10 Ways to Stay Productive Over Summer

17 Apr

Summer is one of the few times that college students have more free time, and that’s a great opportunity to get stuff done that we normally couldn’t. I, for one, spent a highly productive summer catching up on every single episode of Doctor Who.


But there are other, even more productive ways to spend a summer. You should definitely take time to relax, but we all know it won’t be long before you start to feel a little bit of boredom creeping in. Here are a few alternatives:

1. Purge Your Stuff

Those notes from last semester’s Gen Ed class? You probably don’t need them anymore, but if you’re like me you still have them sitting around somewhere (full disclosure: I recently threw out the entirety of my chronologically-organized World History notes from sophomore year…of high school). College is often a time when your interests and tastes are changing, and there’s nothing wrong with starting fresh. Plus, giving your space some more, well, space can be a good way to start off a new year right.

2. Start  Some New Habits

Okay, so maybe you’ve been saying since January that you’re going to eat healthier, exercise every day, and stop drinking soda, but your schedule has just been too busy. If there was ever a time to try a new lifestyle, summer is it. Work on changing the things in your life you’ve been meaning to for months. I’ve recently started doing yoga with a friend, and am enjoying it despite the moments when the instructor shows us a move and we just laugh instead.

3. Do Something Creative

If you’re the type of person who loves a little DIY or just likes to get some creativity out, the school year can be challenging. Summertime is a great opportunity to do some of those projects you’ve been putting off or to find some new ways to let out your creativity. Check out this project idea for a visual journal.

4. Go Someplace New

Not everyone has the money to go on vacation every summer, but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring new places. You’d be amazed at the number of things there are to do in your own city that you’ve never seen before. Go to a new museum, try that hole-in-the-wall restaurant you drive by every day, visit a park you’ve never been to before, or explore some new shops. There are plenty of things to explore around Tucson that are free or low-cost. The Gaslight Theatre, Trail Dust Town, The Valley of the Moon, and spending a morning exploring the shops on 4th Avenue are some of my favorite lesser-known Tucson haunts.

5. Take a Class


Hey, don’t give me that face. I’m not talking about your regular old for-credit classes, I’m talking about classes for a little bit of fun. No matter where you’re going home to, it’s likely there are some low-cost classes you can take for everything from pottery to social media. If there’s a new skill you’ve been wanting to learn that doesn’t fit into your academic plan, take this opportunity to do it! If you’re in Tucson over the summer, the Pima County Library offers all kinds of classes, panels, and events.

6. Spruce Up Your Profiles
Okay, what did you post at 3 am during that all-nighter? This is a great time to really look at your social media profiles and work on improving your webutation. You don’t have to limit yourself to just cleaning up though — look into how you can make your profiles better, too! Mashable offers the latest news and tips for becoming a social media pro.

7. Volunteer
Volunteering is a great way to not only get some valuable experience, but to give back to your community. Summer can be a time when organizations lose student volunteers, so there may be some holes that need filling. If you’ll be in Tucson over the summer, the Volunteer Center of Southern Arizona can help you find a place that needs some help.

8. Get Ahead

Okay, now you can give me that face. But look at it this way, summer classes can be a great way to lighten your work load during the year, which can help you stay more balanced. You can find information about University of Arizona summer classes here, or check with your advisor about how you might be able to transfer classes from a local community college.

9. Get a Job
Money’s always good, and so is work experience. Check out Lauren’s blog on how to go about getting a summer job.

10. Get Ready for Fall

Cleaned those scraps of paper out of your backpack? Check. Organized binder? Check. Bought some more paper so you won’t be that kid in class? Check. Before summer is over, get yourself organized for Fall so that your semester can be as successful as possible.

What are your favorite things to do during summer? Let us know below!


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