Three Ways To Spend Your Summer Break

With summer coming up, here are a few ideas on how to spend your time out of school.


Graphic by Zainab Imam

Yusra Jaleel, Staff Writer

There’s 104 days of summer vacation (it’s actually more like 94), and Phineas and Ferb said it best when they told us the annual problem of our generation is finding a good way to spend it. If you find yourself looking for ways to keep yourself busy this summer, look no further than these three activities.

1)  Visit a New City

Traveling is on most people’s bucket lists, although it doesn’t necessarily need to be the costly activity that most people expect. While saving up for an overseas vacation will always be exciting and a memorable way to spend time over the summer, there are other options if it isn’t possible. 

Research cities in your region that interest you – maybe this is a beachtown or an area known for its local food – and round up your best friends or even your kind-of friends. Plan a road trip, split the cost of gas and an Airbnb, and blow with the wind. Save on food costs if needed by bringing items on the car ride to store in the fridge at your new place. 

The road trip itself is half of the fun, and experiencing something new will be an exciting way to spend time with loved ones and create a deeper, more bonded friendship with the others. Most COD students are in their undergrad years, so this is the perfect age to enjoy the freedom of travel without all of the life responsibilities that will accumulate over the next few years. Moreover, visiting anywhere new is an excellent way to expand your own palette of the world. You gain new experiences to treasure and become more independent overall. 

2)   Change Your Space

Whether you live alone or with family, and whether you share a bedroom or not, everyone has a space that’s their own. Having this space reflect your interests and tastes will feel great and provide you with a sanctuary to unwind at the end of each day. 

You can do something as simple as adding a few candles of your favorite scents, or you can take on an entire project of repainting and refurnishing your space. Visit thrift or discount stores for new decorative pieces, wait for coupons or sales on a new item that caught your eye or take on a beginner’s DIY project on an old piece of furniture to change your area without breaking the bank. 

You’ll feel accomplished making something from scratch, and even more than that, curating a space that reflects your own interests rather than trends just for the sake of expressing those tastes is good for self-esteem. You are actively getting rid of the old to make space for the new.

3) Work on Yourself

Without a hectic school schedule and balancing extracurricular responsibilities, most people find themselves with considerably more free time over the summer recess even with working a job. Invest this new time into yourself. 

Get yourself a journal to write out a concrete plan of 1-2 goals for the summer, whether these be self-developmental– breaking a bad habit– or external– training your body to be able to run a 5K. Journaling itself can be a valuable tool in getting to know yourself and your values. Making it into a habit can be a goal in itself, or you can use it to understand what it is you want to change about yourself and your life. 

In this plan, determine where you currently are and where you would realistically like to be by the end of summer. Then write out specific, small actions you can take every day to reach this goal. List actions of varying difficulty so you can still choose to take a bettering step even on the days you lack motivation. Write out benchmarks to gauge your progress along the way. 

It’s important to maintain a reflective and objective mindset through doing this. If you find yourself falling short of your benchmarks, don’t allow yourself to use this as an excuse to give up on the endeavor altogether. Take a deep breath, remind yourself of all the progress you’ve still accomplished and assess honestly why you may have fallen short. Implement a different approach if that’s what you deem necessary, or recognize that you can still be progressing overall even when your improvement doesn’t look linear everyday. 

Spending time this way will guarantee that you increase your confidence, become more grounded with your true self as an individual, and show up in the fall as the best version of yourself. 

There are a plethora of things to spend your time on this summer, as relaxing or productive as you’d want. Congratulate yourself for the work you’ve put in this year, and make sure to spend your time on what makes you happy.