This summer is certainly going to be unlike any other. Many states are easing up on their stay-at-home orders, while still imposing restrictions to prevent and brace for potential second waves. Whether you remained in the U.S. or are in your home country, we know that you’ve likely had to make adjustments to your summer plans. Because of that, we’ve devised a list with ways you can still have a great summer and prepare for the fall while being safe and maintaining social distancing guidelines:
Enjoy the great outdoors
If there’s one place you can likely safely social distance, it’s outside. With the wide expanse of the great outdoors, you can leave enough room between yourself and others while enjoying a change in scenery. With so many parks, lakes, and beaches in this country, there are a seemingly endless number of choices for anything from hikes or walks, swims, recreational activities, or even just lounging. If you live in the city and are going to a local park or outdoor area, you might want to try going during off-hours to avoid too many crowds, as it will be more likely to be congested.
Take a road trip
Do you have a car? Roll the windows down, create a summer playlist, and go for a drive! If there’s a scenic route in your area, map it out and drive to somewhere you may have driven by, but never had the time to stop and really see. Not into listening to music? Consider downloading an audiobook or listening to a new podcast. Don’t forget to pack yourself a sandwich, snacks, and beverages for when you need to take a break. Bonus points for snapping awesome selfies at all those picturesque spots you see along the way.
Take an online class
By now you have become accustomed to taking online classes, so this summer could be a great opportunity to keep the momentum going. If you have time in your summer schedule, sign up for a class or two to get ahead on your academic track. This could free up time in future semesters to take a class you might not normally have been able to fit into your schedule, to take a class outside of your major, or to even pursue an internship for credit instead.
Try that new thing you always wanted to do
See a cool do-it-yourself (DIY) craft that you’ve always wanted to attempt? Have you wanted to start an herb garden? Have you been meaning to learn how to play that guitar you purchased a few years ago? With many of our usual summer activities cancelled or postponed this summer, you might finally have some free time to pursue a new hobby. As an added bonus: picking up a new hobby might help you discover something that can help you relax, recharge, and de-stress.
Support local businesses
Your favorite restaurants, entertainment venues, shops and other businesses have taken a huge hit throughout the pandemic. Show them some love by ordering takeout, doing a little shopping, or even participating in any virtual versions of their offerings. This is a great way to stay connected with your local community and ensure that your favorite places are still in business after the pandemic.
This might be one of the most important things you can do this summer, especially in the wake of feeling isolated during the pandemic and watching the news as protesters in the U.S. fight against systemic racism. While it’s important to stay informed and educated about current events, it can sometimes have adverse effects on your mental health. Be sure to make time for yourself to decompress and step away from the news. Do the things that help you de-stress and relax so that you can help your community, and enter into your fall semester ready to go.