In Defense of Lollygagging: Using Your Summer Wisely

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Here at Mills, we really love to stress ourselves out. Sure, that’s a generalization. But, it is also pretty darn true.

During the school year, we juggle APs with sports with clubs and with jobs. When the summer comes, schoolwork is quickly replaced with internships, SAT study prep, summer classes, and volunteering opportunities.

We think we’re invincible, that we can do anything. We think we can take those four or five APs during the school year. Then once the summer comes around, we decide to take physics and creative writing classes, while studying for the ACT, and interning. Oh, and don’t forget babysitting for the Smith family twice a week.

Trust me, I am just as guilty as the next kid. This summer, I plan on taking classes, studying for the SAT, interning, running daily, and writing the next Great American novel. If I have time, I might try to squeeze in a quick trip to Mars as well.

The thing is, it makes sense. High school students have little to no free time during the school year. We work so hard on school-related activities during the school year that we sacrifice our time to pursue anything else. Once summer comes around, we feel pressured to pile on activity after activity into our already-crammed schedules.

This is not good.

Summer is for relaxing. Summer is for getting a permanent flip-flop tan and for binge-watching so many Netflix shows in a row that your Ipad dies not once, but twice. Summer is for spending time with your family and your friends. It is a time for reflection.

So, this summer, I have a challenge for you. Spend some time, just for yourself. Use your time to set goals for the upcoming school year, to look back on your last school year and to make plans for improvement. Use your time to catch up on that one TV show you had to give up, in order to study for the AP Physics test. Use your time to organize your colored pencils and to teach the family dog a new trick. Use your time to recharge, to relax, and to do all those things you wish you could during the school year.

Some people may call you lazy. And that’s okay– because they’re wrong. There is a substantial difference between laziness and reasonableness. You need to know your own limits. If you constantly push yourself, constantly charge mountains, and constantly leap over hurdles, you will never be fully at your best. You need to take that time to let both your mind and your body take a break.

I am not telling you to not take those SAT classes or to not apply for that internship. Rather, I am telling you to cut yourself some slack. Take naps. Go on walks. Enjoy life, and you will be truly taking the utmost advantage of your summer break. 

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