Just like that, summer break is in full swing! It seems like the days are going by faster than I can say, “it’s summer!”. As the halfway mark of summer approaches, you might be thinking to yourself, what should I do during the rest of my time off? Here are five things you need to do before summer ends.
Read a Book
While school is in session, finding the time to read a book for pleasure can be tricky. One day you have soccer practice, the next, homework is overflowing your desk. Due to the abundance of free time, summer is perfect for swinging by a local library or bookstore and grabbing a new novel to indulge yourself in. Often, the magic of reading for fun is overlooked because of the negative connotations that forced reading in school creates. It’s time to forget about the time your teacher made you read all of War and Peace and choose a book that sounds interesting to you.
What’s so great about books is that there are so many different genres that might catch your eye. Try romance if you're a sucker for love. If you are into dragons and mythological creatures, fantasy is perfect for you. Here are some of my recommendations:
- The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
- My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
You can also check out my thoughts on ‘BookTok’ books here for more recommendations!
Devise a Plan for the School Year
Summer may not seem like the time to be thinking about school and how stressful it is, but coming up with a little strategy for the upcoming year isn’t the worst idea. You never want to enter a situation being clueless and that can very well happen if you don’t prepare well. Even if you’re entering your senior year and think you know everything, it’s still important to be prepared for the year.
Think of your goals for the year and then you can move from there. While you won’t determine everything that happens in your year, if you enter the year knowing how you want it to go, that will be of useful guidance. To create your own plan, take a look at your extracurriculars, classes, teachers, and overall life. Create a mock schedule for your weeks, get your textbooks and notebooks ready, and talk to friends about their year. If you get organized now, you won’t have to scramble in the middle of an already busy time to figure out your year.
Deep Clean Your Room
If you’re like me, you let your room get pretty messy during the school year. After a long day at school, I do not want to be hunching over a pile of clothes folding them one by one. While you still have time (and energy), take a day or two to go through the entirety of your room. Yes, your entire room. Go through every cabinet and drawer, every book and trophy on your shelf, and whatever else there is. You might realize you still have clothes from 5th grade in your closet or find an old sweater that you adore.
Start by breaking the process up into categories and move on from there. Tackle your clothes, books, miscellaneous items, furniture, and whatever else you have sitting in your room. While cleaning and organizing, make staying clean easier for yourself. You designate places where items will always go. Having a consistent place to throw a tote bag or sweater will make your room easier to clean and more organized.
Hang Out With Old Friends
During the school year, often the only people that you get to interact with are your classmates. This is your sign to call up an old friend and ask them to go grab a snack or take a walk. Hanging out with the same people, time and time again, can get a little boring, so you may as well spice it up. You might even rekindle an old relationship and find yourself a new best friend. You never know what will happen.
If you don’t know how to reach out, you can shoot them a text and ask them how they are. Get the conversation started and then mention the possibility of meeting up. For the most part, no one is going to be opposed to seeing an old friend again. Take advantage of your extra time and send that first text!
This is by far the most important thing you can do for yourself. Summer is one of the only times where you can truly relax and have fun. The school year is clouded by stress and anxiety, which makes it extremely important to have some time away from those negative feelings. Surround yourself with positive energy and avoid anything super stress-inducing. If you like taking baths with bath bombs, turn that faucet and watch that bath bomb shoot out with color. If you’re a fan of hiking, find a local trail and call up some friends. After all, you only have so many summers left. You may as well enjoy them while you still have time. Prioritize your happiness and wellbeing and you will feel the difference.
Entering the school year feeling refreshed and not overwhelmed will set you up for the entirety of the upcoming months.
While we all wish summer could last forever, it unfortunately cannot. The limited time signifies the importance of using your time valuably. Take these remaining days to test out reading a book, cleaning your room, or even reaching out to an old friend. Doing so might impact you in ways you wouldn’t expect. Enjoy the rest of your summer!