The scripted conversation sounds the same every August: how was your summer? Prompting a shoulder-shrug accompanied by one of several regretful responses like, “Too short,” or “I didn’t get to do nearly as many things as I wanted to do,” or even “Oh, I meant to see if you wanted to hang out, but I got so busy with…”
The infamous End of Summer is hopefully at the bottom of your radar right now, but this limitless Beginning of Summer is the perfect time to remember that unfulfilled-summer feeling and address how to avoid it from the start.
Here are some tips on how to make the most of your summer:
CREATE A SUMMER “ANTI-BUCKET LIST”
Everyone makes a list of what they want to do over the summer, but why not go deeper and make a list of things NOT to do? Try replacing some bad habits with a healthier lifestyle, for example, cutting out the gossip when you meet up with old friends, or turning your phone off after 9 p.m. Or, if you’re anything like me, you’ll benefit from limiting your latest Netflix binge to one or two episodes a day because, well, if I’m not careful I’ll accomplish nothing this summer aside from befriending Lorelai and Rory Gilmore.
LEARN TO SAVE CREATIVELY
Sure, with your summer job you’ll probably make enough money for those lunches with old friends and treasured iced coffees, so treat yo’self! But don’t let your paycheck dictate which fun things you can and can’t do this summer.
I could simply say, “There’s an app for that” but scrolling through the selection of apps claiming to know what’s best for your money can be overwhelming. Fear not! This article from The Penny Hoarder explains and compares different spending/saving apps. Or, if you’re not app-savvy, the Lala has some simple, creative advice on day-to-day saving and spending.
CARVE OUT DAILY CHILL TIME
Summer is prime time to conquer personal goals or projects you didn’t have time for during the schoolyear. But let’s be honest, summer is beloved for its abundance of time to relax, recharge, and reflect. After the stress of finals and internship hunting, remember to schedule into your system the chill time it deserves! Make time every day to read, go for a walk, or sit out in the sun.
“STUDY ABROAD” IN YOUR HOMETOWN
Studying abroad or interning in a foreign city?
If so, lucky you. If not, welcome to the club.
But a summer in your hometown doesn’t mean you don’t have a city at your fingertips! Treat this as your opportunity to explore your hometown and all of its unseen sights or new restaurants you haven’t tried. Discover the beauty of where you are with the curious perspective of a tourist. (Check out this Lala article with additional inspiration for exciting, creative hometown adventures!)
REMEMBER TO ENJOY THE MOMENT
How many times have you gone to a concert or a festival and ended up watching most (if not all) of the event through your phone screen? We get so caught up in capturing the memories, that we forget to live in the moment. Let some moments go un-snap-storied and watch with your own eyes. As exciting as it is to record and post the moments you’ll want to cherish later and share with your friends, savor the actual moment. Not the smaller pixelated version.
Living in the moment is key to making the most of, not just summer, but any period of time in your life. Enjoy summer while it lasts, and as fall nears, remember all that you have to look forward to in a new season instead of starting the schoolyear with even an ounce of regret.
That way, when the inevitable how was your summer? comes along, you just might answer with a smile and say, “It couldn’t have been better.”