Summer: lauded as a time of glorious freedom, but for many it instead means a shift from the classroom to temporary employment. But just because most of your time is dedicated to minimum-wage labor, summer classes or family obligations, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have some great adventures. Whether you’re a summer camp cook, a retail salesperson or slaving through General Chemistry II (again), try out the activities below to make the most of your free time.
In most parts of the country, summer is the best time to be outside. Make the most of the warm weather by boating, hiking, camping, mountain climbing, visiting the beach or even tanning at your neighborhood park. If you’re not the athletic type, grab some friends (or younger family members) and have a picnic.
Some people are able to take cross-country, memory-rich road trips that span weeks or months. If you have the funds and the time for that kind of commitment, pick some fellow road warriors and go for it!
If you can’t pull a long road trip off, take a shorter one. Visit the coolest parts of the closest major city or tourist destination and ask friends and family members who they know that you can stay with. The break from your everyday environment is worth it.
Local tourist activities
On the same note, you should be able to find something of interest in your own city or along the closest interstate or railroad. Even if you live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, checking out the weird shop on Main street or the “treasures” of your local library can provide a few hours of entertainment.
For those with a lot of free time, picking up a regular volunteering gig for the summer offers many benefits. If you don’t have free time every week, you can also run a charity 5k or help out with an event. This will keep you connected to others, help a good cause and likely score you free food or a t-shirt.
Do you like cooking? Pottery? Softball? Whether you take a class at the rec center, start a summer team with the YMCA or enjoy your hobby of choice in your own home, summer is a great time to relax and hone your skills alone or with friends.
Some schools have summer reading lists. Some students have summer classes. Even if you don’t fall into either one of those groups, setting and achieving an academic goal will make it easier to transition back into school.
Besides summer classes and course readings, online courses, your local library and preparing for CLEP and DSST exams are all ways to learn something at your own pace and possibly pick up a few credit hours at the same time.
It can be tempting to stay inside and watch Netflix, but the best adventures are those that involve new and old friends. You can find a pub, go dancing, host a cocktail hour or just get a group together to play Trump Against Humanity.
Something you’ve always wanted to try
As long as that something isn’t snow related, summer could be the perfect time to try it out. Go white water kayaking, recreate the balloon-paint art project from The Princess Diaries or finally test all those recipes and crafts on your Pinterest boards.
Summer may not be three months of freedom from school, work and responsibilities, but it’s still a good time to have a good time. Try something new, get friends and family together and have an adventure!