The School Year is Over, Now What?

Backpack

The end of the school year means flying or driving back to your hometown for a few months of relative downtime. After exams, packing, storage and planning for upcoming semesters, summer break offers a sweet relief. Students have only a short time until the inevitable return to college life.

Many people have plans over the summer. Some work at a full or part-time job to earn some money. Others have elaborate and detailed plans to travel across the country with their friends. Family vacations are also popular during the summer months.

However, there is a vast majority who do not have distinct plans for their break. After the speedy highway of spring semester, you race faster and faster only to get off at the exit and have nowhere to go. So, the question becomes: now what should you do?

With no classes, no job, no vacation plans, the world is your oyster. However, sometimes too much freedom and uncertainty leaves you sitting alone and shrugging your shoulders.

Here are some ideas on how to spend your summer without emptying a wallet that’s not getting filled anytime soon.

Organize those photos that are just sitting on your computer taking up valuable space, but aren’t being looked at or appreciated.

Separate those summer and winter clothes that are piled up in your room. You know that you’re not going wear those big sweaters until you go back to Boston.

Read those books that you told yourself you’d finish when you had the time. You kept procrastinating saying, “I’ll have time in the summer” Well, it’s summer.

Catch up on those shows your friends still can’t believe you haven’t watched yet.

Just because you don’t have a job, doesn’t mean you’re not working. Start a blog or contribute to Atlas Magazine’s. Work on that script, screenplay or novel. Posting on your Twitter or Tumblr doesn’t count.

Catch up with some hometown friends who, let’s be honest, you haven’t talked to since winter break (or before that).

Get those new songs on your iPod. Because when was the last time you synced your phone to your computer?

See that new movie that came out that everyone is talking about. Are you really going to wait until it comes out on DVD?

Summer cleaning, anyone? Cleaning, organizing and sanitizing may seem like a job for Cinderella pre-ball, but if you crank up the tunes and do some dusting, you’ll feel good, make your space look pretty and make your mother happy.

You realize that at home, food is not made ready like in Dining Halls or cafes. Since you don’t want to look like you can’t take care of yourself, try cooking some food. Try some new recipes. Even better: you could bake some cookies and eat those!

Get some exercise. Try to lose that college weight over the summer. Because you have your mother’s kitchen as a free café, it can be easy to eat whatever your stomach desires. After coming home from college and all of the fried food it has to offer, it is seriously tempting to eat all of mom’s homemade meals. However, this is also your opportunity to eat healthier and with more variety. Now that you don’t have classes and extracurriculars as excuses, you can schedule time to exercise.

When thinking about what to do this summer, a certain Disney theme song might come to mind: “There’s a hundred and four days of summer vacation and school comes along just to end it/ So the annual problem for our generation is finding a good way to spend it.”

Disney’s “Phineas and Ferb” cartoon follows two step-brothers on their quest to do something new and exciting every day during vacation. This pursuit continues through college. We may not be building roller coasters or performing one-hit wonder hits like our friends, Phineas and Ferb, but there is still lots to be done.

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