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The Daily Illini

How to spend your summer after graduation

Harrison Lindholm, Special Sections Writer

Graduating college is quite an achievement as many people do not have the ability or the opportunity to attend a university. Graduating college, especially the University, is something to be proud of, and it should be properly celebrated. If you have not picked up a job, or if you get to have a small break before jump-starting your career, you should sincerely consider planning an extraordinary summer. I always took summer for granted during my youth, but as college winds down, the reality of non-existent summers slowly permeates my mind.

Here follows my dream summer. Of course, this is not the perfect dream summer but my own dream summer. Take from it what you will, but if any of my hopeful plans spark your interest, l hope that you will be able to do it yourself.

Three months of summer goes by very fast. This is why a great summer cannot reach its full potential if it is not planned well. I recommend, when planning your last summer, that you create a list of everything you want to accomplish. The earlier you do this, the better your plan will be. If you plan early enough, you will be able to get the resources you need to accomplish everything. Travel is often a top priority for people wanting to vacation. Imagine going across the ocean and experiencing European culture or taking a road trip with your closest friends across the U.S. Even a seemingly simple road trip is much more complex and costly than it sounds on paper. You must account for the price of lodging, food and travel when planning trips such as these.

During my last summer break, I want to drive all over North America. Of course, on the drive, I plan on stopping many times to enjoy all the tourist attractions these diverse places offer. This dream trip of mine would take me all around the U.S. and through many parts of Canada. In addition to the extremely high costs for gas, I will need to plan where I will lay my head each night and budget my spending for each day. This requires a decent amount of planning to be done safely and properly.

Other dreams for my last summer would include spending quality time with my friends and relatives. Once you acquire a full-time job, your weekdays will generally be busy from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Perhaps you will work even more hours or on weekends, too. It will be a challenge to find the time to be with the ones you love. This is especially true if your relatives live a long distance from you. I have family that lives around me in the north suburbs of Chicago, but other members of my family live in Madison, Michigan, and as far away as Florida. Finding time to go fishing with my dad or share a lovely meal with my mom will be much more difficult when all of us have to coordinate our busy schedules.

A big part of my dream summer is to find ways to improve myself. Again, working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week takes up a very large portion of life, and therefore, doesn’t give you a lot of time to explore your other interests. Personally, I love reading. To me, there is nothing like getting sucked into a great novel. I have learned so much about the human condition and about myself from reading novels. When I  go on vacations during the school year, I spend hours upon hours immersed in books. I have such a long list of books I want to read, and having a few months of free time will help me make some progress on that reading list.

Another great pastime to pursue over the summer is to learn how to play a musical instrument. I have played guitar for a few years now, and although I am absolutely horrible at it, I have a great time playing it. Learning the instrument has brought me so much joy. I hope to spend more time learning new songs and learning a little bit more piano.

Just like how New Year’s resolutions are often devised but never followed through, I suspect that living out every dream in a summer plan is difficult and perhaps impossible. Despite this, I implore you to take as much advantage of your summer vacation as possible. If you have hobbies, pursue them fully for a while. If you want to see a landmark, go out and admire it. If you don’t like to do anything, find something you do like.  You are only young once, and you may never get an extended time of vacation like this again in your life. Remember to write down and plan out your ideas before you do them. There is no time like the present.

hlindho2@dailyillini.com

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