Activities, College

What every college student needs to do this summer + freebie

It’s that time of year — school is wrapping up, the sun is out, friends are back in town, and finally, college girls have free time again! The summer is a great time to get some R&R, but it’s also an important time to accomplish things that are harder or impossible during the school year. Based on my personal experiences and the advice of my friends, here’s a list of the top things to do to maximize your summer. Make sure to share with any freshman friends who are still figuring this college thing out. Also, check below for a fun little freebie just for you!

Focus on fitness

If you’re like me, you’re sick of seeing unattainable beach body photos on Pinterest, and reading the workouts that accompany them, which either seem unbelievably difficult or so ridiculously easy that they can’t possibly be the model’s actual routine. But swimsuit goals aside, the summer is a key time to focus on your physical wellbeing. It’s easy to get fresh fruits and veggies locally in most places, it’s warm enough to get lots of vitamin D compliments of the sun, and you should have some extra time to go jogging, hit the gym, or play warm weather sports like tennis. Sure, you want to sleep in and veg out, and after a school year, you’ve earned it, but once the grind gets going again in the fall, you’ll be thankful that you took the time to make sure your body is feeling its best over the summer. Getting into fitness classes or sports can also be a great way to spend time catching up with the friends and family you’ve been away from during the school year.

Ticket to {read}

Maybe you love to read, maybe not so much. If you’re an avid bookworm, this should be an easy sell, but even if you’re not, reading at least a good book or two over the summer is a great idea. I’d suggest something unrelated to your major (your brain needs a break!), but constructive. A classic novel, a how-to on something you’ve always wanted to try, a historical biography, an inspiring faith-related book — the possibilities are endless! Plus, reading is way more fun in a hammock at the beach than in a stuffy dorm. Stuck in your quest for reading material? Look no further than my giveaway of Being a Christian, a great light summer read for someone in any stage of their faith journey. Plus, if you’re doing lots of reading on the beach, you’ll need some bookmarks. Scroll down to the end of this post to download some adorable printable bookmarks I created just for you, which feature girl-focused and encouraging Bible verses to give you a boost every time you open or close your book (these would also make a great insert if you’re giving your mom a book for Mother’s Day by any chance.)

The purge

So you’re finally home for the summer, you’ve hauled the last box of textbooks into your room, and dumped the last load of laundry into the washer. But don’t stop there — take some time to clean out your room, and get rid of things you no longer need. Take clothes that don’t fit your body or your style anymore to Goodwill, toss those notebooks dating back to 9th grade, consider whether you really need all of your childhood stuffed animals anymore (and if you do, no judgement, my stuffed elephant Oliver is hanging out with me right now). Stuff somehow seems to multiply while you’re away, and all that stuff you bought for your dorm has to go somewhere over the summer. Plus, when you graduate, do you want to have to deal with everything you’ve ever owned while you’re hunting for your first real job and trying to find an apartment you can afford and perhaps start paying off your loans? No, no you do not. That being said, don’t get rid of stuff just to get rid of it — you’ll be outfitting a place of your own before too long, and you might need some of that stuff down the road.

Practice some self-care

Alright, I’ll take a break from all the hard suggestions for a minute and recommend some summertime self-care. Sure, there’s a lot to do, but life is always that way, and the summer is the most logical time for college gals to slow down, sit back, grab some green tea, and take good care of themselves. Should you spend your whole summer at the spa? Probably not, but definitely make time at least most days to do something you find relaxing and enjoyable, even if it’s just a 10-minute clay mask or a few yoga poses. Check out my list of ideas here, including many super quick and inexpensive options for those strapped for cash and time.You don’t want to go back into the next school year all worn out from your summer job and classes, and just a couple hours here and there of intentional self-care can make all the difference to your state of mind.

Pull out that planner

I don’t know about you, but my planner is my constant companion. Not so much this year, since I’m working full-time and my summer isn’t too different from my fall, but ordinarily I’ve discarded my loyal planner for a couple months of blissful unscheduled freedom each summer. But I always take an hour here and there to sit down and make sure my plans are in order for whatever is coming after the summer, be it work, or school or whatever. Pulling together book lists and comparing prices, making moving checklists, roughing out a schedule, etc. pay dividends when done in advance to save the stress of last-minute scrambling. I try not to spend too much time thinking about school during those precious vacation weeks, but it’s also important to be prepared, check email regularly, and make are the plan is laid out well in advance.


Invest in your friends and family

This may seem like a no-brainer, but seriously, take some time over the summer to really invest in the relationships that are important to you. The summer is an especially great time to reconnect with younger siblings who are also out of school. This summer is the last one that I’ll be spending at home, so my little sister (who is graduating high school this month) and I are doing all kinds of extra fun stuff together. Nothing extravagant, but a backpacking weekend here, a day at the lake there. We’re really making a point of not taking time together for granted. Obviously you can only spend so much time with each of your friends, but here’s what I like to do: at the beginning of the summer, I make a list of everyone I haven’t caught up with in a while, and try to connect with them over the summer. I’ve even reached out to people that I used to be close to and haven’t seen in months or even a year and had a great time — the summer is a great time to make new friends and reconnect with old ones. It’s also an especially good time to show old mom ‘n’ dad some appreciation for everything they’ve done for you over the years, since you’re likely back under the same roof for at least part of the summer.

Spend time on your spirituality this summer

Last and certainly not least, the summer can be one of the best times to do a little rededication to God. Many people, myself included, feel closest to God while they’re in nature, and the summer offers many opportunities to be just that. A less hectic schedule can also allow more time for prayer, study and reflection. (Need a good study Bible? I’ve got a review of the perfect one for any college student!) Obviously, we should be taking time for God at every time in life. But if you’re a flawed human like me, you’re likely struggling to find the time often as not during the school year, with the frantic pace of university life. The summer often offers a more relaxed schedule that can allow you to reaffirm your commitment to giving your time back to God, and help you establish good habits to follow you into the next semester and beyond.


Adorable + inspirational printable bookmarks download

To download these super-cute bookmarks, you need to access my freebie library. Simply subscribe to my blog, and you’ll receive an email with a link to my freebie library, and the password. Thanks as always for reading!

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