7 Things You Have No Excuse NOT to Do This Summer

Summer is most importantly great for catching up on much-needed Zzzs and splashing around in the pool with friends—but it's also necessary to use this break to better yourself.

While you absolutely deserve to be lazy after nine straight months of grueling studies, think of how good you'll feel if you slip some productivity into the time you have off.

Keep reading for seven useful things you have no excuse not to do this summer.


1. Be Active

With plenty of time on your hands, there are zero reasons why you can't squeeze a 30-60-minute sweat sesh into your day. We get that gym memberships can get pricey, and workouts can get monotonous, but we've got lots of options for you! If you aren't up for a traditional fitness routine, go online and look for studios that offer the first class for free. Some places will even offer a first week free or a very inexpensive trial month. By going to as many first-class-free studios as you can, you'll not only get to switch up your workouts, but you'll obviously save money.

If gyms and studios aren't your thing, take an outdoor approach. Either grab some weights and head to your local park, or find a nearby hiking trail or set of stairs you can climb in circuits. Bring a friend or family member along to make the process a little more enjoyable, and get started when you wake up so it's not too hot and you'll have a nice endorphin rush to kick off your day.

Girl sitting on the floor with workout gear

(via Shutterstock)


2. Make Money

You probably don't want to spend your entire summer standing behind a McDonald's drive-thru, but you should definitely consider doing something to make a little extra cash during your break. Whether it's a part-time job at a fast-food joint, a paid internship at your parent's office, a babysitting gig or dog-walking duties, taking on some extra responsibility will not only make you feel productive, but it just may help you save up for that car, or anything else you've been pining away about. Plus, depending on what you do, you could end up making new friends and crushes. Making money feels great, and it also shows your parents you're proactive and ready to take on bigger life commitments.


(Jessie via Disney Channel)


3. Travel

While hopping on a jet to Paris is a lot easier said than done, there's no reason why you can't get out of town in some way or another. Whether it's heading to a nearby picturesque town, or convincing your parents to let you board a plane to visit a friend, now's the time to incorporate some kind of travel into your free time. Even if it's nothing extravagant, do some online research and pick a place that could be fun for a simple day trip at the very least. As long as there are a few Instagrammable photo ops and good company, consider it a success.

two cute girlfriends flaunt peace signs as they hang out in the back of a car's trunk

(via Shutterstock)


4. Reinvent Yourself

Whether you're coming off of a school year you'd rather forget, or you simply want to spice things up, summer gives you more than enough time to play around with new looks, make new friends and embrace new hobbies. It doesn't mean you need to go from girl-next-door to goth, but just shedding the past year and coming back with newfound confidence (from wherever you can draw it) is plenty. Whether that means transforming your body, sporting some seriously stylish trends or approaching school and life with a new outlook, there are so many things you can do to come back to school as a new you.

Guy dyeing girl's hair purple and blue ombre in a salon

(via Shutterstock)


5. Start a YouTube Channel or Niche IG Account

How many times have you told your friends and family that you want to start a YT channel, but just haven't gotten around to doing it? Probably tons, because we've done the same. With so much free time on your hands, now's your opportunity to do research, reach out to smaller YouTubers (or friends who have accounts) and start shooting video. It won't be easy at first, and you may feel discouraged, but vlogs are just a glorified version of the Instagram Stories you're posting on the reg anyway, so just keep at it, and have your friends and fam assist.

If starting a YouTube channel is too much of a commitment, or you're not fully ready to put yourself out there at that capacity, try something on a smaller scale like starting a niche Instagram account. Whether it's a BTS fan account you've been wanting to begin, or a showcase of your photography or art, creating a feed devoted to one specific thing can help you connect with people all over the world who enjoy the same stuff as you. It's a nice side hobby when you want to disconnect from the folks you deal with regularly.

Girl staring at phone

(via Shutterstock)


6. Learn to Cook

Cooking sounds like a pain at first, but it's really a lot easier than you think. We hit up Pinterest all the time to create virtually anything from any ingredient we're craving at the moment. Sure, some recipes are going to be more intricate than others, but if you're just getting started, there are a slew of beginner-level bites. Cooking is especially fun if you're prepping to host or attend a party, or if you want to impress your crush. Plus, joining mom in the kitchen can make for a pretty awesome bonding experience. As you go, you can brag about all your home-cooked concoctions on social media (spoiler alert: They get a lot of attention!).

Milk 'n Cookie Cubes

(via Shutterstock)


7. Explore Nature

With summer in full swing, there are so many opportunities to be outdoors. Whether you throw a scenic picnic with pals or an S.O., go on hikes, or go to the lake, being in the midst of greenery, water or fresh air will instantly help clear your head. Even a simple walk around your neighborhood or on a picturesque trail will feel calming, and it certainly makes for great Instagram content (there we go again). When you're cooped up in a classroom every day, it's hard to find the time to explore nature's nooks and crannies. With more time on your hands, you can really uncover beautiful spots you didn't know existed.

Girl on an early morning hike watching the sunrise from a mountain.

(via Shutterstock)


If you're looking for additional useful tips, HERE are five ways to prepare on Sunday for a successful week ahead.