Part III: The Ultimate Bucket List for a Productive Summer before University
Summer break is amazing and great and everything fun, but all too often it breezes by without us having really accomplished anything. To make sure you avoid that end-of-summertime sadness, OVS is here with the ultimate bucket list to make your Summer 2K19 both fun and productive!
1. Learn a new skill
Learning something new is never a bad idea! There is so much knowledge available online for free these days, through sites like Coursera, EdX, and Khan Academy. Sign up for a free online course and become proficient in a marketable skill, like learning a coding language or becoming a Photoshop expert. Try to find something that is both interesting to you and something that will enhance the skills section of your resume!
2. Read 10 books
There are so many reasons to pick up a book and dive in! Not only does reading make you a better writer, it’s also been shown to improve your memory and focus, as well as reduce stress. What’s more, reading can make you more creative and helps to improve your critical thinking skills.
So, even if you’re not a book lover, find a few books you can see yourself getting into – perhaps start with the print version of your favourite movie or a biography for one of your heroes, even a graphic novel would work! After all, come September – whether you like it or not – post-secondary is going to require a lot of reading, so why not learn to enjoy it now!
3. Explore your city
Yes, you may have lived there your whole life, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve seen and done all there is to see and do! Play tourist in your own town and make sure you’ve hit all the sites and attractions your hometown has to offer! Chances are you’ll find something you didn’t even know existed. Plus, when you go off to post-secondary, one of the first things people will ask you is where you’re from, so you want to make sure you have something cool to say!
4. Teach someone something
They say the best way to learn is to teach. So, take some time this summer to pass on your knowledge to someone else. It could be something as ‘simple’ as teaching your grandma how to navigate the web – after all, the self-awareness it takes to communicate something that comes second nature to you can be a lot harder than it seems!
5. Volunteer at least 5 times or, go the extra step and set up a habitual volunteer position
Not only does volunteering give you impressive filler for your resume, it makes you feel good to give back! There are so many options for volunteering out there, all you have to do is find one that appeals to you!
6. Expand your comfort zone
Leaving high school behind and venturing on to post-secondary is going to rocket you out of your comfort zone. Why not embrace it before it’s thrust upon you? Try something new! Go to a different part of town! Or, if you really want to push yourself, try leaving your phone behind as you venture around for a day!
7. Practice being a good housemate!
Whether you’re going to be living on your own or with a roommate (or several), you’ll need to be able to maintain your own space and handle basic chores on your own. To ease the transition, start picking up some of the slack around the house over the summer! Your parents will appreciate the extra help, and you won’t feel so overwhelmed when you realize there’s no one around to make your dishes and laundry pile magically disappear anymore!
8. Become financially literate
Financial knowledge is a rite of passage, so make sure you’re prepared with the basics. At minimum, you’ll need to know how to pay bills online and how to set up a personal budget and stick to it. Heading into post-secondary, having your own chequing and savings accounts set up is also a definite must. Even if you have them already, it might be worth your time to browse around as many banks offer special rates to post-secondary students. Take some time this summer to discuss financial responsibility with your parents and your banking institution.
9. Learn how to cook 10 healthy meals
Sure, ordering takeout is ridiculously convenient, but it also adds up quickly! Part of sticking to a budget means cooking the majority of your meals at home, so be sure to spend some time this summer into learning how to prepare a few simple, healthy meals that you can commit to making. And if you’re the kind of person who burns toast, try investing in some cooking lessons to get you through the weeks once you fly the coop!
10. Master the art of public speaking
Or at least get comfortable with it! Post-secondary is going to require you to speak in large group settings, so why not jump right in! Try taking some stand-up comedy classes, engaging in spoken word events at your local coffee bar, or even try your hand at karaoke to shake off that stage-fright in an easy-going environment!
11. Take a course in some form of self-defense
Moving to a new place is exhilarating, but it can also be scary. Knowing how to defend yourself will give you, and your family, piece of mind that you can hold your own in the big city. Not to mention, martial arts can be a great workout and a lot of fun! Sign up for a class with your friend and get ready to kick some butt!
12. Take a course in CPR/First Aid
Likewise to the above, living without your parents for the first time, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to act in any situation. Having first aid training will ensure you know what to do if something goes awry and you or someone around you needs help. Bonus: Many of these courses are also great certifications to list on your resume and can help you land positions working around kids if you’re looking to earn some extra cash on the side!
13. Spend quality time with your friends AND family!
Plan a road trip! Go to a concert! Hang out at the beach, pool, park – whatever floats your boat, just make sure you make time for the ones you’ll miss most when you leave home. And even if you think you can’t wait to leave, take it from someone who’s been there – you will miss your parents (and even that pesky little brother!) when you don’t see them every day, so plan for some quality fam-jam time before it’s too late.
14. Visit your home-to-be
If it’s not too far from where you are, visit your post-secondary campus and start familiarizing yourself with its ins and outs! And if going there in person isn’t an option, check out their website for incoming students – many schools have video tours available online. Knowing your way around your college town and campus will help you adjust more easily in the first few weeks of school.
15. Learn how to appreciate being alone
Okay so this doesn’t sound all that fun, but trust us, it is super important. Moving on to post-secondary means leaving behind most, if not all, of your existing social network and it can take time to build a new one. There will be times in the first little while when you won’t have a best friend two doors over to come hang out with you. Learning to thrive on your own is a big part of growing up, so if you learn to appreciate time spent flying solo, it’ll be less of a downer when it inevitably happens. Besides, alone time can be a great thing – you can get a lot more done without anyone around to bother or distract you!
16. Follow your passion to create your own project
Turn your interests and talents into your own summer-long project! A few go-getter ideas: Teach yourself how to program and make a simple app for you and your peers. Practice your creative writing and submit your work to journals that publish high school students. Get some friends together and start a sports league in your hometown. The possibilities are truly endless and entirely up to you!
17. Plan for next year
Creating an action plan for the year to come will help keep the feeling of success going! Make a list and check it twice to make sure you have everything you’re going to need come September. You can also use the extra time to tackle those DIY dorm decor ideas you’ve been pinning for months, because why not?
18. Relax & enjoy your freedom!
Just because you want to show colleges that you’re being productive and not wasting the summer doesn’t mean you can’t take some time to recuperate and have some fun! If you follow this bucket list, we guarantee you’ll not only have an awesome summer, but you’ll also be a more well-rounded person come fall! It’s a total win-win, so what are you waiting for? Get planning today!