Summer is the time to build habits, not break them

By Shelby Peck | Copy Editor

You’re almost there. I know your savings account is running thin from the number of times you’ve been to Pinewood this week, and your eyes are burning from the countless hours you’ve spent staring at your laptop, but finals will be over in a few short days, and you’ll be on your way to wherever you plan to spend the summer.

Whether you’ll be at your dream internship, studying abroad or stocking shelves in your hometown, remember that no two summers are the same. The saying that “comparison is the thief of joy” applies even to seasons, and just because someone’s Instagram itinerary looks like it came straight from a travel magazine doesn’t mean your summer has to be boring or insignificant.

It might be easy to immerse yourself in your part-time job or wish the next three months away in eager anticipation for the fall, but summer is the perfect time to build habits, not break them. So, if you’re looking for some extra ways to fill your summer calendar, here are some suggestions.

Become a movie connoisseur

Whether you’re a film buff or barely have the patience to sit through a two-hour movie, use the summer to expand your movie taste. Letterboxd is a fantastic venue to explore watchlists, sift through others’ reviews and document what you watch.

Head to the great outdoors

If you’ll be in Waco for the summer and are already dreading the 100-degree weather, don’t resolve to stay inside all day. Consider purchasing a Texas State Parks Pass for entry to Texas’ 89 state parks. Some of the scenery may surprise you more than you initially think. Looking to stay local? Check out the Pullin Family Marina for free kayak rentals with your student ID, or treat yourself to a surf session at Waco Surf.

Explore cultures through cuisine

Expand your taste palate by trying recipes from across the world. I highly recommend Brazilian stroganoff or baklava. Invite friends over and perhaps enjoy a film or playlist from the region whose cuisine you’re tasting.

Invest in your relationships

Maybe this summer, you finally start sending handwritten letters or scheduling weekly lunch with your grandparents. Whatever long-distance relationship you have in your life that seems to fall through the cracks during the school year, create intentional time this summer to invest in those around you. Whether you’re at home or living with roommates, seek to serve those around you and be an intentional encourager.

Practice intentional gratitude

In the highs and lows of summer, take a few minutes each day to practice intentional gratitude. Not only does research indicate gratitude motivates positive mental health, but gratitude also provides perspective and instills in us a spirit of joy. Whether it’s listing five things you’re thankful for every morning or pausing before each meal, remember that where you are is where you are meant to be in exactly this moment, and choosing to be thankful for today raises your joy and expectation for tomorrow.