Everyone faces enormous amounts of stress each semester, but spring always seems to hit the hardest. College students around the world are already anticipating the end of the semester and the start of summer. However, the stress and fear of failing a class can make you lose sight of your confidence, determination and motivation to pull through.
Deadlines, quizzes, tests and projects start to pile up and college students either start procrastinating, working long hours or a combination of the two, which causes the stress to turn their lives upside down. When summer finally hits, students are more than ready to decompress and enjoy months of academic freedom.
Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy your summer without resorting to getting drunk. Here are five sober ways to find yourself this summer after a stressful spring semester.
1. Jogging and music
At the beginning of each year, everyone makes resolutions such as exercising more or joining a gym, but due to stress, they forget about their goals. Summer is a great time to reconnect with the goals you originally pledged to yourself on New Year’s Day.
You can make exercising fun. Jogging can be a time to reflect on life and push yourself to go distances you didn’t think you could. Also, you can decide where you want to go jogging — a gym, a track or your own neighborhood.
Take an hour out of your morning and enjoy a jog while listening to your favorite tunes as you burn calories and sweat away all the stress. If you choose to exercise outside instead of a gym, jogging can easily become an adventure as you explore the environment around you. You don’t have to love or hate jogging; just try and make the best out of it.
2. Read for enjoyment
During the semester, students struggle to read assigned class readings but give them a book for enjoyment, and they hang on every word. You don’t have to be a bookworm to love reading for fun because words are powerful, especially when the story draws you in.
Remember that book someone said you should read but you declined because you had 50 or more pages to read that week for your literature class? Well, you can now read that book and more as you put academic reading behind you and sail straight into summer.
3. Sleep in every now and then
Remember to rest. Far too often college students forget to sleep because stress overwhelms them. You don’t have to sleep in every day. Mornings can be a great time to accomplish tasks you meant to do all semester but never got around to while classes were in session.
Everyone dreams of sleeping in until noon and chilling in bed on those first days of summer, but that isn’t always the case. During the grueling spring semester course load, students are up at a specific time for class, most notably those 8 a.m. lectures that everyone falls asleep during no matter how many hours of sleep they got the night before.
Once summer arrives, college students have an internal alarm clock, and that can take weeks to break. Make the best of the early mornings, but don’t forget that you are allowed to sleep in every now and then and enjoy the peace.
4. Spend time with family and friends
College keeps students away from family and friends. Phone calls and texts can only be enough for so long and can never replace face-to-face conversations with loved ones. The arrival of summer means no more “Sorry, I have this huge project due tomorrow, and I need to stay in.”
Instead, you can finally breathe and enjoy time with your family without worrying about schoolwork. Sometimes staying in and watching movies can be the best thing you can do with your family, so round up some family-favorite films, pile together on the couch, put your phones away and relax for a couple of hours.
Besides your family, don’t forget about your best friends. Remember all the texts they sent you during the semester while you stayed inside studying and drowning under schoolwork? Now is the time to return the love and show them that they are a huge part of your success.
Without the phone calls, late-night texts or surprise visits, the spring semester might have gotten even more overwhelming. Thank your support system and remember who was there for you even when you weren’t at your best.
5. Fall back in love with yourself
College is a roller coaster of emotions and sometimes you stop loving who you are while you are under so much stress. Summer can be the perfect time when you start falling back in love with yourself.
Loving who you are and what you do is a big part of how you succeed in this world. After all, you are your worst critic. So do yourself a favor and remember to make time for yourself. Take a day to just relax or dance to your favorite song — anything that makes you happy.