Congratulations! You made it to the end of the semester. You have completed yet another year of stress and nights of no sleep. You crammed for exams, but you also partied hard with best friends. This chapter in your life is wrapping up, but another one awaits you. Do you know what you want to do with your summer?
Like most college kids released from the treacherous dining-hall world, you’re probably going to work all summer at a retail store, camp or ice creamery. In your free time, you will spend your days as a couch potato binge watching Netflix and eating ice cream that you got using your discount at work. It’s all good though because doing nothing feels good, especially after you stretched your brain to its breaking point for half a year straight.
Unfortunately, this lifestyle won’t be your euphoria for long. The ice cream will soon turn into a puddle of fat on your stomach. You will finish your Netflix shows so fast that they can’t keep up with you. Start planning now what you will do after the laziness runs its course.
You can explore the mountains. Find hiking trails and go with some friends. Take your dog and look out among the world. Looking out at all the tiny homes, cars and people, you will realize how insignificant your problems are. You will feel at ease and calm. After a difficult trail, you’ll be overcome with a sense of accomplishment. The views, fresh air, and nice workouts beat being a couch potato any day.
Explore towns around you. Find a small barbecue joint and praise it for all its glory. Sit at a park you’ve never been to before. You can expand your horizon without going very far. For those that love travel, explore a city you’ve never been to. Maybe you’ll point at a random spot on a map, or maybe you’ll plan an organized road trip. What new town is waiting for you to call home?
Do activities you’ve never done before. Go go-kart racing and play laser tag. Pick strawberries at an all-you-can-pick field. Go skydiving with your friend who is afraid of heights. Watch a movie at the theater alone and cry at the sad parts. Find a Mexican tienda or a French bakery and attempt to speak a language that isn’t yours. Feed ducks at a pond and wash the sunset. The possibilities for fun and relaxation are endless, no matter where you are.
No matter what you are doing this summer, make time for yourself. Make time to explore. Make time for laughs and happiness. Sometimes it feels like the only thing to do in the summer in your free time is to lie in bed and watch TV. Create a list of fun and easy things to do, and you will have a more memorable summer.
What will be on your bucket list?