“I’ve been home for less than a week and am already bored to tears. Help!”

Oh summer.  We are desperate for you to get here and then we complain when we aren’t insanely busy.

First of all- QUIT YOUR COMPLAINING.  I’m kidding. (kind of)  The number of summers you actually have left in life are fewer than the fingers on your hand (unless you become a teacher or you don’t have any fingers).  So, keep a positive perspective!  Pretty soon you will be working full time and mourning the fact that you will never again have a summer off.

Secondly- map out some goals and things you want to do.  Even though I don’t have summers off, I have to be very intentional about mapping out deadlines, goals, & tasks that I want to accomplish over the summer months so that I don’t waste the downtime at work.

Here are 8 ideas for you to consider.

1. Get a job. 

I know that this is easier said than done but companies are hiring for summer temp work, you just have to be persistent.  I know several students who have found work via Craigslist, just be careful because a lot are shady.  Explore event/wedding planning or catering companies.  Usually there is a lot of work in that industry during the summer months.  Ask your parents & neighbors if their companies hire summer temp help.

2. Volunteer.

If you don’t have any real community service on your resume at this point, use the summer to get something on there.  Volunteer some place that excites you– an animal shelter, a crisis pregnancy center,  your high school youth group, Vacation Bible School, a local food pantry, wherever!  Just don’t volunteer some place that you don’t connect with in some way.  You’ll be bored and miserable and no one wants that in a volunteer.

3. Read! 

Use the time off school to get in some fun or personal/professional growth reading. Books I always recommend: Shadow of the Almighty, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, The Defining Decade, The Birth Order Book.  I also just finished Bossypants & Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?  I laughed out loud on every page.

4. Pour into your siblings and parents. 

You’re away nine months out of the year.  While at home, set up individual lunch and coffee dates with your siblings and parents.  Get to know each of them in a new way.  Approach your time with them like you would a friend in school.

5. Continue your own career exploration. 

Not sure what you want to do post graduation?  Set up informational interviews with people who have jobs you might be interested in.  Create a list of 15 questions you can ask them to learn about their daily job responsibilities, what they love and hate, and what it takes for someone to succeed in their job or industry.  Find someone you really hit it off with?  Ask if you can shadow them for a day or even help out one afternoon each week.

6. Work on your professional documents. 

When was the last time you looked at your resume, cover letter, and reference page?  The summer is a great time to edit and update your resume while you’re not in the midst of class work.

7. Invest in someone younger than you. 

Ask your youth leader from your home church if there is a high school student you should get to know.  Become their friend and mentor.

8. Get a group of friends together to do a six-week Bible study of book club. 

Pick a study that is already laid out for you and rotate who leads discussion each week.  Don’t want to lead it? Ask someone a few years ahead of you if they’d be willing to lead the discussion each week.

What other ideas do you have to stave off the summer boredom blues?