As summer sinks in, it’s easy (and tempting) to settle into the comfortable pattern of sleeping in until noon, binge watching Netflix, and staying up late switching between tabs on your phone. While the holidays are a well-deserved break, and you should certainly take ample time for self-care and relaxation, I encourage you to push yourself and take time to grow as a person. This means pursuing your interests, which will in turn help you find your passion. Here are 5 things you can do to be productive with your time this summer.
- Read! Do you remember loving to read as a kid, back when you were always itching for the latest installment of your favorite series to be taken off hold at the library? Eventually, you got older, and time fell short. Homework piled, responsibilities heightened, life got in the way, until suddenly, you haven’t read a book in months or even years. Reading is so important because it broadens our minds and perspectives. Here’s a list of must-read books to help you get started.
- Pick up a new skill or hobby. Is there always something you wanted to do but never had time for? If you don’t start now, you never will. Have you always wanted to learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube? Luckily, there is this convenient YouTube video to help you. Is there an idea for a novel character or exciting plot that’s been lingering in the back of your mind? Open up a document and start typing! If you can’t afford to take a music or art class, go online or ask someone you know to teach you. You’d be surprise how willing people are to help if you just ask!
- Sharpen up those life skills. Believe me, they will come in handy one day. The next time your parent or guardian cooks dinner, observe what they’re doing and then offer to wash the dishes. Pay attention to the amount and type of groceries being bought. Talk to people who seem happy with their job and ask them what they do and how they discovered their love for it. Try to get your driver’s license if you are able to and haven’t already.
- Travel. Airplane tickets are expensive, but bus tickets can cost less than eating out once. Take a day trip and explore hidden gems in and around your hometown. Take pictures but savor the way it looks in real life. Travelling is one of the best sources of inspiration and can definitely break up the monotony and pattern of everyday life.
- Continue learning. I’m not talking about learning in the traditional school sense, where you’re forced to memorize a bunch of facts about topics you have zero interest in. I mean falling into Wikipedia rabbit holes and digging into things that have always fascinated you. What are some classes you would love to take at school if they were offered? I can almost guarantee that there will be a treasure trove of information on those topics online. Do you have any totally random questions that pop up in the shower? Searching for the answer can lead to you falling in love with an entire field of research or literature.
It can be absolutely tempting to do nothing the whole summer, but it will only make going back to school harder. This summer, you should step outside of your comfort zone for a bit and explore things that genuinely interest you – who knows, you might even find your life’s calling!