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

Not taking that summer vacation with a huge group of friends like everyone else seems to be? Are all of your friends gone or busy during the break? No worries! While summer, and especially summer during college or school, feels like the prime time to hang out with friends and maximize your social activities, it also gives all of us a unique opportunity to spend some time with someone you may often disregard: yourself. With that being said, here are 10 things to keep you occupied this summer that only require your own self!

Take a solo road trip

Traveling alone is underrated, and something we should all experience in order to learn a little more about ourselves. If you have a car and you’re in California, take a short trip to a new destination — like Carmel to sit by the beach or San Francisco to walk through museums. If you don’t have a car, that’s not an issue; use public transportation, like a bus, to begin your journey. 

Volunteer somewhere important to you 

Volunteer work is not just a way to give back to the community or Earth, but also a great use of your time that can make you feel good about yourself. What beats that? If you love pets, volunteer regularly at an animal shelter, or if you want to protect the environment, go on beach cleanup trips every week while listening to your favorite playlist. I forgot to mention — you can maybe even add this to your resume…

Become Excel certified, or aquire another skill

If you’re always looking for something to add to your resume or LinkedIn like I am, try becoming Excel certified this summer! All you have to do is pass an exam after doing training or taking a course. There are tons of other skills you can add to your resume just by learning to do things online, such as using R Studio, coding for Python, being sufficient in Photoshop, etc. Spend some time this summer making marginal but important differences to your professional profile to make yourself stand out!

Learn to play poker or chess online

Want another skill to boast to your friends? Being a successful chess player or poker player is certainly a cool one. There are tons of online sites to learn poker and play in real time with other people, as there is with chess. It’s an entertaining, time consuming activity to learn a new game and it will certainly keep your brain active over the summer. I mean, have you seen Queen’s Gambit?!

Make a short film

You might have a creative side you need to let out! Making a short film, whether it be about a story, your own life, or just an experimental piece of places, people, things, or ideas, you can express a side of you that you may never have before. Working on this creative process by yourself could be the perfect personal project for the summer! 

Take long walks

The benefit of taking a walk every day is not talked about enough. Explore your neighborhood and parks while getting in some solid exercise that is not difficult at all. Try to get 10,000 steps a day and you might inadvertently find yourself feeling healthier and happier on a daily basis. It’s a good habit to build for the summer!

Train for a half marathon (Or just a 5K)

While it might be hot during the months of summer, use the mornings or evenings when it’s a nice temperature to train for something you can be proud of! Imagine completing a half marathon and knowing you, and only you, were responsible for your success and that you made it happen. If you’re in need of a solo accomplishment, I know you can do it all by yourself — even if you just make it to a 5K!

Actually go on Hinge dates

If you’re single and feeling a little bold this summer, this one might be for you. We all download dating apps to end up never meeting up with anyone — this time, do it for the plot! Go out with lots of people and just have a good time trying new things and stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s fun to get to know new people, and who knows, you honestly could even find someone. While this activity isn’t technically alone, it starts with being alone and being brave! 

Learn a new language 

It’s time to finally do it—master that language that keeps evading your time. Summer is the perfect time to devote yourself to regularly practicing a new or forgotten language through Duolingo, reading, watching TV, and ordering at restaurants. It’s crazy that having another language under your belt can be so beneficial, yet so many people won’t do it! I believe in you. 

Get a digital camera and take photos 

One of the biggest crazes I have seen this year is the digital camera takeover, and I completely support it! Owning a digital camera changes how you take photos — it allows you to take clearer photos for social media and can help foster a real interest in photography. Whether it be nature, portraits, or photoshoots, a digital camera will spark an artistic hobby you can enjoy by yourself at any time. 

Maile Smith is a first-year Global Studies major from Palo Alto, California. She loves horseback riding, traveling the world, painting, reading on the beach, and her dogs!