brain active and to catch up on credits that you may still need. If you think you'll have a very busy fall and spring schedule, then taking some courses in the summer will definitely take a load off of those packed schedules.

3. Find A Hobby To Dive Into

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Personally, during the school year, I get extremely wrapped up In academics and I do not usually allow myself time to do anything I truly enjoy. Summer is a time where I play the piano, write poems, and paint. These things relax me and make me happy. I know I should incorporate these things into my school year, but it is hard to when there is always so much to do. You can take time to do things you enjoy or to find new hobbies you might like!

4. Master Nutrition And Your Chef Skills

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Figure out what is good for your body and how you can cook those things. If you learn new recipes and perfect them during the summer, you will be able to make those meals during the school year, which can lead to a much healthier lifestyle during the year. Now that you have more time to cook, take advantage of it and become a top chef!

5. Spend Time With The Ones You Love

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I know how busy everyone can get during the year. It is often easy to forget about having fun with the people you love and it is easy to get caught up on schoolwork. Canceled plans with friends and family are not uncommon during the school year. This summer, you may have more time to relax and hang out with the people who are important to you. Make it a goal to spend time with these people and to make many memories! Travel to new places or explore the ones you have already been to!

Hopefully, you can find ways to make this summer productive and to be happy with your life!

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