The Great YA Summer

I spend a lot of time watching movies and reading books. I love being able to leave my normal world, escaping into the life of someone completely different for a few hours. Fiction is lovely, but it is fiction. I’ve  spent every summer for the past few years waiting for something amazing to happen — going on a life-changing vacation, falling in love, writing a book, or having a perfect day — but so far none of those things have come to pass.

We talk a lot about comparing ourselves to other people: our friends on social media, the celebrities whose lives seem amazing, and even random people on the Internet. Comparison really is the thief of joy, but no matter how hard I try, I find myself doing it subconsciously. Now, instead of real people, I’ve started to compare my life with the lives of fictional characters in books — ridiculous, I know.

Summer has arrived, which means that I’ve been doing a lot more reading than I would during the school year. This is great, but there’s a lot of irony in sitting on my bed when it’s sunny outside as I long for the unforgettable summer I’m reading about. I’ve realized that, as much as I love reading, living vicariously through fictional characters is not going to ensure that I have a good summer. So, here are a few tips (and reminders to myself) on how to really make the most of your summer:

 

Take up a hobby

What better time to learn to play that instrument, write that book, or start making short films? A lot of people complain about not having a passion or talent, but a lot of the times it’s because they don’t make the time to find it. Life’s too short to sit back and wait for what you want to do to fall at your feet.

This year I’ve made a list of 10 projects/areas that I really want to explore — from design to hair to public speaking. Having projects and hobbies to take on is a surefire way to ensure that you don’t find yourself bored this summer. Before you declare to social media that you’re bored and have nothing to do, look at that mental list of things you wanted to take on and attempt something.

 

Release your inhibitions

Life is way too short to let your unnecessary overthinking lead the way. Imagine how much better life would be if you cared less about the opinions of the people who you don’t really like or respect that much. Nobody cares about the way you live your life as much as you think, so speak to new people, join clubs, and visit new places. If it doesn’t work out, then it doesn’t work out, but at least you’ll have tried.

Do things that scare you and/or have the capacity to end in embarrassment. We miss out on so many things because we never try, so let go of the things holding you back from having a great summer and live life to the fullest (Excuse the cliché).

 

Go on adventures and just leave the house

Whether it’s by yourself, with friends, with family, or with your dog, just go out and explore. For my generation, I feel like sitting at home on Tumblr or watching Netflix all day has became a “cool” thing to do; and, although I do this practically every weekend, it’s not a good way to live. So, go out and do something!

One of the things that deters me from going out a lot is having to spend a lot of money or having to travel a long distance, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Go for a picnic at a nearby park, wander around the place you live, watch movies with your friends, check out public libraries (I can’t let go) and pools and events that are near you.

Summer is the one time when you don’t have a daily 7-hour commitment to a desk. You are finally free to do all of those things that you couldn’t do throughout the school year, so go out, make memories, and spend time with the people you love.

 

Aim to reach autumn better than you were in spring

Learning multiple hobbies and ticking things off your bucket list is great, but I think one of the best goals to achieve in the summer is personal growth. Last summer I grew up a lot and changed as a person for the better. I’m a little bit too into self-improvement. I made a list of 5 areas that I wanted to improve on, and everyday I would try to do something that bettered me in each area. For example, one of the areas was “not caring so much,” so I’d do something that I would usually overthink — like wearing something new rather than staying the same so as to avoid being judged. Though it may seem a bit weird, it worked, and by September I felt a lot more confident in myself and my abilities.

 

You might not go on a road trip looking for a missing girl, your best friend may not leave you a crazy bucket list, and there is a chance that you won’t realize your whole life is a lie, but you can make the most of your summer. Good luck!

May the odds be ever in your favor.

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