Make the most of your summer, while you still can

Simone Shaad, Contributing Columnist

A new semester can be an exciting and nerve-racking time, but as summer draws to a close, it’s important to remember to live in the present. While this is an admirable goal, it’s easier said than done. It’s crucial for us, as college students, to recognize that this experience isn’t just a stepping stone in our lives — we’re already living them. 

The last few days of summer shouldn’t be a waiting game for the first day of school. Instead, they should be packed with adventure, relaxation or anything that isn’t stressing out about academics. The pursuit of academics controls so much of our lives as college students, and while it is a great experience, the best way to prepare for the coming year is to enrich other parts of our lives. 

We cannot give our best selves until we give ourselves rest and space. We can return to our roots and take advantage of all the time that is given to us.

Campus is a home away from home for many students new or returning to campus. While campus is a welcoming place, it’s not necessarily the same as a family home in your hometown. As students wait for Aug. 18 to roll around, they should take advantage of the quality time still available for hometown friends and family. 

Homesickness may rear its head mid-semester, but spending the last summer nights with family can create memories to keep you going. When we finally go on another break from school, cultivating these relationships will make our return home that much more welcome.

If being a homebody isn’t your thing, consider other routes of recharge. Academics are time-consuming, so there isn’t a lot of time for adventuring in the fall. The last days of summer can be action-packed if that’s your style. What matters most is not the activity, but the chance to chase opportunities and make memories.

Spending time outside can be a good contrast to the indoor classroom time that fall brings. Whether outside time looks like sitting on the porch with a good book or going hiking, connecting with nature can allow us to rest. Taking advantage of every last minute of summertime left is an ideal way to unwind. It only lasts so long.

Studying is the name of the game during the academic year, so why not take time to relax? Being prepared for the school year and focusing on academics is always a necessary goal, but that can’t happen if students burn out.

Maybe unwinding looks like quality time, with yourself or with others. Consider a bonfire with friends or a spa night to calm your nerves. Either way, entering the school year without a stomach in knots will be beneficial once the pressure of work and school creep up. 

However you spend your time, make sure not to waste it. Just as we might exercise or eat healthily to prioritize our physical health, we must also value our mental health. By taking care of ourselves, we are equipped to be the leaders of tomorrow. We cannot pour from an empty cup.

When we involve ourselves in volunteer endeavors, research labs and in representing our university, we must give our commitments our all. In order to do this, we must first give ourselves our all. We must give every moment of summer our all.

We may be students, but we are also individuals. So go: hang out with your pets, talk with friends and go outside. You will thank yourself for it.