School’s out and I have just finished my senior year, so it's been an emotional and nostalgic time for me, and I've been looking forward to this summer for a while. The last seven years have been interesting indeed, but I wouldn’t change them for anything—your academic year is your time to work hard and be the best version of yourself and the last seven years have allowed me to do that. Once the summer’s here, it's time to kick back, relax and have the time of your life.
Summer is the time to take a step back and focus on what’s going on in your world, find yourself and feel good. We talk about glow-ups, and everyone deserves one, so here is my guide to the best personal transformation this summer.
1. Make sure to have a routine.
Once you don’t have school anymore, it's very easy to slip into a lack of structure—whether it's sleeping late, watching unhealthy amounts of TV and just not being productive. By all means, it's completely fine to watch Netflix to your heart’s content, but not at the expense of being an organised individual who has to return to the academic/working world in a few months.
I’ve found myself going back to school multiple times since I've finished my exams just to get a sense of structure again, so find something that gives you purpose and keeps you disciplined. Whether it’s a daily routine that you stick to, a job, some volunteering—ensure you have something that keeps you stimulated.
2. Mind your business.
I feel like this is just a standard rule for life and stands for all points in your life, but the summer is meant to be all vibes, no drama. Anything that could be potentially problematic—whether it’s people or situations, must be avoided at all costs. As we grow, life should be all peace and no problems and if anything should threaten that peace, it’s got to go.
I think as humans, we subconsciously seek to pursue the more difficult situations—and that’s not always a bad thing. Growth only happens when you’re uncomfortable and life should always be about constantly improving yourself, but this doesn’t stand stagnant for anything or anyone who will inconvenience you or threaten your peace. In this summer, in this life, protect your peace and that means don’t involve yourself in anything you don’t need to.
3. Take social media breaks.
Social media takes a lot of effort and, as useful as it can be at times, it is also extremely draining. Too many expectations. Too many opinions.
It's just a bit... much. I tend to use social networks to find out what’s going on around the world and then it gets uninstalled again. I prefer being in my own world and focusing solely on myself and my family. Social media in excess can be dangerous and toxic for the mindset and damaging towards your interactions with others and yourself. Be mindful of your social media usage.
4. Spend time with those that matter.
I’m starting university in a few months. It’s a big step in my life and, naturally, as excited as I am, I'm also a bit nervous. I’ll be spending a lot less time at home and with my family, which I'll definitely struggle with as I grow.
My family are my best friends in everything—they're the people that know me best, the people that will always tell me the truth and the ones I can always come to for the best advice. I tell my mum everything and know that she’ll be there for me every step of the way, so my fear as I grow is that we’ll all grow apart. Whilst that’s not necessarily true, it is essential to make the most of every moment you have with the ones you have with those that you care for the most. Of course, anticipate many more good times with them, but cherish and make a memory of the ones you have.
5. Look after yourself.
I will always say—you are the priority. In everything you come first. Self-care goes beyond the conventional facemasks, bubble baths and skin care routines.
No doubt these are essential, but self-care is a deeper pursuit. It is a mental, emotional, spiritual and physical journey that we must all undertake at some point in our lives.
Read books as it allows you to gain knowledge both about yourself and about the world around you.
Take up journaling. Often, my head gets quite foggy when I have a lot on my mind and writing about what I’m thinking or just how my day is going allows me to look back and reflect on my journey. I use Reflectly and DayOne for this.
Celebrate your successes and keep going when things get rough. Good times might not last as long as you want them to, but bad times definitely don’t last. Make the most of every moment. I have lots of other self-love and self-care tips that you can check out here.
6. Take up new activities.
Life is about learning new things, embarking on new challenges and pushing yourself to new limits. Trying out new hobbies is one of the best ways to do that. I want to take up knitting this summer because it’s a niche activity that I would love to try.
And it doesn’t have to be a hobby. It could be you going on an adventure of a sort—maybe a hike. Or even pursuing new knowledge. Regardless, find something that will allow you to flourish as a human and learn new skills.
7. Take pictures.
Pictures are a ticket into a different point in time and looking back through photos is a ticket into a past moment. Photos are essential to treasuring the best moments and never forgetting these times. My favourite app for this is BeReal—you and friends you add have 2 minutes everyday to “be real”; you take a picture of whatever you’re doing in that moment and over time memories accumulate and you can look through these and relive the moments.
This summer will be a great summer for all of us—remember to have fun, stay safe, learn more about (and love) yourself and spend time doing things and with the people that make you happiest—all the best and have the greatest summer lovelies!