From School to Summer: Navigating Change

For me, transitioning from school to summer isn’t always easy. This year, my exam period was a stressful blur of constant studying, little sleep, and high pressure. But, the moment I finished my last exam, everything disappeared. I went from working constantly to doing absolutely nothing.  At first, I really enjoyed my newfound freedom. For the first time in months, I could watch Netflix and do nothing. But, after a couple of weeks, I started getting restless. I was used to working almost all hours of the day, and eventually, Netflix didn’t seem so appealing.  A computer displaying Netflix on a bed. After a couple weeks of feeling restless and trying out new things, I finally learned what I needed to do in order to transition into summer life.  1. I like establishing routines  I think the freedom of summer mostly felt overwhelming because I didn’t have a solid routine. I’m working a couple jobs as a freelance writer, so work doesn’t provide me with a set schedule or set amount of hours. Because of this, creating my own routines was key for giving me structure and a work/life balance.  First, I carved out times of the day when I worked no matter what. This was great for creating my boundaries with friends and ensuring I had time to complete my work. I also created chore-based routines, like always cleaning my room and doing my laundry on Saturdays. One page of a day planner outlining various events in the week. Not all my routines were work-based though— some were fun, like having a weekly dinner party at my house and scheduling communal dinners with my roommates. Having these set parts of my schedule allow me to create a healthy structure within the freedom of summer. 2. I enjoy filling my time with new things I soon realized that the freedom of summer was actually what made it so great. Even though I was working, a normal work-day still didn’t take as much time as school did previously. With all my free time, I could finally do the things I’d been wanting to do all school year but never had the time for.  Some of these things were fun, like learning guitar, reading more, and spending quality-time with friends. Other things were more serious— I committed more time to the activist movement I’m part of, went to a drop-in therapy group for my mental health, and started studying for the LSAT.   Two books, one entitled "Hardwire" and the other entitled "Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic"A person sitting on a bed holding a guitar. Taking advantage of my free time is great because it allows me to complete a bunch of things I’d been wanting to do throughout the school year. Plus, having a more busy schedule really makes time I do have free feel extra special, instead of excessive or boring.  Because of these key lessons I’ve learned, my summer’s been going great. I love being able to fill my time with things that really interest me, and create my own schedule to balance work and free time. I can't wait to see what the rest of the summer brings! 

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