Coming out of an intense finals week is considered a relief. No more papers, no more deadlines and so on. Surprisingly, it is the disappearance of all these tasks and obligations that prevents many students from fully enjoying their summer vacation. When structure in our lives disappears and we are left with open schedules and empty planners, it actually results in a whole lot of nothing, Netflix and Nutterbutters. How many times have you reached the end of a summer and thought "I didn't do a THING!" I am challenging you to do some brainstorming and have a fun, meaningful summer...one worth remembering!
Here are some ideas to consider...
1) Help Someone Who Needs You
Every town/city is full of people in need. You might help serve meals at a homeless shelter or become a volunteer visitor at an assisted living facility. You can find these opportunities through your city's website or often through local religious organizations.
2. Set A Health Goal
If you are like me, by the end of finals week you probably haven't seen the gym in a while. Now that you have this extra time, set a personal health goal! Look for fitness or sports clubs in your area. Many offer student discounts. If running interests you, Fleet Feet offers wonderful, affordable running groups for all ability levels. FF is located in most towns. Finally, if you don't feel like joining a group or club, visit Pinterest--->health, for some great ideas.
3. Learn a New Skill
We might think of summer as a time to shut off our brains, and we should all take a little time to do that, but this break is also an opportunity to explore interests outside of school. For example, if painting is something you've always wanted to try, Michael's craft store offers weekly painting lessons for a very affordable price. Most communities also have opportunities such as foreign language groups or meditation/discussion groups (e.g. Chico Dharma Center).
4. Go to New Place
Traveling makes us better, more open individuals. You don't need to travel to an expensive, tropical resort to get the benefits. Along the coast of California are beautiful little towns and beaches as well as many, many clean, highly-rated hostels. You can stay at these hostels for $25-30 each night. I personally recommend Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel which is located near Point Reyes. The hostel is on the edge of cliff and has a great hot tub that overlooks the ocean. Many travelers come through here and in a single night I had the opportunity to meet people from both Holland and Germany. Treat yourself to an enriching experience for a low cost.
These are just a few ideas for your summer! Make it fun and make it meaningful to yourself and to others!