Ready, set, summer! *Cue the typical “school’s out for the summer” music.*

Whether you’ve been out for a few weeks already (like me) or you’re just now starting to think about summer break, you’ll soon enough find yourself with little to do and a boring summer awaiting you if you haven’t prepared for it.

Maybe you have an internship, a summer job or you’re taking a trip, but for those with empty schedules, summer can be painfully boring and slow before August rolls back around and school starts up again.

This list of things to do during your summer break is for those of you (read: us) that didn’t manage to land a dream internship or job and we have little to do for the next three or so months. Be sure to share any other ideas you have or things you plan on doing that aren’t covered here in the comments, maybe your plans can inspire someone else!

Practice Self-Care

You’re just coming off of a week (or more) of grueling final exams, presentations and projects. More than that, you’re coming out of what once seemed to be a never-ending semester.

Take some time now to take care of yourself, relax and enjoy the time you have that isn’t full of responsibilities, due dates and meeting reminders. I love that the only thing on my “schedule” many days this past month has been a new episode of The Big Bang Theory or History’s debut of The World Wars. That doesn’t happen any other time and it won’t last long, so enjoy it.

Self-care is important for everyone, it’s good for your stress level and it is even important during the school year. But that doesn’t always happen for many students, so now is the time to get caught up.

Start a Personal Project

Don’t sit there and twiddle your thumbs all summer long, do something productive with your time (and maybe even make some money out of it). Start up a blog and write about whatever it is you care about or take the time to learn something new that doesn’t necessarily fit in with your school work.

There are plenty of ways to learn about starting up something new online, the Internet is already full of startup projects and there’s no reason you can’t join them with your own creation!

Make Some Money

I didn’t say “get a job” because that’s not the goal. There aren’t likely many left now that the school year is officially over. Those types of jobs and internships fill up fast, and you have to start reaching out and pursuing them quickly. But you can still get an ordinary job that will put some extra money in your pocket!

You can only work so many hours during the school year when you’re taking classes, since you need time to study and actually go to class, but now you have all the time you need to earn a little cash.

Start Preparing for Next School Year

If all else fails, you can always order your books for the next school year and start reading them, getting into the content and have that much less to do when your classes actually start. Or, if you’re involved at all on campus, start preparing for the next year in those organizations.

Do what you can while you have the time because you won’t have that time in a few months! This is exactly what I’ve been doing (the latter) and it’s incredibly helpful to know that I’ve already got several things done before the summer is even half over.

Do What You Love

Being a full-time student has a way of taking you away from what you love, even if you are majoring in it. Even English majors who love to read don’t get to read what they want when they’re in classes. Take this time, in this instance, to read something for fun. Whatever it is that you like to do, get out (or stay in) and do it!

The underlying theme for your summer should be to take a break from school for part of the time, but also making use of your extra free time. You don’t want to let your brain completely rot and forget everything you just learned, but you also don’t want to burnout when it isn’t necessary at all.

Enjoy your summer!