Image from Vegetarian Ventures.

In theory, summer should be the perfect time to relax and unwind from the busy school year.  However, sometimes it is hard to not sleep the few months away or go on a three month long Netflix binge.  And there’s also the other extreme: the people who are completely overbooked with a research internship, competitive summer program across the country, service trip, college classes, and summer job, with virtually no downtime.  Whatever the situation is, it is definitely important to strike a balance during the summer with work and play.  Whatever your situation is, these few ideas will help to make each day of these precious few months count.


One of the best parts about summer is getting to spend tons of time with friends.  But friends can be busy and it can be quite difficult trying to make plans, which is why it’s important to know your friends’ schedules ahead of time.  Once you know which days you are all free, it will be much easier to plan fun activities like beach days, camp outs, or trips into the city.  Planning is also a great thing to do so you’re not sitting bored at home with nothing to do — take the initiative in scheduling activities this summer so you and your friends can have a blast together in the limited free time you have away from books, tests, and due dates.

Planning is also important in the “work” sense.  Make sure that you’ve got all your summer assignments printed out and accounted for, and try to set out days to complete them so that you are not bogged down the nights before school starts.  Though summer is certainly time for fun, it can also be a time to get things done and get organized for the upcoming school year.

Try New Things

Because summer is such a large chunk of free time out of the school year, there is plenty of time to take up a new hobby or break out of your normal bubbles.  You can learn a new sport, try making friendship bracelets, start a babysitting business, or tons of other unexplored things.  Go bungee jumping, river rafting, or sleep under the stars!  Go on a road trip or discover all the quaint restaurants you’ve been dying to try in your town or a nearby city.  There are so many endless things you have not done in this world, and you can dip into a lot of areas and interests in three months time.  Who knows — maybe volunteering at a new place can turn into your new “thing” and turns out to be extremely rewarding.  This can also be the time to make some cash, whether it is working at the library or as a cashier or waiter at a local eatery.  The list is boundless — so many foods to try, stores to shop at, people to meet, places to explore, and other opportunities within an easy reach.

Explore & Be Spontaneous

It is likely that you have been going to the same places — the movie theater, the mall, etc. for as long as you can remember, and it can get very repetitive and mundane after so many trips to the same locations.  So, this summer, find some new places to explore.  Go to nearby towns and see what they have to offer.  Take a hike, literally!  There can be some incredible nature-y things to do or see, easily accessible with a little bit of exercise.  Even explore your local trails, or meditate/swim/paddleboat/picnic at a pond or lake nearby.  The point is, there are tons of things to do that are only a short car ride, bike ride, or trek away.

Every summer we tell ourselves the same things — “This summer is gonna be awesome/amazing/fun-filled/fabulous/straight fire!”  This summer, make it a goal to have an awesome time and venture out of your comfort zone (while, of course, staying focused in terms of jobs, other opportunities, and summer work)!

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