At this point in the academic school year it seems as if summer is just within each student’s reach — just past the final papers that need to be written and tests that need to be taken first, of course.
With this in mind, a groan might be the common response to my proposal for all students to strive toward a productive summer. Yes, school might be over by then but we should still set goals for ourselves on our days off.
These goals do not need to be huge and seemingly impossible, such as single-handedly building your own Fortune 500 company. They can, however, be anything as simple as learning to play a new instrument or finally building that bookcase to house the various textbooks that you hope to sell to some underclassmen next fall.
Unlike the fall and spring semester, summertime offers you the advantage of at least a chance to focus on less things at one time.
Students may not realize it, but constantly having to divide your mind between school, work and social life can be mentally draining, if not physically exhausting. The end of the school year is like a new sheet of white paper — full of opportunity and waiting for inspiration.
Another benefit to setting mini-goals for yourself this summer is that you will undoubtedly be a different person by the time you return next fall.
Perhaps not radically different, but nonetheless changed. Who knows, perhaps the art lessons that you decided to take over the break could prompt you to add an art minor or the kids that you decided to tutor lead you to go into mission work.
You have nothing to lose. At worst, you did not quite accomplish what you set out to do, but at least you will have a good story to tell by the end of the break.
Even though setting a goal for yourself over the summer might be a good idea, keep in mind that like anything, it should be taken in moderation.
With almost three months off, no goal is worth feeling forced to pull all-nighters or having anxiety attacks over. In the end, the whole point of a personal endeavor is for you to enjoy it.
You will not be graded on how well you achieve your goal, so relax and start looking forward to the promise of what is sure to be a good summer vacation.
Didi Martinez is a freshman journalism and political science double major from Katy. She is the copy editor and a regular columnist for the Lariat.