How To Have A Productive Summer

Every year at around this time, the first and foremost question in my mind is: “What should I do this summer?” There’s SO MUCH to do… and yet I have so much laziness in me, too, which is why a little advance thought + planning is never a bad idea. Each summer has given me the opportunity to gradually become better at figuring out what tf I want to do with these few short months of freedom from school. So I decided to write up this post in case anyone needs some help!

Enjoy!

1. Make a bucket list

I’ve done this every summer for the past few years and it has been oh so rewarding each time! The beauty of a bucket list is that it can include anything, really – whatever your little adventurous heart desires. Silly or serious. “Binge-watch American Gods” belongs on there just as much as “start learning Spanish” does and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise can fuck right off, honestly.

Check out my bucket list tag if you need more inspiration!

2. Read, read, read 

What better time than the summer to catch up on all those books you didn’t have time for during the school year? You can make a serious dent in your TBR list just by curling up on a porch swing or inside a treehouse with a good book for a few hours a day.

Check out The Ultimate Teen Book Guide by Daniel Hahn or Nancy Pearl’s series of Book Lust guides if you’re not sure where to start!

3. Write or journal

The first session of Camp NaNoWriMo took place in April, unfortunately, but you could always attempt round #2 in July! Or find some writing how-to guides at the library and go from there. Join or start a writing group. Get a penpal. Buy yourself a cute notebook – or engage in some fun DIY to make a plain one cuter – and write down all your hopes and dreams and worries. Search out publications, either online or print, that you could write for.

Pick up a copy of 642 Things to Write About by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, if you’d like!

4. Start a blog or vlog

And if you abandon it at the end of the semester? So be it. I mean, ideally you would fall in love with the format and find a way to make time to continue this newfound hobby buuuut if not, people will understand. It’s a Summer Project™. A fling, if you will.

Read A Teen’s Guide to Creating Web Pages & Blogs by Benjamin and Peter Selfridge.

(It’s the book I turned to when I began blogging all those years ago, in 2010!)

5. Begin some kind of challenge + follow it through to its completion

Doesn’t necessarily have to be the ever-popular thirty-day challenge, but… I mean, they are popular for a reason. There are all sorts of themed challenges you could do: Seven-day photography challenge, bookish bingo, month-long flash fiction writing, thirty days of kindness. Or create your own! The sky’s the limit!

For this item, I can suggest no better place to start than Pinterest. Type “_____ challenge” and be amazed at what you find!

6. Explore your hometown or travel to nearby locations

I get it. Not all of us have lots of money, time, and/or access to transportation. But you can still make the most of your situation by exploring places close to home. Go for a hike at a local park. Have dinner at that restaurant that’s been around forever but that you’ve never been to. Sometimes just having someone else to do the exploring with makes all the difference.

Check out The Wander Society by Keri Smith for more ideas!

7. Teach yourself something new

You could always take a class… or you could learn a subject or skill all on your own! It’s what the library’s for, my dudes. You can find books there that will teach you just about anything.

Not putting a link here, either. Get your ass over to your local library and/or their website and search away.

8. Get a job (or volunteer)

I know, I know, this isn’t exactly fun, but… at the end of it you’ll have more money than you did before. That has to count for something, right? A job or volunteer position will fill your days faster than you know.

Browse VolunteerMatch.org or your local newspaper!

9. Prepare for the next school year

Now this could be fun or HELL, depending on your interests. The summer is a good time to get a head start on any reading lists you’ve already been given. You could also self-study a subject that you know will be difficult: By the time school starts up again, this will be your second time seeing the material, which should hopefully give you a leg up in class!

Here are some links you may find helpful:

And here’s a guide to starting a studyblr of your own, by emmastudies!

10. Clean your room

Every now and then, usually during either winter break or summer vacation, I like to spend two or three days deep-cleaning my room. It’s amazing how much stuff I accumulate even though I don’t spend very much time at home anymore! Take some time to go through EVERYTHING you own and decide what to keep, recycle, give away, or throw out. Particularly if you do still live at home, it helps you begin the new school year feeling refreshed since you have less clutter to deal with now.

Check out this basic cleaning infographic from Unfuck Your Habitat! (I recommend the rest of the site, too. Perfect for #adulting.)

-~-

Now go forth and have one hell of a wonderful + productive summer!

About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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One Response to How To Have A Productive Summer

  1. Shanti says:

    Oh I love this so much, Elizabeth! I have two and a half more weeks to this trimester an then I have like 6 weeks off (four weeks of study leave with one exam, and then two weeks after that) which will be fun (also sad because my parents are returning to India so I can’t go home and hang out with them, but at least I have my sister). Anyway I really really want to revise one of the novels I’ve written, and do lots of exciting cooking, and go tramping. Me, my sister, and two friends are gonna hang out for a week in the city where I live, which will hopefully provide lots of oppourtunities for local exploration too. I think making plans to do things with friend/family is an essential part of holidays too.

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