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I have always found summer break to be a really weird time of the year. Some people have incredible internship opportunities, and some people are working 9-to-5 jobs. Some people stay home, while others go on luxurious vacations. Obviously, when we’re all in school together, we’re on a somewhat similar path, but summer break is where our plans diverge. Sometimes the openness summer break has to offer can almost be discouraging. “Am I doing the right thing with my summer, or am I just wasting my time?”
Well, I’m here to remind you that there really is no such thing as wasting time over the summer. I am a true believer that what you do over the summer, whatever that may be, is truly and honestly the best thing for you to be doing. Over past summer breaks, I have felt kind of disappointed in myself because I’m usually stuck in my hometown working a part-time job while other people are going to crazy places and appear to be “taking advantage of their summer.”
But, even if summer is a new season and you feel like you should be doing something more extravagant with your life, I think it’s important to remember that summer is ultimately like every other time of the year. Even though the temperature may be warmer and you might have more free time on your hands, this doesn’t mean that you need to start comparing your plans to what others are doing. You’re on a certain path for a reason, no matter what season it is. That being said, try not to get so caught up in thinking you’re doing summer break wrong.
Instead, use that energy to realize the endless possibilities that you have this break. Sure, someone might be backpacking across Europe, and while that seems super cool, it’s not the only cool thing to do this summer. Remember that summer break is your chance to relax and reset. In fact, the break isn’t only a chance to reset, but a necessary action you need to take in terms of your wellbeing. This year has been incredibly tough for so many reasons. The last thing you should be doing right now is beating yourself up over your summer plans. Relax. You deserve it.
At a school like Lawrence, it can sometimes feel like you can’t hide from the “Lawrence busy” culture. While it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to do a million things at once during the school year, I strongly urge you to leave the toxic busy culture behind this summer break. I think it’s great if you’re working at an internship or job this summer. I know a lot of us will be. But also make sure you’re saving time for yourself. While you’re at it, try not to rub it in other people’s faces that you’re still grinding away even though it’s summertime.
If you’ve felt guilty this school year for taking breaks, now is your time. If you don’t take summer as a serious opportunity to catch your breath, next school year might stretch on for too long. Please do not feel like napping and watching a series on Netflix in three days is the definition of not using your break properly. This summer, social media posts of bikini bodies and workout routines are going to start rolling in any minute, and I cannot emphasize this enough when I say do not fall for that trap. Summer looks different for everyone and more importantly life looks different for everyone else. If you can learn to not compare your summer to other people’s summer plans, I think you’ll be on the right track for every other season as well.
Lastly, it’s also important to recognize that the majority of us won’t be getting a summer break after college. In a country that prides itself on constantly being overworked, I say take advantage of every break you have while it lasts. The adult world will soon reach us, and it will be even harder to find time to reset yourself. Take this summer to do so. I promise you that no matter what you do, taking breaks is good for you. Please, enjoy summer. It’s the least you can do for yourself.