The 9 Best Ways to Spend Your Summer

You may be wondering what in the world you are going to do for three months with no alarm clocks, long hours in the library, and crazy professors that think you have no life outside of their classes. Really, all you know for certain is that you can't wait to sleep for a solid 24 hours and trade the classroom life for long days in the sun. I mean, am I the only one counting down the days?

The truth is most of us will have plenty of extra time to sleep, and that's great. But I want to challenge you to make the most of this summer --and every summer you have during college.  These are the last few summers you have to do whatever you want before the 9 to 5 grind begins, so do something that counts --something that you love and makes you a better person. There's something for everyone, and I hope that you'll find something that speaks to you. Don't be afraid to set a goal to try something exciting and new! Isn't that what college is all about?

1. Check out (or volunteer at) a festival.

Burning Man: August 28 -September 5

This event takes place at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The purpose is to promote self-expression and build community. Artists from all over the world come to offer their talents and work together to create artworks of multiple media.

Hangout Music Festival: May 20 -22

Travel to Gulf Shores for a weekend of beaches and good music. The lineup this year inlcudes top artists The Weeknd, Fetty Wap, The Chainsmokers, Calvin Harris, Florence + The Machine, Alabama Shakes and Ellie Goulding.

 

Bonnaroo: June 9 -12

For a trippy weekend, go to Manchester, Tennessee, and totally immerse yourself in good music and good vibes. The lineup this year includes Miguel, Halsey, Chris Stapleton, Tame Impala and Ellie Goulding.

CMA Music Festival: June 9 -12, 2016

If you prefer country over indie, you'll love the CMA Music Festival. Set in Nashville, this country showdown will include country stars Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Brett Eldredge, Carry Underwood, Chris Young, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett and Miranda Lambert.

Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas: June 17 -19, 2016

Grab your friends and travel across the country to experience a weekend of electronic dance music, bright lights, and dancing. This nonstop party will definitely leave you breathless and energyless (Is that even a word?).

Sloss Festival: July 16 -17

A little closer to home, this music festival takes place in Birmingham, Alabama, at Sloss Furnaces. This interesting venue makes this festival particulary unique. The artists to perform this year include Death Cab for Cutie, Grouplove and Glass Animals.

 

2. Star as an extra in a movie or TV show.

This really isn't hard to do, and how cool would it be to say you featured in your favorite show?! Casting crews are looking for extras all the time. Just do a quick search online for cities near you, and send in your information to casting companies. It's easy cash and a cool experience.

 

3. Attend the Kentucky Derby.

Coming soon (May 6 -7), the Kentucky Derby is an American classic, and it's a fun excuse to dress to the nines and enjoy a tradition older than Auburn football. For a cheaper experience, opt for the Kentucky Oaks.

 

4. Write a book.

Do you have a really cool story idea or really interesting advice, but you keep telling yourself maybe one day I'll put it on paper? There's no better time than the present. You can at least right a first draft so that, as life gets busier, writing a best-selling novel doesn't seem more and more impossible. Whip out the computer and colored pencils and head to a creative space like your favorite coffee shop. Who knows what you might create?

 

5. Read a book.

So maybe writing a book isn't for you... Then find a book that's already written and dive into its wisdom and inspiration. For a truly inspirational experience, find a book that isn't fiction. Check out a book on something like philosophy, spirituality, or self-exploration. Expand your mind and see the world through a new set of eyes. A few suggesstions are The Power of Now, Finding Freedom: Writing from Death Row, and You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. (Yes, please to number three.)

 

6. Get a job.

I bet you didn't expect work to be on a list of fun ideas, but working can be fun! Working during the summer is a wise way to spend your break, and it's a great way to save up money and meet new people. You'll be gaining valuable experience and memories so it's a win-win. Editor's note: Summer is the best time to boost your career, trust me.

 

7. Study abroad.

No matter your major, there's a study abroad program out there just for you. Whether you want to study in one of Europe's oldest cities, live with a tribe in Fiji, or stay somewhere bundled up in the snow, all you have to do is look. Studying abroad is an amazing way to visit new places, meet new people, and get classes out of the way.

 

8. Work as a camp counselor.

A great way to make new friends and build leadership skills, serving as a camp counselor is a wonderful investment in yourself and others. There's summer camps all over the country if you want to really go on an adventure. But if you perfer to stay closer to home, look into becoming a Camp War Eagle counselor here at Auburn. Of course, that is something you have to apply for early in the semester, but you can keep it in mind for next year. Rememeber, you can be either a student or a parent counselor. Either way, the experience is rewarding and fun.

 

9. Take summer classes.

Don't want to be in college for five or six years? Want to take that class that really interests you, but it doesn't fit into your spring or fall semester? Just really love to learn? Taking summer classes is always a good option. By doing this, you're getting ahead of the game, and you're investing in yourself and your future. Education is precious and learning shouldn't feel like a task. Put your reading glasses on and go get 'em!

 

Whatever you decide to do this summer, just remember to love yourself and love others. Have a postive attitude and radiate good vibes, and your summer will be fantastic regardless. Make the most of every minute. Don't be afraid to go somewhere new. Try that new entree on the menu. Talk to a stranger. Have a deep conversation about the meaning of life. Let go, and you'll be all the better for it. Now go shine, chica.