Hi everyone! A few weeks ago, I posted some tips for rising freshman heading off to school in the fall. When you’re going to be a freshman, there are so many things to do before move-in. You buy cute bedding to brighten up your room, create collages and canvases to decorate your walls, and go shopping for new clothes and cleaning supplies. Between endless graduation parties, scheduling orientation, and reading up about your new school, the summer before freshman year is jam-packed.
Now that I’m going to be a sophomore, the summer seems a lot different. First of all, I know what to expect, and while I can’t wait to get back to school, there’s something special about that mix of nervousness and excitement that you get before freshman year. I don’t need to go on a shopping spree for new dorm decor, not that I have the money to do so anyways. Instead, I’m figuring out how I can pay off some of my student loans and save some money to buy shirts that don’t fall apart in the wash. I hear you can sell your plasma for some cash…totally kidding (but I might be that desperate soon). Before I moved into school, I was already counting down the days until I was home for the summer. Now, I just want to go back to school!
I think I’m in a sophomore slump. I’m in a limbo between enjoying being home (and eating my mom’s food instead of the dining hall) and wanting to get back to my school routine ASAP. Since I’ve been home for over a month, I’ve been finding ways to liven up the summer and be somewhat productive.
1. Get a job: I’m lucky enough to be able to go back to the job I had in high school. It’s only part-time and I don’t get too many hours, but I’m making money that will fund my adventures once I get back to school. I like being able to support myself instead of always asking my parents for money. Plus, it gives me something to do. I know it’s hard to find jobs, but there are other things you can do to make money. I use a website called MyPoints.com. You earn points that you can later redeem for giftcards to your favorite stores. To get points, you add the MyPoints icon to your toolbar and click on it whenever you shop online at a store that uses MyPoints. You get a certain amount of points for every dollar you spend. You can also complete surveys, print out coupons, or sign up for email newsletters to get points. Since I shop online anyways, its an easy way to turn my purchases into rewards.
2. Make dorm decorations: I’ve been on a Pinterest kick lately and found some great DIYs for my new dorm. My friends and I are living on campus in a townhouse next year– 10 girls live under one roof! Luckily, it’s three floors, with two common rooms, a kitchen, and three bathrooms. This means a ton of decorating space. I’m going to do a quote canvas, make myself a Lilly Pulitzer letter, and make a new picture collage that includes my new friends (look for these posts in a few weeks). My friends and I want to make a paint chip wall for our common room; it’ll add some color since we can’t paint the walls. We’ve been stocking up on paint chips from Home Depot, pretty sure they’re catching on to us.
3. Apply for scholarships: Paying for college is tough. I just got my financial aid packet and it’s finally dawning on me that I have to pay my loans back…uh oh. A lot of scholarship deadlines have already passed, but there’s still plenty of opportunities over the summer. Check out websites like Fastweb.com, moolahspot.com, and your college’s financial aid page. I finally have time to sit down and write some of these essays (at least my writing will still be sharp when I get back to school!). I am applying for anything and everything– every little bit counts. My parents are also really happy that I’m taking the initiative to pay for my own education, and when Mom is happy, everyone is happy. Plus, it’s an amazing to finally win a scholarship and get that check!
4. Keep in touch with friends: My friends and I have kept our group message going even though we’re not all at school. It’s an easy way to know what’s going on in each others’ lives and count down the days until move-in. We’re also reliving some of our crazier memories. Staying connected to my college friends makes me feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel– I’ll be back on campus soon! That being said, it’s also important to reach out to my home friends. I’m making more of an effort to connect with them. Instead of waiting for them to contact me, I’ve been texting them to make plans. Hanging out with my friends makes the summer feel like it is flying by!
5. Go to the gym: It might not be my favorite thing to do, but I always feel better once I get a good workout in. The endorphins always make me feel better, and I always feel strong and confident when I leave the gym. I think it’s important to take care of your body so I try to go a few times a week. It’s better than eating everything in my kitchen when I get bored.
6. Relax!: You just spent an entire semester at school working hard to get good grades. You deserve a break! I’m sleeping in, watching a ton of Netflix, and I’m currently obsessed with the World Cup (Go USA!!!). I’m taking these three months to recharge and destress. I have time to read that book I got for Easter, paint my nails, and try new hairstyles. It’s important to take a break. I’m cherishing this downtime before school starts back up because I know that I’ll be crazy busy once I get back.
These are just some of the ways I’m making the best of this summer. How are you spending your summer?