-Samantha Duffy, Alum
We are just getting ready to enter into summer, and for those of you not graduating, this tends to be a time to unwind. The pressure of final exams and hours of classes have melted away and now you are ready to enjoy the warm sunshine. While I am sure many of you may have plans for your summer already, others might have had intentions of bumming it for the next few months. I may not know everything about school, but in my four years here one thing I was able to take away is to enjoy your summer vacation while you can. Once you are graduated, you no longer are entering summer break- you are entering the real world. So here is some advice, direct from me to you, about ways you can really take advantage of your break!
1.) Turn off your phone and read a book. Every couple of weeks take a moment to escape from the chaos and just relax on the beach with a good book. I know reading is not everyone’s favorite past time, but it is better than laying around watching Netflix all summer.
2.) Volunteer. You don’t have to dedicate your whole summer to volunteering, but a few days over the summer time won’t kill you. As I always say, it looks good on a resume, you feel great when you are finished, and you will actually have the time for once.
3.) Eat more breakfast. During the semester I know that I don’t make time for breakfast often enough, so try new things this summer. On a rainy day you can invite your friends over for breakfast and a movie marathon, instead of a late night out.
Image Courtesy of articles.bplans.com
4.) Try a new type of exercise or class at the gym. Pilates, yoga, kickboxing; whatever it is that you have been curious about, now is the time to try! You never know who you’ll meet in a class, and you’re working on that summer bod!
5.) Find a cheap flight and go somewhere. In the summer time you can often find last minute flights for super cheap, especially to places down South. Keep your eyes pealed for good deals, and invite a friend or two to do the same.
Who wouldn’t want to be here?
Image Courtesy of travelvacation.org
6.) Get a plan together for the next semester. Clearly not the most fun thing on this list, but most of you probably need to do it. If you struggle to get organized take the time while you have it now and get it together. By a planner, work on budgeting, and research ideas on how to get and stay organized.
7.) Challenge yourself. We all have fears, some bigger than others, so challenge yourself to face some of them this summer. Whether it’s snorkeling with a shark, jumping out of a plane, or swinging from a rope into the lake- when was the last time you did something for the first time?
8.) Learn a new skill. This does not have not be a masterful skill, it could be for fun or more serious. Take a cooking class, learn how to sew, become a pro with a new computer program. Learning new things is exciting, and people will find you more interesting for it too!
9.) Go camping. I think this is an absolute must, but that is because I am biased and totally love camping. Summer time is great because you don’t have to worry much about weather, and it tends to be easier to get your friends together since everyone will be home. Double bonus: camping is cheap, and you always meet some interesting characters.
Image Courtesy of onmilwaukee.com
10.) Get a massage. If you are someone who is looking to relax this summer then what better way than getting a massage. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, then go to a trade school where students are learning massage therapy and get one. They are less expensive and you are helping someone achieve their goal!
11.) Cleanse yourself. I am not talking about one of those crazy diets (although if you want to, go for it!) Instead I am talking about clearing out some of the crap you own and donating it to Goodwill or Salvation Army. You will feel so much more organized, and now you have room in your closet for when you go back to school shopping.
12.) Go to a professional sports game. Another must do, because who doesn’t love baseball games?! Head downtown with your group of friends and have a blast cheering on your team! There is not much better than sipping on a cold beer, while watching America’s favorite past time, on a hot summer day.
13.) Hit up some museums. We are only a train ride away from one of the greatest cities, which is filled with cool museums to check out. Whether it is history, art, the zoo or the aquarium, you have plenty of options and time!
14.) Have a cookout. Actually, have tons of cook outs! Inviting friends over to grill some burgers and weenies is a great way to have some fun. Bring out the bean bags, fill up the cooler, and start a fire. Don’t forget s’mores are a must!
15.) Go to a concert. Most of you probably do this already, but maybe try going to something different. I am a big fan of Jimmy Buffet Concerts- there may be a lot of old people, but they know how to party! Try attending a musical festival- tons of bands and awesome people just looking to enjoy some tunes.
16.) Go to an amusement park. In case you weren’t aware, Cedar Point is the best roller coaster theme park in the country (that is a fact), and it’s only like two and half hours away. Six Flags is also a couple hours away, and don’t forget there are plenty of inexpensive water parks in the area if roller coasters aren’t your thing.
17.) Go on a bike ride. Exercise and fun, the perfect combination. The scenery is awesome and there are plenty of places around here to go! Check out the bike path that runs through all the local towns, or head towards the beach- Lakeshore Drive in Michigan City has some cool houses to look at.
18.) Take a bartending class. Learn how to make yummy drinks and meet new people, double win. Plus you never know when it might come in handy!
19.) Play a sport. Summer is the ultimate time for pick-up games, so get involved. I for one always keep a basketball in my car, but you play whatever you like. Beach volleyball, golfing, football, even kickball! The possibilities are endless.
Image Courtesy of blog.spectafy.com
20.) Revisit your childhood. By this I mean do some of the things you used to do in the summer when you were young. Slip-n-slides, water balloon fights, sidewalk chalk, SPUD, or ghost in the graveyard- chances are if you remember loving it, so do all your friends. Get outside and have some fun, this weather doesn’t last long enough around here.
21.) Make lemonade from scratch. We all love the shake-em-ups from the fair, so why not make your own? Cheap, easy, and refreshing.
Image Courtesy of lemona.de
22.) Clean up your social media and email. Do this on a day when it is crappy outside. It is far from fun in my opinion, but it feels great when you are done, and it is good for your future!
23.) Go dancing. I am not referring to the “grinding” that you do at your high school homecoming- I am talking about real dancing. Take a night out and go twist around with your friends. If you think you can’t dance then find a class; who wouldn’t want to know how to salsa?!
Image Courtesy of pixshark.com
24.) Get a job. If you want to do like half of the things on this list you are probably going to need a job. An internship in the summertime is another option, but start searching fast because time is running out! Also, budget your money from this job. Don’t forget that your savings account needs some lovin’ too.
25.) Last but not least, HAVE FUN! If something is going to make you smile, then do it! College is too short to not enjoy your summers, so make them count while you can. Let your hair down, dive-in, and explore!