Every year I tell myself to pay attention to time, and every year I am surprised at how fast time has passed. I tend to apply this, and my YOLO attitude, to the summer in particular, as two months are much shorter than they seem. As I wrap up my freshman year of college though, for the first time in my life I have four months of summer. What am I going to do for four months at home, away from all of my new friends from Rutgers? How will I fill my long, hot days, and the weeks that seem to each pass by quickly? After a shorter and rather dull winter break as previous experience, I have decided that in order for me to enjoy my summer to the fullest, I need to give myself purpose. Purpose comes in many forms and may be different for each person. As my life consists of lists, I decided to make myself a “Summer Bucket List”, make others aware of it as to hold me accountable, and check off as much as possible (corny, I know, but hopefully it will work). Of course, I have the classic action items on the list, such as going to the beach and reading books, but I’ve also thought of some unusual ones, which are listed below for your reading pleasure.
Have an e-free day
During the school year (and life, in general) we are constantly using technology. Whether it is looking at my phone on the bus, or taking notes using my computer, then studying, doing homework, and writing essays on the computer, I am in front of a screen for a large portion of the day. Summertime provides the perfect opportunity to get away, if even for a day! Either leave your phone at home or put it on airplane mode and go outside! Do something really cool and don’t even Instagram it (I promise that even if you don’t take a picture, it actually happened). Try using this time to really connect with nature, or have some alone time without distractions — there are so many opportunities! To think that just ten years ago we all would have had no problem doing this, and it would not have even been a challenge.
Plan a themed party
Pick a date, pick a location, and pick a theme! Get a friend to help you with preparations, create a guest list, and you are set! My themed party this summer will be a puppy party! I plan on inviting all of my friends that have dogs (luckily they all do), buy or make some dog treats and have an AMAZING day playing with dogs. It cannot get any better than that… feel free to use this idea!!
Look for opportunities
As fun as this time of year is, summer also provides a lot of free time to put to use for the future. Try to take advantage of this and set aside some time for yourself every day or week to search for scholarships, jobs, or internships. Not only look out for them but begin to apply too! There are SO many opportunities out there just waiting for someone to reach out and take the first step.
This summer I plan to develop my ‘green thumb’! There are so many benefits to gardening and farming, including taking ownership of your food, and knowing where it comes from, stress relief, vitamin D, etc. You can start your own garden with simple plants like mint, tomatoes, or lettuce. You can also choose to get a full on farm experience by volunteering or working on a farm! There are many opportunities for this, include practicums that count as school credit, or WWOOFing (linked). If you’re spending time outdoors, just be careful not to get sunburnt!
These just provide a glimpse into my summer to do list, but take them into consideration. Create your own summer bucket lists and share them to inspire others to do the same! Have a great summer!