How to have a fun and productive summer

Sun shines over Butler University. Collegian file photo

CARL NELSON | OPINION COLUMNIST | canelso1@butler.edu

Summer is about a month away. So, if you are like me and do not really have a plan yet, here are a few things to consider doing to make the most out of your summer.

Put In Work:

Obviously working is the go-to option for most students during the summer. If you get an internship, take it, even if it is unpaid. The experience you will gain is crucial for finding jobs after college and will do more for you than a few paychecks will.

Having said that, if the internship thing does not work out, go stack that cash. Get a job. Whether that is delivering pizzas or mulching parks for the park district, it is best to put in some hours. Nothing feels better than getting a nice paycheck for a long few weeks of work, and that will feel even better when you come back in the fall and are able to make those inevitable impulse purchases.

You Time:

The summer should be a time for you to relax, where you can take some time to focus on yourself.

Maybe it is starting to hit the gym to work out, or working on that hobby you enjoy doing, or maybe you get into something that you have always wanted to do. This can mean something completely different for everyone. So, just do what makes you happy.

I definitely want to read some good books this summer. That is something I have never really been into, mainly because of the constant stream of assigned readings throughout the school year. So, if you have any suggestions, let me know, I am open to just about everything.

The Stereotypical Summer:

There is nothing wrong with having a summer filled with vacations, music festivals and Instagram-friendly attractions. I have had many of these summers and have had a great time doing so.

Getting a good tan is always nice and tells people you did not spend your entire summer in the basement watching Netflix — not that there is anything wrong with that, but vitamin D is important. But seriously, there is nothing better than going on a week-long vacation where you only have to worry about relaxing.

If vacations are not in the forcast, go to a music festival somewhere. Lollapalooza is an amazing music festival in Chicago, and the past two years I have gone and it was by far the best four days of those summers. It is relatively expensive and tickets are now somewhat up-charged, but if you can afford to go, do it. There are also a bunch of smaller music festivals around the country, some of which are more genre specific. Do some digging and I am sure you could find something you could enjoy for a fair price.

If you do not want to empty your bank account, explore the city or other town near you and find something cool or different. Sometimes spontaneous trips are the best trips and end up becoming something way better than you would have thought. There is always something to do. Sometimes you just gotta be creative.

Reconnect at Home:

Another big part of the summer is seeing friends from your hometown. The summer is a great time to get back together with these friends and catch up. Life is starting to get busy and you may not have many more opportunities to see some of these people as often as we do now. Take advantage of that.

Whether you plan on seeing your best friend that you have not seen in 6 months, or want to rekindle a relationship with someone that you may have grown apart from while being at school, take the time to reconnect, and value those important people in your life.

Visit Your Dawgs:

Many people at Butler live within driving distance, meaning many of us are in driving distance of each other when we are at home. If you are missing your Butler buddies, plan a trip or surprise someone. I am definitely going to try and make a trip out to see some of my friends. Whether you make a quick pit stop before going on a family vacation, or plan a short vacation with them, catching up with your best friends from school is always a good time.

Hit The Books:

On top of working you could also hit the books a bit during the summer. Whether you need to catch up or just want to get ahead, taking an online course or taking one at a local college is never a bad call. This is a fantastic way to stay productive and though it may suck, remind yourself you are avoiding having to take a semester long course.

Also, come August, you will be much more prepared to jump back into studying compared to many of your fellow classmates, including myself, who try and do everything they can to avoid even thinking about school work over the summer.

The break is a great time to focus on yourself. As fun as it is to hang around all summer and neglect as many of your obligations as possible, it is important to realize that this is three months of free time. So, do not waste it all away.

Take some time to look at where you are at now, and think about where you want to be next year, or even after graduation, and consider what you need to do to get yourself in that position.

Enjoy your summer, but do everything you can to put yourself in a better position than when you left, and come back in August ready to make the most of the new school year.

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