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How to spend summer: work but enjoy the time off

Anna Weimholt/Manitou Messenger

Ah, summer. Both a favorite among the seasons and the shortest three months known to humankind. Many disagree on what summer is and what one should spend theirs doing. I used to define it as three months of no responsibility and good times. Now, my summer is filled with the pressure of finding something productive to do while trying to squeeze in as much summer fun as I can in my free time. These are still the last designated summer breaks I’ll ever have, so it’s important to know the best way to spend my time.

While it may seem obvious, I believe it is important to enjoy your time off from studying and the stress of school before the “real world” sets in. Travel if you can, make plans with friends, sleep in, go to the beach, procrastinate with no repercussions, bump Lizzo’s latest album, have a movie marathon or simply do nothing at all. Make time for friends, both old and new, and make memories. For all of us, our future summers are already filled with full-time jobs, preparation for graduate school, internships or summer school. While it is tempting to try to get ahead and work hard 24/7, it is important for us to find time for ourselves while we still can. Before we know it, these “summer breaks” will no longer exist. It is crucial to explore as much as you can before life marches on without you taking the time to enjoy it.

That being said, however nice it would be to go back to the summers of no responsibility, life isn’t free. Because of this unfortunate fact, working a job is the only way to effectively survive the summer without going bankrupt. And we all know that VSCO girl lifestyle isn’t cheap.

The best way to spend your summer is by working, though don’t forget to balance work with play – after all, the months between academic years are one of the best opportunities for self-care and leisure free of academic responsibilities.

Any and all work experience is extremely valuable, both financially and in terms of building your resume. Not only does working provide some financial stability, it also provides experience that’s helpful when looking for future employment opportunities. College comes with a hefty price tag that oftentimes is paid in the form of loans. Those nasty, interest-gaining, soul-sucking debts will haunt you until you die unless you nip them in the bud. Getting a job to start paying for your loans will have your future self saying ‘thank you.’

It is never too early to gain work experience or start earning a paycheck. Unless an internship or study abroad opportunity arises, working at a job is the best way to efficiently spend time in the summer.

asplun1@stolaf.edu
Samantha Asplund ’23 is from Saint Cloud, Minn. Her major is undecided.