The arrival of another summer marks the beginning of frantic “bucket list” planning. We compose lists that must be completed in 3 months time, or the whole entire break will be deemed a “fail.” Even before the school year was over, all we could talk about was summer job plans, family vacations, and crazy nights that we hoped would take place.
I’ve been home on summer break for about two weeks now and have already made 10 summer bucket lists. 5 of them include stargazing, 3 include a picnic in the park, and just 1 includes approaching a complete stranger and trying to hold his or her hand.
We spend all of this time just planning what we’re going to do and then get upset when we’re barely able to check off one item on the list. (Sitting on the back porch counts as camping, right?) This summer, I propose a different list. We often forget to add the following to our summer bucket lists, but this summer, these items should be mandatory.
- Appreciate your body in a swimsuit
Another summer means another trip to Target for cheap bathing suits and even more time spent staring in the mirror, wondering why your body can’t look like a model’s. Look in the mirror in that new bathing suit and instead of feeling defeated or angry at yourself, feel confident. You are seriously beautiful and awesome.
- Give yourself time to relax
For approximately 8 months of the year, we run around with crazy schedules, looking like a chicken with its head cut off. Give. Yourself. A. Break. While it’s important to make some money, work your hardest at your internship, and even pass that dreaded summer class, make it a point to sit down, read a book, and eat a bowl of ice cream (or six). Your friends can wait one night. The summer is a time for us to rejuvenate. Watch that last season of Friends for goodness sake!
- Mend and maintain relationships
Returning home for the summer generally means coming back to good, old friends (and maybe some not so good friends). This summer, make it a point to reconnect with those who you may have lost touch with during the year, or to rebuild some bridges with those that you may have left on a sour note. Make these three months a time to remove grudges and bad feelings. It’s seriously not worth it.
- Remember your family
Your poor mother has been waiting for you to come home all school year, and if you don’t think she missed you, you’re wrong. Take a night in with your parents to catch up on those Jeopardy episodes that they DVR, go to the mall with your sister, or just make a simple phone call to your grandparents. Your family didn’t accept you back home to hang out with your friends or watch Netflix in your room alone the whole summer. They want you to hang out with them! (And do the laundry and clean your filthy room.)
- Try something new
A stereotypical bucket list item, but a good one to remember nonetheless. Pick up a new hobby, explore an unfamiliar place, and try a new adventure. Tradition is great, but it’s important to discover new things that you’ve never seen before. My new things for the summer – travel into the city, actually go camping (the backyard doesn’t count this time), and eat more frozen yogurt (that last one’s not new, but I think I should be doing more of it).
- Live in the moment
It’s easy to come home from a year away at school and want to lie around and be negative. You’re away from all of the new friends you’ve made, your old friends are stuck working, and a buffet-style dining hall is not few steps away anymore. When you are doing something fun, new, and exciting however, remember to live in the moment. Even if you’re just spending the day on the couch, or by the pool reading a book, stay positive. Life is far too short to be negative all the time. You can even get someone to take a really cute picture of you living in the moment and post it to Instagram. If that doesn’t get 100-plus likes, I don’t know what to tell you.
The transition from college to home life can be difficult, but with a summer bucket list like this one, it will be so simple. Make this summer one to remember, filled with new adventures, time for yourself, and positivity. At the end of these three short months, you’ll be rejuvenated and ready to return to school, with a new outlook and perspective. Enjoy!