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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Imagine the warmth of the sun, the feeling of the sand under your feet, and the remnants of the ocean in your hair — the essence of summer. It feels so close, yet somehow so far. Even as finals week hurtles towards us at full speed, summer is right around the corner.

In the final exam season, it’s easy to find yourself caught up in so much work it feels like you’ll never break free. But does it have to be that way? Take a well-deserved break from your studies and start preparing for the sun-soaked summer that’s soon to be a reality! Whether it’s finding the perfect book to read or exactly which color bikini you like, now is the perfect time to start assembling your essentials for summer.

Luckily, I’m here to give you all the summer items you must get to put your best foot forward this year. Cue “What Time Is It” by the High School Musical 2 cast.

a unique tote bag for beach days

I just recently went to Barcelona this semester and found the absolute perfect beach tote bag here! The design is so gorgeous and bright; it’s perfect for the summertime.

When looking for your perfect beach tote, there are two requirements: It must be comfy to wear for a while and large enough to fit everything you want to put in it!

My tote bag has a pretty large shoulder wrap, making it so lightweight and barely noticeable when wearing it. It also has a large amount of space considering the number of things I would bring to the beach. It has not only the length but also the width to keep everything together and not crushed all on top of each other.

a Portable hammock

When I was little, I used to go to the beach all the time with my family since we lived really close by. Up on the shore, there would always be a few hammocks tied to two palm trees. As a kid, this was one of my favorite activities on the beach!

This item is perfect for FSU students who don’t live near a beach or can’t get to one easily, too! You’ll see everyone on Landis use some portable hammocks, so you can set this up almost anywhere. One perk is you can bring it back with you to FSU to continue your newfound hammocking hobby!

a good book

I’ve gotten into reading a lot recently after finding a ton of super cheap book markets here in London. A good book is essential to a perfect day on the beach. I personally love reading lighthearted, fun books over the summer, especially romances! I’m currently planning on reading Crazy Rich Asians since the movie version is such a comfort movie to me. 

If you’re looking for some beach book recommendations, this Goodreads list has some great options!

Some summer scents

Whether these are essential oils or candles, make sure you get some scents to get you in the summer mood. I love scents with coconut or tropical fruits. The aroma of these amazing smells fills the room so perfectly that you feel like you have to go explore and make the most of summer!

a vibey playlist

Who doesn’t love making a playlist? A playlist for summer is perfect for so many activities: laying out on the beach, road trip car rides, or even just grabbing some fruit at the grocery store. Check out this playlist for some ideas!

My summer playlist is filled with lots of light, fun songs. Specifically, I have a lot of Surfaces for some calm tanning days and Galantis for a fun, pick-up vibe driving around my hometown.

a journal

While laying out in the sun for hours and hours is pretty relaxing, it can get boring after a while. This is why I plan to take up journaling over the summer! 

This can be anything from a summer travel journal to a wellness journal. The fun thing about a journal is that you can make it whatever you want! This summer is going to be the best one yet, so why not document it?

This list is filled with the perfect essentials for Summer 2024, bringing you both fun and practical ideas to make the most of this summer.

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Reese Hrannarsson is a staff writer at the Her Campus at Florida State University chapter. She writes bi-weekly articles surrounding personal, culture, and campus topics. Beyond Her Campus, Reese is the Director of Finance for Florida State University's Women Student Union and the Secretary for the Women In Government club. She is a sophomore majoring in Political Science and Economics and is interested in working in government. In her free time, Reese enjoys going biking and spending time with family and friends. She also loves travelling and hopes to travel to every U.S. capital.