How to Handle a Lonely Summer Vacation
Dealing with Summer Vacation Loneliness
While you're in school, from kindergarten to college, you wait from August till May for those three months of summer vacation, sure they'll be filled with fun, adventure, and memory-making. As you got older though, and especially once you go to college, your summer vacations may become less thrilling--your friends travel or go to another parent's house, and you're left at home alone.
If you're feeling lonely and bored, the three months of summer vacation can stretch into what feels like an eternity, with one day the same as the next.
A summer vacation that starts out with loneliness doesn't have to stay that way, however--if you're a little proactive, you can fill your time with enjoyable and productive activities that make the months fun and fight your feelings of solitude.
Benefits of Volunteering
Choosing Volunteer Activities
If you're stuck in the summer doldrums, vegging out in front of the TV and wondering if everyone's having more fun than you, then it's time to get out of yourself! Choosing a volunteer position lets you give back to your community while filling your free time in a positive way.
Think about something you love doing and find a volunteer activity to align with your interests--while volunteering can be a chore if you're not passionate about the activity, if you choose one that aligns with what you love it can be an amazing experience. For instance, if you love reading consider volunteering at a literacy center; if you love animals, volunteer at an animal shelter; and if you love children, volunteer at a local camp. The options are endless!
Volunteering will also introduce you to many people beyond your social circle, and those new friendships will make your summer less lonely.
Finding a Job
Another way to beat summer loneliness is to get a part-time job--not only will you be filling your time, you'll be earning some extra cash and building your resume.
Look for internships or jobs that fit some interest you have, or take a job that will teach you something new. Even if it's a retail position, colleges and future employers like to see that you can juggle responsibilities, work hard, and show commitment.
And just like with volunteering, getting a job is also a great way to meet new people and reduce the feelings of loneliness you might have when your friends are out of town or otherwise busy in the summer.
Exercising or Engaging in a Hobby
If you're a work-hard, play-hard student and need the summer to decompress, then a job or a volunteer position might not be for you. However, you'll still have those lonely summer hours to fill up. Instead of moping in your room, get out and get some exercise or find a hobby you love.
If you'd like to get in better shape, the summer is the perfect time to stick to an exercise and healthy-eating schedule. So, make a plan and get started! You'll soon find yourself looking forward to your workouts and the accomplished feeling you get from pushing yourself a little harder each time.
Hobbies are also a great way to pass time--working on old cars, joining a soccer or tennis team, scrapbooking, cooking--cultivate a skill you enjoy and spend the summer becoming better at it. You'll enjoy yourself while passing time and feeling less lonely. And as an added bonus, if your hobby includes being social, like a team sport, you'll make friends, as well.
Taking Community College Classes
One other option to try to pass the long summer days is to sign up for community college classes. If you're in high school, many of the credits (especially those in basic subjects) will transfer to your future college, meaning you're getting a head start on higher education. If you're in college, the credits may transfer as well--get a hard math class or science class out of the way so you don't have to struggle with it when you're taking many other classes at once during the regular school year.
You could also use community college classes to explore a potential major or develop a skill--and being in the social setting, learning with others, will reduce your loneliness.
Summer Doesn't Have to Be Lonely
Being alone during the summer doesn't mean you have to be lonely! Volunteering, getting a job, throwing yourself into a hobby, or taking a community college course are all great ways to handle a lonely summer vacation.
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