Prom is over. Finals and AP Exams are over. And graduation is over. And for the first time in your life, you’re “in between” schools. You might be heading off to college, but in truth, you’re still a kid. And we want you to have some fun this summer (and also do some responsible stuff) and create a summer bucket list. You’re never going to have this summer again.
So, here’s our ten best suggestions to do before you head off to college this fall. Add to it, and make it your own.
1.Write a letter to yourself. An actual letter. Not an Instagram post. Handwrite a letter and stick it in a box. Include pictures (print some out). Swoon over your high school boy/girlfriend. Rhapsodize about your high school friends. Talk about your fears and dreams. It’s a time capsule just for you.
2. Earn some money. Yes, even if you have a full ride scholarship or plenty in the bank already, earn a few dollars for a rainy day want. In the middle of February, when you’re far from home and it’s a little dreary out and the fun of college has worn off, spend it on something good for yourself.
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3. Marie Kondo your room at home… or your life… but with help. Do this with someone who understands some of the items that don’t bring you “joy” now may in 20 years. Donate clothes and lighten your load a little. End one chapter and start your next with a new cleaner space (and it’ll help packing for college too).
4. Do an all-nighter for fun. You probably did one or two in high school, studying. We promise you will in college. Do one with your friends now, and watch the sun come up somewhere cool.
5. Volunteer. Use some of your time to give back to your community, even if it’s just for one day. You’ll get a new perspective on your hometown and the people in it.
6. Read. Like, reread the Harry Potter series. Or The Hunger Game series. Or that book you’ve wanted to read but you’ve been too busy at school. Tackle a big huge novel just to say you’ve done it.
7. Take your favorite high school teacher to lunch. They had a hard year too. Show them how grateful you are for them and what they did to get you to this stage in life.
8. If you have them, take your younger sibling(s) out for a day. You may not be the best of friends, but you’re actually going to miss them when you’re not at home. And you’ll find your dynamic is completely different when you’re not with your parents or guardians.
9. Thank the parents/guardians/grown-ups in your life. Not just your people, but your friends’ parents (the ones that yelled at you to keep it down during sleepovers or hauled you around to practices). It took a village to get you where you are. Thank them.
10. Relax. Spend an entire day in your pajamas. Sleep. Sleep by the pool or in the grass. Do nothing you don’t want or need to do for a day.
Most of all, no-longer-seniors-but-not-quite-freshmen, make memories. Your summer bucket list should create moments you keep with you forever. Take some time to enjoy yourself. You’ve earned it.