It’s almost here…your long-awaited summer vacation! Whether you plan to remain on campus or head back home, you’re ready for some downtime and a chance to chill in the sun. And no doubt you have earned some time to rest! But the next few months will go by faster than you can imagine. How can you be intentional with your time off so you’re able to experience the best of summer freedom, while still making your days count?

  • Gain New Experiences. College is a time of self-discovery.  What are some areas of interest you have yet to tap into? Do you have unanswered questions about potential career options? Take a risk and seek out a new type of summer job, or even an internship, in a field of work that peaks your interest. If this isn’t possible, arrange to job shadow someone for a day or two in a career-area you’re wondering about. You will gain unbelievable insights! Experiencing new volunteer opportunities can also be a great way to learn more about what brings life and makes you tick, so tread out into uncharted waters. The stretch will make you stronger.
  • Work Ahead. What’s the next thing looming on your “to do” list? Why not tackle it now? Are you still in high school? Go ahead and request letters of recommendation from your teachers. Apply for scholarships! Midway through college? Get a jump on reading for your fall classes. Take a summer class online or from your community college and get some credits out of the way! Nearing college graduation? Start writing your resume’ now. These tasks may sound unpleasant until you think of the time and stress it will inevitably save you down the road. Next semester may be way simpler because you spread the work out and alleviated pressure that would have built up later!
  • Save Money. If you’re able to live at home, take advantage of the chance to save money for a few months. With less on your plate, getting a job and saving money over the summer should be a no-brainer. Even if it doesn’t go to your tuition, your income now can help with basic living expenses come fall. Also, look for ways you can bring in some extra cash by selling stuff you don’t need or use anymore, including your used textbooks.
  • Focus Spiritually. Summer is a great time to slow down and take inventory of our soul. How are you doing, honestly? Where are some emotional “holes” that need patching up? What kind of growth would you like to see in your life before heading back to school? Seek out a counselor or mentor for some input on struggles you may be having or to help you set goals for the coming school year. Additionally, when was the last time you read something non-academic? Pick up a Christian classic or new devotional and dive into an area where you want to gain spiritual maturity. Above all, carve out time to be with Jesus in a meaningful way. There could never be a better use of your time!
  • Recharge, Rest, Play, Repeat! Do you realize that the concept of having summers “off” only lasts a few more years? Unless you plan to stay in the educational world, chances are you won’t have too many summers left for unstructured relaxation. Take advantage while it lasts! Prioritized family time. Reconnect with friends you have missed. Plan some adventures! Go exploring! As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air.” Seize the summer days and make the days count!