5 Ways to Have a Productive Summer

May 18, 2017
WE DID IT! Summer is finally here – no more exams, no more 8:30am classes, and no more staying up until the break of dawn finishing Differential Equations homework (…or was that just me?).

Even though I am always thankful for the mental break that comes with the summer, I always fear that I will feel totally unprepared when school comes around again. It’s very easy to fall into a routine of laziness what with the heat and the lack of work – however, while lounging by the pool for three whole months sounds fantastic, the summer is also a chance to work on improving and challenging yourself.

Here are a few things you can do this summer to stay productive (while still having fun!)

1. READ!

No, summer reading was never given to you as a special form of torture, even though it did seem like that in 1st grade. Reading is a great way to continue your learning outside of the classroom and it even gives you the opportunity to learn about things unrelated to your major. With the stress of homework and quizzes and exams gone for the summer, it is the perfect time to pick up a book and read.I’m crafting my “to-read” list right now, but I’m starting with Jane Eyre – whether you opt for classics like I am, for self-help books (I heard #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso is fantastic), or for plain ol non-fiction, reading will do wonders for your memory, vocabulary, and for your desire to learn! I am so excited to get back into the habit of reading, and I think you should try it, too.

2. Get a job and make a little extra $$$

You’re going to need some form of income to satisfy those late night pizza cravings once school starts again, and what better way to get that out of the way now? I know working all summer does not sound like the most fun, but it’s a really good way to earn some money and elevate your status from broke college student to slightly less broke college student.

Plus, it’s great for your resume, for networking, for practicing your interview skills, and for picking up other important soft skills that will carry you through your professional career. Even though serving ice cream or working at the mall might not seem glamorous or closely related to your dream of becoming a neurosurgeon, learning how to talk to people, how to sell yourself, how to handle money, and how to remain organized are skills that will carry you through any profession. Even neurosurgery.

3. Reflect on your goals (and set new ones!)

If you know me at all, you know that I am a firm believer in the power of setting goals. They give you a place to start and something to work towards, and it is the most satisfying thing in the world to know that you’ve accomplished something that you set out to accomplish.The summer is a perfect time to reflect on the goals that you set for yourself this past semester or even just check up on how you’re doing with your New Year’s Resolutions – have you been holding true to your promises? Or is there something more that you can do to fulfill what you said you would? Regardless, now that you have more free time than ever you can really focus on self-improvement in your goals, whether that is in your health, your education, or your lifestyle in general.

Set new goals for yourself and accomplish them – you’ve got this!

4. Work out

I’m definitely not the biggest fan of working out, but I think that this summer will be my summer to start a fitness routine and really work on my health. Beyond working toward your goals for “beach body” season, working out can boost your mood, make you feel great, and motivate you for the rest of the day.I’ve been into reading more blog posts about working out in the hopes that it will motivate me to actually get my butt into the gym (which I did today! Go me!), and they have actually worked! Abigail from Living the Gray Life has been doing some really cool things on her blog in terms of talking about working out as a college student, and Caitlyn from College With Caitlyn has a really great post on getting motivated to work out. Long story short, read some of this fitspo, and get yourself over to the gym – your body will thank you!

5. Get some #adulting things done

I don’t know about you guys, but even though running errands can feel like a pain, it also makes me feel like I’m a full-fledged adult. College tends to keep you in a bubble of pseudo-independence – you live on your own and make your own decisions, but your parents still pay for tons of things and you can ask them for anything if you really need to, simply because your main priority is school and you really haven’t forayed into adulthood yet (if you have, props to you! Go you!).
Even though that you’re moved back home for the summer, this is the perfect time to really practice being independent and do things that you would have to do as an adult – whether that is making your own doctor’s appointments, renewing your passport/license, grocery shopping, or learning to change the oil in your car, the summertime is a great chance to pick up these skills that will definitely carry you throughout the rest of your life.
Yes, this is a meme. Does it match the theme of my blog? No. Is it Ryan Gosling? Yes. (and that’s all that matters.)

Final Thoughts

Summer is the perfect time for so many things, but more than anything, it really gives you the opportunity to be free and do whatever you want to do. Even if you do spend all summer relaxing as opposed to being productive, as long as you are doing things that bring you joy and make you feel like you are improving as a person, that’s all that matters.

What are your plans for the summer?

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