Summer: the season filled with warm weather, freedom and stress. Yes, stress.
Plans for the summer begin to formulate in the fall semester, beginning with internship applications. Feelings of anticipation and anxiousness continue right up until you hear back, which can stretch out for seemingly forever. Then there’s actually nailing down summer specifics — housing, food, transportation and money. All in all, it’s a lot of work for the season of sunshine and relaxation.
But there’s an easy solution: Summer at school.
Not only is staying at school for the summer a truly enjoyable experience, but it can also provide you with some of the same perks as a big-time internship, minus the stress. I was wary of staying in a college town during the “off-season” after my freshman year. But after six weeks of summertime bliss, I’m a huge proponent of spending summer at school. Here are five reasons why:
1. The weather: Spring at my school is such a tease. One weekend, it’s sunny and everyone packs away his or her winter clothes and lies out on the lawn. Less than two weeks later, we’re all bundling up in heavy coats. If nothing else, a summer at school will give you some warm-weathered college memories. Instead of walking from building to building to escape the bitter wind, you can actually enjoy a summertime stroll. If this point doesn’t apply to you because you already study at a place of warmth, know that I and the rest of the college students in the northeastern part of the United States are seething with jealousy.
2. De-stress: College is equally the best time of your life and the biggest cause of stress. During the school year, it’s all about how much time and work you can squeeze into 24 hours. The answer, unfortunately, is only 24 hours, though college students always need to fit in at least 26 hours of work. Life moves slowly in the summer and gives you a chance to appreciate the small things you may have overlooked. Train your brain to recognize, enjoy and appreciate everything good about college when you’re not rushing around. It will give you a new appreciation for your school and remind you why you want to be there.
3. Get ahead: There’s no need to just live at school and be lazy. By working hard during the summer, you can make life easier for yourself in the long run. When it comes to choosing a class, I suggest one that you’re dreading. You’ll have more time to focus on the material. And it’s much harder to be stressed about organic chemistry in the warm sunshine than it is when wet and dreary outside.
4. Explore: By the end of freshman year, I thought I had everything figured out at State College, Pa. I was sorely mistaken. Though a small town, State College has plenty to offer. I bet your school does as well. If you have a car, it’s amazing what you can stumble upon during a late-night drive. It may not be as exciting as exploring a city, but it’s all about what you make it. We’ll be here for four years — or more — so it’s important to soak in as much as we can.
5. Fun: Because it’s all what you make of it. You can have fun in a huge city with a stellar internship. But you can have just as much fun in a tiny college town with the right attitude. I was worried about wasting away in a tiny town last summer, so I made a bucket list with some friends who stayed as well. Activities ranged from “hiking” and “hosting a cookout” to “pranks” and “sleep on a trampoline.” Completing the activities on the list were rewarding and I consider the summer I spent at State one of my best college experiences thus far.
Sign me up for another summer.
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