When I was in middle school, I used to be so excited for the last bell to ring and release us into summer break. Three months of freedom tasted so great. That is, until the excitement wore off, and I was left twiddling my thumbs in my hot, Miami living room.

Fast forward several years later and here many of us are, either in high school or college, gearing up for our summer break. Sadly, not much changes when you get older—summer is exciting for the first few weeks, then it wears off.

To stop that from happening, here are a few tips to keep all of us active, engaged and not completely in a slump during the summer break.

1. Take a Class

This is kind of counter-intuitive, right? You mean, I should be excited to get out of class just so I can take another? Well, not quite.
Some colleges require students to take summer classes at least one summer semester in their entire college career. If the finances are there, this summer might be the time to get that out of the way.
Or, another option could be to take a class in something that feeds your interest. Your local library might offer digital media courses or your local rec center might offer courses in the arts. There are also countless websites that offer free learning opportunities. Start searching for classes that might be of interest to you.

2. Set a Few Goals

The summer is a great opportunity to get to the things you couldn’t get to during the academic year. Maybe you’ve always wanted to have a solid workout routine, but school always got in the way. Or maybe you wanted to do more reading, but you just didn’t have the time. If school is no longer a factor for you, then use that extra time to reach for something you couldn’t quite get to during the year.

3. Join/Start an Organization

If there’s an issue or hobby that you’re passionate about, then consider joining an online or local organization. If there isn’t one, then there’s always the option to start one. This gives you the chance to meet some people who have the same interests as you, and it also allows you to cultivate the hobby/interest that you have.

4. Earn Some Money

If you’re not taking classes during the summer, one of the best things you can do is save some cash. Requesting more hours at work so you can increase your savings account is a good way to go. If you don’t have a job, be on the hunt for one. If that’s not your style, then make your own job. Start selling some items, or start a blog. Nowadays, the options are pretty limitless.

5. Gain Professional Experience

If you’re in college, you’re there for a reason, right? If you haven’t already, apply to some internships in the field that you want to get into to see if it’s actually what you want to do. You could also volunteer in your field or request to shadow someone. While you’re at it, you could also upgrade your resume to make sure it’s at its best. Even though it’s summer break, colleges still offer resume help, interview training and many other services to students. Now might be the perfect time to take advantage of it.

6. Travel

The Bahamas, Brazil, Morocco, Paris…there are so many places a lot of us haven’t been. Three months of no school makes this one of the best times to travel. One of the biggest hurdles to travelling is the cost. Many schools offer study abroad programs, and churches have opportunities for their members to travel to different countries on mission trips, which limits the cost of travelling if you were doing it on your own. See if there’s anything out there that will allow you to get out of your country’s, state’s, or city’s borders to broaden your experience.

How do you stay productive during the summer?


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