How to Make the Most of Your Summer

Even with the ever-changing spring temperatures and stress about finals, housing, fall class schedule, or graduation, the promise of summer break keeps the spirits of Hope College students afloat. Whether you have your internship or summer job set in stone, or your summer plans are alarmingly wide open, having something to look forward to in the upcoming months is motivation to get you through finals with flying colors. Below are four ideas for you to make your summer one to remember!

  1. Hug a tree.

In the upcoming months, the Northern Hemisphere comes alive. We are already getting a preview of Holland’s natural beauty as tulips begin to line the streets. The last thing to do after a Michigan winter is to spend more time inside, so no matter where you are this summer, apps like AllTrails, a quick Google search, or your own sense of adventure provide plenty of opportunities to discover the world around you through forest trails, parks, or city sidewalks.

If you are near a lake or ocean this summer, this is your sign to find a friend with a boat. Maddie Tinskey’s (‘27) favorite summer activity is a day on the lake, because “it’s so relaxing…there’s just so many things you can do: you can go tubing, waterskiing, swimming, you name it. If you want, you can just sit in the sun on the boat.”

Shelby Bolser’s (‘27) perfect summer includes “a bunch of traveling, going to as many national parks as [she] can, and camping.” Bolser promotes students spending as much time as possible outside: “You should be outside in the summer because it’s nice and you should take advantage of the warm weather. Also, it’s just good for your mental health to be outside.” The health benefits of spending time outdoors should be a convincing enough argument on their own for you to hit the trails: increased physical activity, reduced stress and improved sleep quality are only a few.

  1. Take a nap.

Speaking of sleep, rest is critical for busy students coming off of the busiest weeks of the semester. Aside from catching some extra z’s after the all-nighters pulled in finals week, take time for yourself: journaling, leaving your phone at home or picking up a good book are all ways to mentally reset. Even with a busy schedule, blocking out time to recharge will create a sustainable lifestyle so you won’t get burnt out, and it’s a good skill to master before coming back to campus in the fall or moving on to the next stage of your life.

  1. Look back…

The summer is one of the best times of the year to reconnect with the friends and family who are cheering you on back home. Karen Nimtz (‘27) states that she’s “a pretty big advocate for going on trips with your friends because they bring your friendships to new levels when you experience hardships.” Even if an overnight trip is out of your budget or doesn’t work for your schedule, day trips to the city, a concert, the beach and more are ways to create new memories with old friends.

  1. …and look forward.

Last but not least, summer break is a time to branch out. “I think that summer is a good time for trying new things and being open to new experiences because you don’t get to do that a lot of the time during the school year,” Nimtz adds.

If you happen to be traveling abroad this summer, immerse yourself in the local culture. Tinskey reflects: “My ideal summer would be meeting new people and seeing how they experience summer…like traveling to a different country and seeing their form of fun.”

Bolser is an expert at extreme adventure. On her 18th birthday, she went skydiving, describing it as “the best experience of [her] entire life.” She adds “If I hadn’t already done that it would be my top bucket list item.” Already looking ahead to new experiences, Bolser wants to tackle another thrilling feat: bungee jumping.

College is often described as ‘the best four years of your life.’ Whether or not that statement is true for you, summer is a unique season that promises adventure and excitement. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and connect with old confidants, new friends, the world around you and yourself. The Anchor looks forward to seeing you in the fall and telling your new stories!

(Featured image source: Sunny studio /

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