10 Things to Do If You Don’t Have Summer Plans

By Vivian El-Salawy on May 2, 2018

People start counting down their days until summer break as soon as winter break comes to an end. Some people have their summer plans figured out months in advance. Between everybody studying abroad, interning, and vacationing, summer becomes a popular favorite when it comes to seasons. However, summer can also be a little hard when you’re watching everybody around you do all kinds of awesome things, whether it be professional or travel, if you’re stuck with no plans at home. Having said that, here are 10 things to do if you don’t have summer plans:

Remodel your room 

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College is a weird time because most people have a room in their college town, whether it be in a dorm, an apartment, or a home, but they also have their room back home with their family (and sometimes, not even that). Regardless, your “space” in college is given to be a temporary one. A temporary “home” away from “home”. This either encourages people to personalize it and make it their own or discourages them from doing so because it’s viewed to be a waste of energy, time, and money. Your space shouldn’t have to feel that way and remodeling it also doesn’t have to be expensive. Take the summer to remodel your space, regardless of what “space” it is. Even if your “space” is the inside of your car, or an outside space. Look for cool ideas online – there might even by some DIY projects that would take up a good amount of time and only use a little bit of your budget. This sounds like a chore, but coming back into the fall semester, you just might end up feeling that much more confident or comfortable.

Get to know your national parks

The United States has sixty protected areas that are known as national parks, and if you haven’t been to one yet, you’re really missing out. In fact, even if you’ve been to several, you’re still missing out. Admission into these parks are often relatively affordable, and if you plan on going to several over the summer (or even within the year) there are some pretty good deals that you can snag, maybe even consider getting an annual pass! Whether they’re near or far, most of these parks stretch for miles and miles. Sometimes, it would take months just to really go through a good chunk of them. Take the summer to really get to know a national park you might have had your eye on, but never got to visit – or make a bucket list of various national parks you want to check out. You’d be surprised over the diversity of wildlife that exists in our country alone – it’ll really blow your mind.

Adventure in your hometown 

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Some people feel sick just by thinking about returning to their hometown. Thoughts include: “there’s nothing to do there”, “I know it like the back of my hand”, and “I don’t want to run into people from high school”. You are not alone. However, you more than likely have notexperienced everything that there is to experience in your hometown. Have you really tried every local restaurant that there is – even the hole-in-the-ground ones? Have you dabbled in the realm of local art or local music – even local sporting events or recreational venues? Have you gone to all the weird skateparks, playgrounds, ponds or lakes, trails, and so on? Or those cute little local shops that double as people’s homes? If not, really do your research and learn a little more about your community. There are many ways for you to adventure right outside your front door.

Learn a new skill

Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to play an instrument, or how to make a mean dessert. Maybe someone has given you a really cute craft – like a friendship bracelet or a piece of pottery, and you’ve wanted to give one back. The summer is the perfect time to pick up a new skill or hobby because you have plenty of time to practice and perfect. In fact, you don’t even have to perfect, it’s all about enjoyment. If there’s nothing new that you’re interested in learning, just improve an already learned skill of yours! Get better at something you haven’t felt fully comfortable about. Learn more about something that is a passion of yours. Take it to the next level, but only if you want to!

Cross something off of your bucket list

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Everybody at least has a mental bucket list that they keep in the back of their minds at all times, whether they realize it or not. That slightly weird comparative thing that we do when we see someone doing something awesome on Facebook, where we think “ugh, I’ve always wanted to do that” – that. Check some things off of your bucket list. Go somewhere you haven’t been before, try something you haven’t done before! Whether it’s a recipe, an activity, talking to somebody you’ve always wanted to talk to. Step out of your comfort zone – now’s the time to do it!

Do something for somebody else

There is never a bad time to volunteer. In fact, people usually volunteer during the fall and spring semesters – to earn hours for a scholarship or a volunteer club, maybe to boost the way their transcript looks. However, the thing is that volunteering is serving. You should want to volunteer, regardless of what time of year it is and who you are doing it with. If you have some spare time this summer and you want to make a difference, serve the community! Volunteer somewhere local or do something abroad! If neither interest you, try and start a project of your own or do some tiny, kind deeds to people around you. Ask your neighbor if there’s anything you could help them with this summer, help your friends move out of their dorms/apartments/houses, or tutor students that had trouble passing a class this past semester.

Take a road trip

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Road trips will always be recommended as a cheap way to have the adventure of a lifetime. While driving for hours at a time can be hard on your eyes and your brain, so many memories are built from the delirious hours spent in the car – much less at all of the stops along the way. By the time you get to your final destination (if you have a final destination), the ride home will be just as exciting because you’ll have so many cool places to stop at on the way back and coming home will feel great again. Taking a road trip is a great way to take a trip idea and stretch it out to make it an even greater adventure than you imagined it being.

Go back to summer camp

So many people grew up going to summer camps as kids. There’s something about the nostalgia of it that captures people for nearly their entire lives. While you may be too old to go back to a summer camp as a camper (which, by the way, you may not be depending on the camp), there are ways to stay involved! Did you ever consider being a camp counselor? It’s a great way to “go back to summer camp”, work with some awesome kids/teenagers, and get to meet all kinds of new people your age as well. If you haven’t been to a summer camp before and have always felt as though you’ve missed out, guess what – summer camps are likely still interested in you too! Many camps are desperate to fill counselor spots for various age groups. If you’ve worked with kids before, you probably have a solid shot! It’s not too late to have the summer camp experience.

Learn more about yourself

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College is known to be a time of “getting to know yourself”. As true as that may be, some people leave college not knowing who they are at all, maybe even feeling more confused than when they came in, in the first place. Summer is a great time to really do some introspective reflecting. Think about how this previous year in school went, but don’t let it define you. Think outside of academics or extracurriculars, and what you believe makes you, “you”. Try and discover new things about yourself. What new things do you like or dislike, and why? Always ask yourself why and try to hesitate with the response of “just because”. This sounds weird, but it just might help you in so many different ways this upcoming academic year.

Do nothing

Yes, you read that right. You could do nothing. Some people really burn themselves out throughout the school year, and they really need a gap of time to do absolutely nothing, and that’s okay. It’s called a summer breakfor a reason. People often underestimate the power of doing nothing for just a little bit. Our brains handle far more than they have been made to handle even on a daily basis, and that can really tear people apart. This summer, if you want to do nothing – maybe catch up on television shows, get some sleep, relax, and be to yourself – why not. You know what is best for yourself and your development, and sometimes that means doing nothingfor just a little while.

Vivian El-Salawy is a graduate of Florida State University with a B.A. in Editing, Writing, and Media with minors in Slavic (Russian) Studies and Communications. Alongside writing for Uloop News, WVFS Tallahassee 89.7 FM, and editing for the Good Life Community magazine, she is heavily involved with a Tau Beta Sigma, a national honorary sorority that promotes women in the band profession.

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