5 Things You Should Do Before School Starts
By: Wen Hsiao
As much as we want to become “back home ballers” during the summer and discard our physiological clocks, between reaching our hands into the Doritos bag and pressing the ‘Skip Intro’ button on Netflix, it is so easy to feel your summer is being wasted, especially for college students, who have summer breaks ranging anywhere from two to four months. Instead of worrying if we have enough “dining dollars” left for dinner, we are safe and sound on our parents’ living room couch.
1. Something Personal: A Passion Project
When I was in high school, I dreaded long summer days with nothing to do. Knowing that, as each summer rolls around, I continuously push myself to do something I have not done the previous year. I consider these things my passion projects. Now looking back, my boredom during each summer is extremely evident, namely the summer I spent animating and editing an imagined video game for William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Having a passion project like this allows us to rejuvenate our creative sides, something we may have neglected because of school.
Even though these passion projects may not be within my comfort zone, they allow me to exhibit my interests into something more tangible. I am able to explore mediums that I am not the most familiar with, and without the stress of school.
2. Build and Rebuild Your Strengths
It is easy to become comfortable with your own talents and strengths, but having that mindset often keeps us stunted. Many choose to explore their strengths as a career path and further pursue them in college. Even though we are able to build our strengths in an academic and professional manner during the school year, we often forget to consider what brings us genuine joy. I choose to explore more playful themes during my school breaks, genres that I usually stay away from because of their time-consuming nature. A lot of my personal essays are produced during longer school breaks, especially the ones about love and relationships. A break from school allows you time to self-reflect on your work and to strengthen your craft.
3. Everyone Says This, But—A New Hobby
Taking on something new is time-consuming, what better time for it than when you have nothing to do for four months? If you need some inspiration to jumpstart the process, here is a list:
Reading (Have you read since you graduated high school? Stop by Barnes and Nobles on your way home later!)
Cooking (This can escalate to meal-planning when school starts, economical and healthy!)
Painting (This can be super therapeutic, and a great stress reliever)
Photography (Up your Instagram game while you’re at it!)
New Language (Even though the Duolingo Owl can be very scary...)
4. Clean-Up Your To-Do List
What has been on your to-do list for the past year that you just never seem to have the desire or energy to do? Whether it be reorganizing your workspace or cleaning up your resumé, spend the summer tidying up little details of your life. This can make the transition back into reality a lot smoother. The summer before entering University, I spent a lot of my time cleaning up my work portfolio and LinkedIn, in order to elevate my online presence and create a more polished image. By doing so, when I entered University, it was easy for me to network and apply for jobs and internships right off the bat.
5. Set a New Focus
Take a look back on the past year: What did you like about it? What do you wish you had done differently? If you noticed a recurring problem, this is the perfect time to come up with a plan and solution for it. For example, did you struggle with time management? Start a new scheduling and planning system to boost your productivity. Don’t be afraid to try out different methods during the summer, take advantage of the luxury of trial and error during this time!
If you have other ideas in mind, tell us in a comment below! If you want to spend your summer making Paive better with us, feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
About the Author
Wen is a Taiwanese content creator located in Amsterdam. She is currently an Editor at Paive. Most of the time, you can find Wen writing about love, music, and culture. Outside of work, Wen participates in directing, editing and filmmaking. You can keep up with Wen on Instagram and Twitter.