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Summer Involvement: What to do with all that time off?



Ah that summertime freedom. No exams to study for, papers to write, or presentations to worry about. While I am sure you have a summer job, there is still plenty of time left to get out there and try new things. It doesn’t matter how adventurous you are, but believe me when I say that pushing your comfort zone is one of the best ways you can grow as an individual.

While it might require the least amount of effort to catch up on your latest Netflix series, this is clearly not best way to stimulate the brain. You will feel better both physically and mentally if you challenge yourself to be more proactive.

Where to start?

One method that has always helped me stick to my goals is making lists. Now this does not have to be a homework assignment, no think of this instead as your “ultimate summer bucket list”. Now doesn’t that sound more appealing?

Start your list by thinking about some ideas you have always want to do, but life got in the way. Maybe you’ve been wanting to learn how to play the guitar, or travel to a different city? Why not make the time for that now?  After all, life is too short to not take advantage of the moments where you have the freedom to complete some of these aspirations.

Be wild.

Spend some time outside and enjoy nature. Check out hiking trails near you, or even consider a road trip and go camping somewhere. If wildlife isn’t your thing, you can still find plenty of activities to do outside, so you won’t be a complete homebody. What about going to a local baseball game? Or seeing an outdoor concert or festival?

Be active.

Try water sports. What better way to cool off than to splash in the water? Have you ever been paddle boarding? What about kayaking?

Still time to spare, why not get a head start on your career ambitions? Now that you have more time on your hands, you might want to take the opportunity to job shadow someone in the field you are interested in. Witnessing this job in action might make you realize that the responsibilities weren’t what you expected. This is something better to find out sooner rather than later.

There are plenty of other ways you can be productive this summer. What about volunteering? This is a great way to get involved in the community and network with professionals. Are you an English major? Try starting a blog about something you are passionate about, and if that seems like too much effort then find one already written and do some reading! A little bit of blog reading will challenge your mind more than checking your social media newsfeed.

Itching for more ideas?


Nicole Santarsiero is  a team member at College Success Arizona.  Nicole has a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Religious Studies from Stonehill College in Massachusetts, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), from the University of Massachusetts.

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