8 Things I Miss About Summer

8 Things I Miss About Summer

I want summer back and here's why.

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The cold weather has me missing more than just the warmth of summer. I'm also missing everything that goes with it. Here are 8 of the things I miss the most about warm sunny days:

1. Sundresses

I hate wearing pants! I miss being able to wear loose, flowy, bright clothing. With the cold weather, you can't go outside if you're not bundled up and definitely not in a cute sundress. I can't wait for summer so my legs can be out and free.

2. Swimming in the ocean

One of my favorite things about summer is going to the beach and swimming in the ocean. In the winter, even though it's cold, I still go to the beach every so often but I can't swim cause it's too cold. Swimming in the ocean isn't the same as swimming in a pool, it's more exciting and energetic. Once it gets warm I'll be the first one in the ocean.

3. Flowers

Once it starts getting warm, the flowers start to bloom. The smell. The colors. The beauty. Yeah, in the fall the leaves change colors and it's pretty but once winter comes, everything is bare. I love when it's summer and everything is fully bloomed and colorful.

4. Iced drinks

It is too cold to order an iced drink in the winter. I miss being able to drink iced coffee without getting frostbite. Once the warm weather comes, so do the iced tea and Pina Coladas.

5. Warm nights

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Summer nights are the best. It's perfect weather, not too hot and not too cold, and it gets dark later. I miss being able sit on the roof at 1 A.M. in shorts and look at the stars.

6. Watermelon 

Watermelon is juicy and delicious. But you can't get watermelon in the winter.

7. The sun

Not only does the sun bring warmth, but it also brightens everything. This winter has been very cloudy and gloomy. I can't wait for the summer when it's sunny and cheerful.

8. Driving with the windows down

Windows down and music blasting is better than windows up, heat on, and still freezing my butt off.

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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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20 Things You Know And Experience When You Vacation in Wildwood, NJ

Everyone has a shore point that they know and love, they probably all have different features that make them unique too.

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Everyone has their go-to vacation place, and for the majority of North East Philadelphia, and many other people, that place is Wildwood, New Jersey.

Wildwood is home to its own local residents, but their population immensely grows after Memorial Day Weekend, which kicks off the season. Wildwood has many different features that people who stay here know and come to love or hate, and here are some of those features that most Wildwood vacationers should recognize.

1. The ongoing pizza debate between Sam’s versus Mack’s.

Madyson Thompson

Of course, there are more than just these two pizza spots in Wildwood, but these two are the constant talk of those who vacation here, and are clearly the superior spots, which one is the best? This is still an argument among many.

2. The seemingly never ending sound of “watch the tram car please!”

Amy Ford

Whenever you're on the boardwalk, or even in a short distance from it you, hear the annoying tape over and over again.

3. Having to constantly hide your food on the boards or the beach from the annoying seagulls.

Cait Garlick

How annoying is it that you can never just walk down the boards with food because of the seagulls that are vultures when it comes to stealing food. So, instead of being able to walk around freely, you need to stop and sit at the tables with umbrellas to keep your food hidden and safe.

4. Relaxing on the beach can quickly be interrupted by the calling of “Fudgy Wudgy”, sometimes you want to go meet the man, but other times you think, really he’s here? AGAIN?!

Amy Ford

I mean sometimes a nice cold ice cream cone is perfect for the beach, but then other times, hearing the guy calling for ice cream 10 times throughout your beach day can be a bit much.

5. Curley’s fries are the BEST fries in Wildwood. (I said what I said, and you’re not going to change my mind)

Jessica Jones-Thompson

You can try to argue this, but there really isn't an argument. Sure Chickie and Petes recently joined the island, but you can get them year-round, and they're not the perfect pair with a slice of Sam's like Curley's is.

6. Polish water ice screams your name upon arrival, and it is extremely satisfying after settling for Rita’s in the off-season.

Mariah Sullivan

It is a great change up of water ice that you can't have in the off-season, so in season is super rewarding when you get that first refreshing cup.

7. The island is always busy. There is never not something going on, so you’re rarely ever bored.

Jessica Jones-Thompson

Wildwood always offers something to do, whether it be the multiple different beach blasts for different sports, different fitness obstacles, or even polar plunge in the off season, there is always something going on.

8. The food festivals are something to look forward to every year (especially BBQ weekend).

https://www.facebook.com/wildwoodsnewjersey/photos/a.151447131554911/2021940961172176/?type=3&theater

While Wildwood has many options for food, the festivals give those extra options, and they are amazing.

9. Wawa’s Hoagiefest is a life saver to your bank account if you spend the entire summer there.

https://www.facebook.com/wawa/photos/a.10531388848...

Sure you want different hoagies and sandwiches, but that's why Wawa is great, their hoagiefest isn't just hoagies! It's all of their classic sized sandwiches, which is a ton of options for a great price.

10. Walking is different here. 20 blocks on the boardwalk, does not feel like you actually just walked 20 blocks.

Amy Ford

For some reason walking is much easier here, and doesn't seem as far as it does when you walk anywhere else.

11. There are so many different food options to choose from.

Madyson Thompson

Of course Philadelphia has many different food options too, but Wildwood has its own unique food venues that are all amazing in every way! Some of these places, like the Wharf, have great food and entertainment as well!

12. Everything is better here, because you’re down the shore.

Jessica Jones-Thompson

There isn't much else to say here, the shore makes everyone happier and just creates a much better environment for everything.

13. Keenan’s is the best bar, offering different specials and events for all ages! (This one might be slightly biased, but I am sure a ton of other people agree with me)

Dominic Carey

There are so many bars on the island, but the best one, in my opinion, is Keenan's. They have different events constantly, and they often even have fun for the whole family!

14. You can park your car, and leave it parked for the majority of your stay.

Valerie Werner

Most things are walking distance and so cars aren't really a necessity for you once you're already on the island. You can just walk around and enjoy the views. (like the sea wall)

15. There are still activities on the piers that you will never get to old for. Like the Log Floom, the Nor'Easter, the Ferris Wheel, or really anything in the water park.

Jessica Jones-Thompson

These activities will always be fun! No matter what age you are, you still need a few moments of thrill, and these things provide just that!

16. This is one of the only places people actually follow the speed limit.

https://www.facebook.com/wildwoodpolice/photos/a.665429566912310/1757928727662383/?type=3&theater

There's obviously speed limits everywhere, but everyone who vacations in wildwood knows the speed limit here is nothing to mess with because the cops here will give you a ticket immediately, with no leeway.

17. You do NOT have to pay to sit on the beach.

Madyson Thompson

Some beaches charge for entrance to the beach, but not Wildwood! This is one of the many great features that Wildwood has to offer.

18. You look forward to seeing the “Entering North Wildwood” sign.

Cait Garlick

This is a staple to your trip to Wildwood, there's two entrance points, but this one with the North Wildwood sign is definitely the favorite of many as they race to get the perfectly timed photograph of the sign.

19. At night, if you can, avoid Sam’s pizza. If not, you’re walking into crowds of teenagers who are “too cool” for rides, and this is the cool place to be.

Madyson Thompson

This crowd is unavoidable as this is literally the place to be when your young and don't have any other plans for the night, you sit and stand around the front of Sam's pizza in different groups talking with friends.

20. And for those of you from the North East, you know that this is your home away from home, where you get all of the perks of being down the shore, with all of the home perks of still seeing your neighbors and friends.

Jessica Jones-Thompson

This is literally a second home, everyone knows someone, and you run into home friends constantly.

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