College Summer Tips
You don’t have an internship; somehow your skill-list of “Swag” failed to win over any potential employers. Maybe you picked up a small part-time job for some money and to kill some time, but other than that, you have three months to relax. And relaxing is a good thing. It’s hard to come by sometimes between class, homework, drinking, adventures, hamburgers, and exams. But now you have all this free time to unwind! Great, right?
But there’s a problem. You no longer have stuff to relax from. The crucial work-play balance has now been tilted strictly in the play balance. And if you can’t find ways to keep that balance good, you’re going to be sick of yourself and of summer, when, done right, it’s the most magical season.
Here are some basic summer tips for the unplanned person.
Don’t have Paper-Plans
You can’t just say you’re going to do something because it sounds good. It may get people supportive, it may garner applause (you’re ending war!?) but at the end of the day, if it’s not you, it won’t get done. And paper-plans are worse than no plans at all, because while the same amount of things will get done (namely, none) you’ll feel guilty. You’ll be nagged. Why aren’t you stopping war? Why didn’t you cure the common cold? You’ll start making excuses. You’ll be unproductive and miserable. Don’t overshoot your plans.
Anything you said you were going to do? Now is the time to do it. Read something. Anything,a book you ignored, watch a movie you were going to see. You know what? Watch The Wire this summer. Write that down, I’m serious; that’s a brilliant idea. Do it.
See, now no one is going to force you do to stuff. No one is around to grade your summer and it’s easy to fall into a rut. You’re unwinding, sure. But it’s really tough to get wound back up. So do something, anything, to keep momentum. That way you can enjoy the down time and have enough energy to keep doing good things besides.
Pretend this summer is a zombie apocalypse, and the biggest fear you have is turning into a zombie…a figurative one! (Trust me; I’m an English major.) Other people are what you need; someone to get pizza with, someone who knows someone whose throwing a party. Someone who won’t let you nap twice in the same day.
Presumably, you already have friends. From high-school and college, even life-long friends made at summer-camp, if you’re that kind of guy. Check with them. See what they’re doing and where they’ll be. Many of them will have lazy gaps to join you in laziness; some may be around locally and free. And even those friends interning in major cities, dotting the country in the sorts of internships you didn’t get? They need to host a friend some weekend to show the city, right?
Keep tabs on people and activities follow.
Any place. Go. Do you live in a state near other states? Yes you do. If you don’t, your state is big enough to explore. Explore it. Find some new spots you like, see some different sites. Studies have shown a change of place can alter a mood and a mindset
Have One Accomplishment
Someone’s going to ask you what you did this summer. And you’re going to need a better answer then “stuff.”
Fortunately, “stuff and X” is a fair answer. And that variable is up to you. Learn to cook. Write a novel, play an instrument. Join a gang and lead them to success in the big softball game against the rival gang (that’s how gangs work, right?) It doesn’t matter Get something going on to tell people and to focus your energy on. That way all the other small stuff you do- the trips and adventures and concerts- won’t just be your entire summer. You’ll have them along with one or two real accomplishments.
Oh, and watch The Wire, too. If you can’t find time to watch T.V. this summer, you’re summering wrong.