It’s your last summer before graduating college, and man…the time flew by. If you’re feeling like you need to accomplish as much as possible this last summer in your little college town, you’re totally not alone. I’m not ready for my time in school to come to an end, and along with millions of other senior year hopefuls, I want to make the most out of this summer before starting to live in “the real world.” Here are 6 things you have to do before finishing this final summer:
You may not have an open window like this ever again. Think about it: taking that dream, post-grad vaca isn’t actually all that practical considering you’re going to be weighed down with student loan deadlines and more likely than not searching for your first job. Internships and entry-level jobs are what we all dream of landing right after grad, so what happens if you get one and you haven’t done that amazing Euro trip with your friends? Now’s the time, don’t wait.
- Work retail
Before you cringe and go “oh hell no” while thinking back to the long, unpredictable hours of shift work, reminisce on all the great friends you met working at McDonalds in high school, or all the bad days turned good when you had to go into the clothing store you worked at and got to try on countless new outfits with a 40% employee discount. You may never have the chance to work such a social and communal job ever again so take advantage of your last few employee purchases and shifts where your only task is to greet guests at the door before you weasel into a 9-5 job in an isolated cubicle. Ah, what a carefree life.
- Go to camp
Whether attending a community conference, or working at a summer camp for kids, this is a task you’ll regret not doing while in college. Although the pay is awful, the memories are lasting. Working and being around kids will teach you a ton about what you want in life and how to handle sticky situations, and attending some conferences in your community could help you brush up on some skills to set you apart from other eager grads in the coming years.
- Move back in with your parents
This is your last chance to take complete advantage of free groceries, laundry facilities, and little to no housework. Be grateful for a summer spent in your hometown with your high school friends and try not to think of moving back home as such a burden. Your parents will love having you back, and you know you’ve missed them too.
Having time to give back to a worthwhile cause is rare in such a busy, hectic world. If you have the time, dedicate it somewhere that could truly benefit from it. Helping others will change your perspective on your own hardships and open your mind to some of the best hours you will spend with complete strangers. Aside from the personal growth, it’s also a last-minute stitch to polish off your resume before entering the workplace.
- Discover your city
You’ve spent close to 4 years here now and you probably still don’t know many of the quirks your town has to offer. Take the time to walk into little local shops and try coffee from peculiar cafés. Leave no stone unturned and be sure to experience all the culture the place has to offer without the added stress of papers and exams weighing you down. Go on a walk, hop on a random bus, and let yourself hit the streets without a plan.
Now that you have a few ideas, go forth and do something meaningful with your summer! I know how easy it can be to mellow out in your air-conditioned house and watch Netflix all day, and for some, that may be exactly how you dream of spending your free time. But if you take the leap of faith towards making the most out of your final summer season here, you may find that this place is harder to leave then it once was.