Tips for an Adult Summer
June 22, 2017
by Jonathan Mannato
As my Sophomore year was coming to a close I knew I wanted live at Purchase over the summer. I first had to find a job that provided summer housing. I was on the hunt but was having trouble. I looked far and wide and no one was hiring. I had the mindset of going back to upstate New York and working at a CVS. Then a beautiful angel found me. I was lucky enough to have been offered the position of becoming a summer Admissions Ambassador. This means I would be giving tours all summer along with the rest of the Admissions team. This gave me my opportunity to live on my own. When you work for Purchase over the summer as an Ambassador, they provide you with free housing in the on campus apartments. I was fortunate enough to have been assigned to the apartment I was going to be living in for my junior year, so when summer is over I don’t have to move out! However, living on my own this summer means a lot more responsibility on my part.
I remember once when I had just entered the third grade, a teaching assistant told the class that since we were no longer in second grade, we had a lot more responsibility ahead of us. If I had the chance to see my third grade self I would say, “Hunny, you haven’t seen anything yet.” Living alone can be stressful and lonely, but it is also relaxing, freeing, and fun! The one thing you MUST be cautious of is cabin fever. I’m here to give you tips on how to stay productive when you’re all by yourself, lost, and possibly sometimes bored.
1.) Going to the Gym
Every semester I am always so busy and it is hard to keep up with school work let alone keeping up with my body. Besides work, this summer I have so much free time to get the body I always wanted! I created a workout plan and I have been turning my poor eating habits into healthy ones, balancing carbs, proteins, fats, etc. It also keeps me active and gives me something to do besides being cooped up in my apartment all day and sitting on the couch. However, working out isn’t all just for having a nice body. It’s a plus, but you will feel so much better mentally and spiritually. You learn how to discipline yourself and you feel like you have more energy throughout the day. I personally have felt happier and I feel in control of my body. If you don’t know where to start, look up some videos up on YouTube. The wonderful thing about the 21st Century is that there are so many resources for you to research and get yourself knowledgeable about anything, including working out! You are the only one in the way of yourself. If you can’t afford to go to a gym or you don’t have one near by, any open space is great. It just has to click within your brain that you are capable. Then you will be well on your way to a fitness journey whether it be big or small, during the summer or during the school year.
2.) Read a Book
Okay, listen. I have always hated reading. It gives me a headache, my eyes just stare at a page, and the book needs to hook me in so I’m interested right away. Otherwise I’m daydreaming while I’m scanning through the words and then I have to start all over again. I’m trying to challenge myself and overcome these obstacles. I’m currently reading Uta Hagen’s A Challenge for the Actor. I have chosen a book that is relevant to me and what my life entails. I try to learn in the process of my challenges. That’s the whole point. If the whole time you are dismissing a challenge because it is too hard or you complain then you are missing opportunities to grow. This also gives you something to do and is 100% productive. You keep the juices flowing in your brain so when school comes around you’ll still be fresh and ready to go.
Cooking is a great way to expand your pallete, eat healthy, and develop lifelong habits. With this skill you can feed yourself and you can have dinner parties that are classy or even trashy (if that’s your thing). If you’re just used to making yourself a grilled cheese or a regular PB&J, this is a great opportunity for you to find new things to make. Having a kitchen is great because I can buy whatever food I want and cook whatever I want. You get to try new things you have never tried before and this trains you for the real world. You have to learn how to budget grocery money and make sure that what you buy is used and doesn’t go to waste. There is nothing worse than finding expired milk or rotten tomatoes in your fridge. If you’re not very good at cooking I suggest you find what works for you since everyone is different. Try Buzzfeed videos or those Tasty videos on YouTube. They always have fun and crazy recipes to try. Even just a little seasoning goes a long way. You don’t have to be a Chef Ramsey but you sure as heck can show off that seasoned asparagus (speaking from experience).
4.) Be with Yourself
Now that you have time to be alone this is an opportunity to really just be with yourself. Meaning; you don’t look at a phone, laptop, or anything involving technology. I am on my second week of no social media and it is the best thing I have ever done. Completely unplugging and just thinking to yourself can go a long way. Almost like a meditation, it is so important for us to have time with our thoughts because that is when we can start exercising our brain with creative ideas instead of being zombies in front of a screen. You can think about your day, you can think about tomorrow, you could think about family, friends, your dog, dirt, food, drag queens, Barney, Kardashians, your left pinky toe, anything at all! It is essential that we make time for ourselves so that we truly live in the present. Everything I just said could seem like a cliché but cliché things are so full of truth that people brush aside every day. You’d be surprised by the adventures on which your thoughts could take you!
With all this said I have just scratched the surface of the things you could do during your independent summer to stay happy and productive. To me these are just the basics, but still important. If you’re ever feeling lonely, or having the apartment blues just know that you always have options for yourself. You can do anything you want to do. You just have to start somewhere!