Do you ever catch yourself wishing for the end of the semester, only to have it come and you just move on to the next thing without even taking a moment to enjoy it? Play and rest are important parts of life, even though many of us don’t take much time for them. Today, I bring you some suggestions for what to do during summer break so you can both have fun and relax!
Rest up, buttercup!
Nothing is more deserved than a break after an intense year, right? Take the opportunity to adjust your sleep schedule and get the rest you need. It’s also important to mentally rest, reducing your screen time and opting for other activities that bring you joy. After relaxing, you’ll be more motivated for the next semester. So don’t feel bad for pausing; allow yourself to simply be. Afterall, we’re human beings, not human doings!
What? Didn’t you just tell us to rest?! I know, I know. Yes– take time for intentional relaxation; however, it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead! Like all good things, vacation comes to an end and the semester comes back to full swing. For this return to be smooth, I recommend you set aside time to prepare for your school year.
Have a moment for reflection; think about the struggles you had last semester and make an adjustment plan. For example, if you ran out of cash, learn to manage your money and organize your budget; if you had trouble with public speaking, take classes to help you improve; if you became easily overwhelmed, find ways to hold a proper balance. Consider what you’ll do differently in the coming semester to achieve well-being.
Second, think about the present. Take the opportunity to take care of your health and make necessary appointments and exams. You may want to reorganize your space. And if you have a car, care for it by taking it to maintenance, cleaning, etc. Welcome to adulting!
Third, think about your next school year. Think about the activities and events you’re likely to have and plan accordingly. For example, if you know you’re going to have job interviews, it’s worth putting together one or two interview outfits.
Vacation is also a time to be with the people we love. So take advantage of this time to keep strong ties with your family and friends. If your family isn’t around, this is a great opportunity to catch up with them via video call! There’s also plenty of activities you could do with them (thank you, technology!), such as a virtual game night, stream movies/TV shows, an online cooking or craft session, and the list goes on depending on your interests! If you have friends who are staying in the summer with you, connect with them and make a “summer bucket list” with all the things you’d like to do together before the semester starts. Quality time and shared activities will hopefully deepen relationships, even those who are far away and on a screen. Enjoy your vacation by being present and making memories with your community!
Do something you like
Vacations are also about getting out of your study/work routine and doing something enjoyable and restful. Remember the “summer bucket list” just mentioned? Instead of a combined list with a friend, make one solely for you! It’s okay to be a little selfish 😉 You know your likes better than anyone else, so brainstorm away! But if you’re short of ideas, I’ve brought you some suggestions that might interest you:
- Get in the kitchen and prepare delicious recipes.
- Organize your house. I particularly enjoy this! It feels like I’m organizing my mind.
- Read books on your reading list.
- Watch movies. It’s a good way to unite friends, too!
- Listen to music and dance. My Latin blood wouldn’t forget this tip!
- Do hobbies. I personally love to crochet!
- Grow a garden. Even if it’s just some tomatoes!
- Exercise. Maybe your busy semester hindered you from exercising. Now’s your chance to get back! You can also participate in sports, like baseball, beach volleyball, tennis, kayaking, crew, and other recreational sports teams.
- Volunteer. It’s a rewarding way to spend your time. Consider volunteering at a local charity or organization you’re passionate about. In addition to serving, these volunteer hours will be good additions for your resume.
Enjoy the sunshine and boost your mood for a better mindset before returning to university. A great option for going outside is traveling, but I don’t know how much time or money you have to travel. So here are some time and budget-friendly suggestions:
- Enjoy nature. There are some tips on how to enjoy nature in the post Things to do in Spring. Go check it out!
- Take advantage of your city’s parks to take walks and observe nature. You can have picnics, too!
- Take advantage of city events. Some cities offer outdoor concerts, movie screenings, festivals, etc. It’s a cheap way to get outside.
- Camping. You can camp in your backyard, your friend’s backyard, or travel to different camping sites.
- Biking. All you need is a bike (and friends are cool, too!).
- Aquatic activities. You can go swimming, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, fishing…
Or throwing a bucket of water on your head!
- Tourist-ing. Become a tourist in your own city! I’m sure there are places you haven’t seen yet, so this is a great opportunity to get familiar.
- Spontaneous adventures. Explore new places in your city, state, or country. Go solo or gather some friends and head out on an adventure!
Learn something new
Take this time to learn something new. You can learn a new hobby, language, recipe or cooking technique, culture, craft, sport, exercise, dance, musical instrument… What new things would you like to learn?
Develop your professional area
For those who want to improve their professional skills and resume, summer break is a great time to focus on it. You can get a job (visa-allowing), make some money, and learn some skills like communication, organization, time management, and administration. These skills can also be acquired through an internship.
There are other suggestions, like taking a course, attending a professional development conference, polishing your resume and/or LinkedIn profile, and researching a topic of interest.
After all your hard work and dedication, summer break is well deserved. They’re made for rest, different routines, quality time with people, doing things we like and maybe learning something new, and also for reflection and planning.
My last tip is this: make the most of it and enjoy it in moderation! Don’t take things to extremes, such as hibernating for the whole vacation or working like a dog!
I’d like to know– what do you do on your vacation? Do you have any tips for other readers? Is there anything related to academic life that you’d like us to cover on the blog? Share with us in the comments below!
See you in the next post!