Your Summer Bucket List

Don’t let your summer slip away. Here is what you can do while you’re not in school.

By Sydney Bitz

Summer is a unique time, full of possibilities, warmth, and freedom from school. So as we complete our final finals, let’s consider what to do with ourselves until August 31st.

Summer Assignments

The last thing anyone wants to do in summer is more school, but alas it has to be done. The hardest part about summer assignments is balance: giving yourself enough time to get through the material, but not forgetting it all before the school year starts. The key is to go at your own pace. I have found it best to start assignments late July and early August. It gives ample time to get through the material and allows for it to be fresh in your mind for class the first day of school. And besides, we all know that we won’t get around to it until August anyways.

Get Out!

No seriously. I know social media is fascinating, but the weather is nice (on occasion) so go outside. Grab some friends and go hiking or camping or the lake. Enjoy the outdoors and the company with friends. It could help you work on a killer tan or becoming a lobster, whatever you skin tone allows. The important thing is to have fun and make memories.

Get Your Life Together

Summer is a nice time to just get all your ducks in a row. Whether it’s cleaning out your closet or arranging your desk, make sure you carve a little time out this summer to organize your life. Give yourself a clean slate for the next school year. Your future self will thank you.

Keep in Touch with Your Friends

Whether you and your bestie have been friends for years or months, make sure to spend some time with them over the break. Go out to lunch, grab a coffee, or have a sleepover. Just make some memories with your friends this summer so you have something to talk about in August.

Get a Job?

If a little extra moolah wouldn’t hurt, then get a low-key job this summer. If you aren’t wanting to work over the school year, find a seasonal gig. Even if it’s babysitting, working at a tourist attraction or at a restaurant, your parents will thank you. It is one step to being an independent adult. And you can buy all the cool things over the break.

Try Something New

Try a new food, activity, or hobby this summer. Be adventurous and step outside of your comfort zone. Not very many people were successful because they were comfortable. It is simple as learning how to play guitar, trying sushi, or playing a recreational sport, just do something a little different and expand your horizons.

Netflix Binge

With school over, there is now time to catch up on your Netflix favorites. On rainy days, stay inside and watch a season or five of your favorite show and catch up. You could re-watch all your favorites or check out something new. Take some time to get cultured in the world of film.

Take Time for Yourself

Do something every day for yourself. Whether it be reading, writing, drawing, exercising, or yoga, take time to treat yourself. It establishes independence and builds self-confidence. It also allows for you to perfect that basketball shot or conquer that mounting to-read list.


If you have the opportunity, make sure you travel. Go see a distant relative out of town or go on vacation. Go see a different culture and check out all the tourist hotspots. In South Dakota it’s easy to watch others navigate the state and offer help to those who are lost. Make sure you get a little lost yourself and go explore.

Watch a Movie

Summer is the time to lighten up. So go out and see a movie with friends and family. Drive-in movies are also a neat adventure. Stay inside and watch some childhood favorites. As long as you relax for two hours and catch a great flick.

See a Sunset or Sunrise

See the sun set or rise a few times this summer. It is a peaceful, rejuvenating action. Find a little mental piece and watch the day begin or end. You can watch one from the lake or a window, but make sure you see a little natural peace and beauty. Beware: when the sun sets, the bugs come out, so wear bug spray.

Perfect Something

Push your limits and work to perfect something. If you have been struggling with something, allow yourself to struggle. Once you get it right, keep working on it until you get it perfect. Take the time to better yourself in some aspect of your life.

Check Out Some New Tunes

Summer can’t be great without an accompanying playlist. So amp up your music by checking out new hits from your favorite artists or check out a band that your friend has been nagging you to hear. You may want to dig into your parents’ old albums for a #TBT. You may be surprised that 80’s music doesn’t in fact suck–shocking!

Spend Time With Your Family

I know that families can be annoying. But they are your family and support you in everything you do, even if sometimes they dish out a little tough love. Reconnect with your family because while you’ve been busy with studying and exams and extracurricular activities, they’ve been making sure you are set to go on with your life, especially your parents. Spend some time with your family.

Have Fun!

The most important thing about summer is to have fun. So find an enjoyable activity and run with it. Make memories that you can look back on and relax a little. Stay true to yourself and go with the flow. We only live once in this world, so try to make it the best.

Photo: Summer Soccer by Franck Michel on Flickr