How I’m Preparing to Have the Most Productive Summer

While my mind should mainly be focused on finals and getting through the last projects of this semester, I can’t help but think about my summer ahead. It’s easy to fall into the slump of lounging around for the whole three months because you finally don’t have responsibilities, but I refuse to do that this year. The next season, instead, will be about growing, learning and leveling up. *insert Ciara’s hit song as my anthem all summer long*

As it will be my first summer spent in Chicago, I’m starting to plan ahead now on how I will be successful by using all that’s to my advantage in this big city. Whether it’s in favor of my education, career, or physical or mental health, join me in making big moves, money ones included, wherever you are in the world.

  1. 1. Work, Work, Work

    With extra time on my hands, I want to work at least double what I do during the school year. More money means more money to spend on summer adventures, as well as saving to prepare for anything the upcoming year entails (bills, rent, school loans, etc.). I told my manager a month in advance of my complete availability to ensure I’ll get more hours and so she doesn’t hire more people to take them from me.

    It’s also helpful that I work at a boutique, which is in the field I’m studying. Finding a job that fit my career path was key, so even when I’m not in session studying my major, I’m still exposed to the environment of it.

    ~Bring in that paycheck because we’re making the doe this season, ladies.~

  2. 2. Re-Decorate

    A fresh start comes with a fresh look. Not just of things like your clothes or hair, but of the environment you spend a lot of time in. Your room, living room, office, etc. could always use a make over. I'm going to get rid of clutter and items I don't need, and replace them with cute, but useful pieces. Having a new and clean area always allows me to focus and motivates me to get things done.

    ~Change up your space to have a new and improved outlook on life.~

  3. 3. Read All About It

    I have recently started a collection of books to read over the summer. I’m trying to put together a good variety of genres such as fiction, self improvement and biographies. This way, some will keep me entertained, some will keep me motivated and educated on topics I want to know more about, while also learning from the pros of those who inspire me.

    Continuing to grow my mind is a priority while not in school, but I still need to balance it by keeping up with the latest celebrity gossip and trends. Being an avid magazine reader and someone who wants to work for one someday, you already know I have a stack waiting for me to dive into.

    It’s sometimes hard to remember that we have multiple beaches here in Chicago, as I try to avoid the lakeside at all costs during the other half of the year, but they will soon make for a perfect spot to settle down in and read.

    ~Find what excites your brain and feed it with words.~

  4. 4. Summer Style

    In order to do my best, I need to feel and look my best by what I wear. It’s what makes me feel as confident as I can be.

    The warmest months call for a whole new wardrobe as you can wear brighter colors, lighter fabrics, and be somewhat more revealing. I look forward to being more experimental with my clothes and feeling refreshed. I’m starting to transition my closet now so I can clean out what I don’t need to make room for all the new. It’s also good to look ahead because sales are going on all the time, and you don’t want to miss out on any opportunity to save money.

    ~Everyone has their own source of confidence; Find it, and focus on it.~

  5. 5. Networking

    If you’re reading this and haven’t gotten your tickets to this year’s Her Conference… wyd? Going last summer was one of the best things I’ve ever done for my future and I can’t wait for this next one. The advice I received and connections I made were extremely helpful, and I’ll always carry them with me.

    Nowadays, it’s a lot about who you know, as opposed to what you know. I try to network whenever I get the chance, and big events where people in the industry all come together are the perfect opportunity.

    ~Open doors for your future by connecting with those already in the door.~

  6. 6. Follow Your Passions

    While not having to focus fully on my studies, now is the time to indulge in the other things I’m interested in. It’s good to try new things and not overwhelmingly put all your energy into one focus.

    Currently on my list is yoga. It’s so relaxing and great for the mind and body. Even better, there’s multiple places in Chicago that have rooftop locations! I’ll definitely be getting into those classes specifically.

    ~Allow yourself to broaden your interests and don’t be scared to take part in them.~

  7. 7. Healthy Lifestyle

    The other part of feeling my best comes from being healthy. It’s the perfect time to eat right and exercise as stores and restaurants start offering light and enriched meals, and there’s no snow on the ground to keep you from getting out and being active.

    Not to mention, with the more exposed outfits, I want my body to be more fit. This summer, the beach will be for fun and relaxation, but also for exercise. I’m going to run, jog and walk along it a couple times a week. The breeze from the water will make it a compatible temperature. Once I’m done, I’ll reward myself with tanning or a good read in the sand.

    ~Use the places around you to your advantage and get creative with how you use them.~

  8. 8. Catch Flights, Not Feelings

    With all the productiveness, we deserve to have a break (or two or three). Personally, I’ll be taking a trip to New York City as well as going to my hometown. I have already told work of when I’ll be gone so there aren’t any complications. Planning ahead where I’m going also gives me the chance to save up and prepare for all the costs I’ll be in charge of like plane tickets, hotels and food.

    It’s important to switch up your lifestyle once in a while to get out of your daily routine and be spontaneous. I look forward to experiencing new cultures and see all the possibilities out there.

    ~Treat yourself with a new scene and new vibes to get a break from reality.~