Your time in college -- during the academic year, that is -- is, of course, filled with stressors like classes, papers, lab reports, and exams. It is also happily filled with the fun stuff, like friends, parties, going out, and a seemingly endless schedule of upcoming events and activities. During the summer, however, the social scene in your life can drastically decrease, especially if you're no longer on campus and spend your days at a job or internship. What's a college student to do?
50 Ways to Stay Entertained Over a College Summer
1. Read a new release book. It can be science fiction, general fiction, trashy romance, murder mystery, historical fiction -- but it doesn't matter. Grab the latest release and let your brain take a break.
2. Read a classic. Always hearing about a classic book one of your friends or family members loves? Been curious about a novel you never read in high school? Summer is the perfect chance to finally sit down and read it.
3. Buy a magazine you don't usually read. It can be intellectual, like The Economist, or ridiculous and fun, like People. But when's the last time you just let yourself sit, veg out, and read a magazine?
4. Get an audio book. Fair enough: you may read enough during the year to not want your nose in another book over the summer. Consider buying (or getting from the library) an audio book that you can listen to while working out or driving around.
5. Volunteer. Think of the last time you volunteered. Didn't you feel great afterward? No matter where you leave, there's undoubtedly places that could use your time, energy, and smarts.
6. Try a new form of exercise. Been curious about yoga, pilates, spinning, or something else? The summer is a great time to explore something new and see if it's a fit.
7. Join a community sports team. Most places have community sports team that play in the summer; they can range from competitive baseball to completely silly kickball leagues. See what's in your area and what you can join for the few months you're free.
8. Take a class at the gym. Summer can be a great time to get in shape. Your local gym probably has classes you can join that will help you exercise your body -- and relax your brain.
9. Join a community group. Treat yourself to something fun that also gets you out into the community, like a running or hiking club.
10. Try a new video game. Seriously, it's summer. What better time is there to grab a new game and play it without worrying about that paper you'd have to write if it were the school year?
11. Watch a movie marathon. You can rent a ton of your faves or just watch a themed-marathon on a TV network.
12. Spend a weekend seeing all the new releases. Grab a friend and see if you can see all the new releases in one weekend. With food in the theater, there's no reason why you can just spend all day there, seeing movie after movie!
13. Try a new idea: breakfast and a movie. Just wake up? Call a friend and meet at a local place that serves 24/7 breakfasts ASAP. Then amble over to the theater and enjoy whatever movie is next playing. Added bonus: breakfast is cheaper than dinner, and matinees are cheaper than the later shows.
14. Take a bus or a train somewhere new. Flying can be so cheap these days that folks sometimes forget about the bus or train. But sometimes the journey is half the fun, and you'll see new parts of the country you'd never see from the air.
15. Take a quick flight somewhere new. Since flights, especially last-minute deals, can be so cheap, why not hop a flight this weekend and see a friend?
16. Learn an instrument. You may have always had a desire to play the piano, learn the flute, or even play the drums. Why not learn now when you have the time and freedom to really put your heart into it?
17. Get a head start on your fall classes. Alright, this one may sound lame, but it can do wonders for your mental health to look over your syllabi and perhaps get a head start on the reading -- especially for a class you might be geeked out about.
18. Set up systems for success for the new year. Okay, this also sounds lame, but think about it: Did you struggle with time management? Being organized? Spending a little time now, while you have it, may save you a lot of time and frustration once school starts.
19. Take an online class. You won't have to commute, you can save some cash, and you might even get ahead on the credits you'll need to graduate.
20. Build a personal website. If you're going to be graduating next year, a personal website can be a great way to advertise yourself to future employers and show them all your mad skills. Make sure to keep it clean and professional.
21. Do something that challenges your fears. Terrified of skydiving? Bungee jumping? And yet ... do you secretly also want to try them? Grab a friend and conquer your fears.
22. Go camping. Camping during the school year can be a challenge, both because of your workload and because of the weather. Utilize all that summer has to offer for the great outdoors.
23. Take an art class. Learning to make potter or how to paint, for example, can be a great way to learn how to release your creative side.
24. Try a new kind of food or restaurant. Heard people talk about how delicious Peruvian food is, for example? Or have you always been secretly afraid to try sushi? Challenge yourself to try something new (to you).
25. Experiment in the kitchen/Learn to cook. During school, you probably don't have much time to learn how to cook; you just need food, fast. Use some of your summer free time to learn how to cook.