Summer Vacation: How to Enjoy It to the Fullest


Kathleen Hong, Contributor

The last day of school is less than two weeks away, and two months of summer vacation is just within reach. Whether you’re promoting to high school or will be returning to Parks as an 8th grader, there are a lot of things you can do before the next school year to reset, prepare, and have some fun. Here are some activities to do during your summer:

1. Try some extracurricular activities. With all the extra time on your hands, why not use it to do something new? Whether it be trying softball or making pottery, there are tons of things you can learn in the summer and continue on into the school year. Who knows, you might discover a strong passion to continue for years to come. And if you already have an existing hobby, spend the summer strengthening it so you come back better than before. 

2. Go somewhere new. Whether that be the new coffee shop a block away or going to Europe, a change in environment can help us feel refreshed and happy. Plus there are tons of new things to try, and gives you a new place to make some nice memories.

3. Do some preparations for the next school year. Invest in making good study habits and having good time management. You could go shopping for some aesthetic school supplies or outfits for school. You can do summer courses to have a good foundation for the upcoming year. Prepare to audition for school teams or clubs. And sometimes, taking the time to sit down and do some learning during your vacation can make it easier to transition from our lazy and exciting summer to high school or 8th grade.

4. Do a fun activity. Have a pool party, go to the mall, invite a friend over for video games, go to a park, etc. You’ll have a lot of time on your hands, so why not spend it with your friends and family? Summer’s the perfect place to make memories, and can help you connect with others. Get in touch with a friend you haven’t seen in a long time, or have some fun with someone you know will be leaving soon (probably for a different school). Take the time to live all the moments to the fullest before your free time is limited by academics.

5. Volunteer in the summer. There are tons of communities that need an extra pair of hands, and you could be the one offering them. From child daycares to animal shelters, volunteering helps those around you, can teach you tons of life skills, can make you feel happy, and can build up your self-esteem. You can also have a friend volunteer with you, or make new friends in the process. Volunteering can create connection and community and gives you a sense of accomplishment.

6. Have some time for yourself or your family. In the summer, there will be days when you stay at home and don’t go to volunteer centers, day camps, or extracurriculars. So instead of waiting for those days to come, utilize the time you have to yourself to get some self-care done. Take a walk by yourself, read in your room while listening to music, watch Netflix, or spend some quality time with your loved ones. Taking the time to take care of yourself and making connections is something universal we can all do, so let’s continue it in June and July.

Whether you’re a to-be freshman or a returning Parks Panther, I hope that you enjoy your summer to the fullest. Take the time to relax, recharge, and have some fun before we’re all thrown back into the academic loop. Have a great summer, and congrats on finishing the 2022-2023 school year!