Sarah’s Essential Guide to All Things Awesome: Summer 2012 Bucket List Edition
By: Sarah Silcox
If you can’t already tell from virtually every article I have written in the past, I absolutely love making lists. Even though I rarely ever check off every item on these lists, they are an easy way to keep my life organized. Every summer I make a list of all the things that I want to accomplish on my break. For me, these things tend to be anything from picking up a new hobby to having a bonfire with friends. I hope you get inspired from some of the items on my list and decide to make your own. Share it with your friends and try to check off every item before school starts again in August. Have a great summer break and best of luck on finals!
1. Explore a new place.
This summer I happen to be spending two months in Los Angeles doing an internship. Even though I have been to L.A. before, I have never really explored the city to its full potential. I am really looking forward to finding cultural hot spots around the city and exploring places I have never seen before. Even if you aren’t traveling anywhere elaborate this summer, try exploring a part of your hometown that you have never seen before. Take an afternoon and go out with your camera or iPhone and photograph a new place.
2. Take a road trip with friends.
I absolutely adore road trips. I love driving around with the windows down, singing along to my favorite music, and laughing with all my friends. Taking a road trip is the perfect way to strengthen friendships and actually take time to reflect on your own life. My philosophy on a road trip with friends is that it doesn’t matter where the destination is, it is more about the memories you create while traveling there.
3. Read lots of books.
I love to read, but during the year it is hard for me to find time to do so. The sad truth is that it is probably because I spend way more time than needed on Facebook. This summer my reading list consists of finally finishing Tina Fey’s Bossypants and reading old classics by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Kurt Vonnegut. What’s on your summer reading list?
4. Make the perfect summer playlist and share it with friends.
One of my favorite summer activities is driving around in my car while jamming to my favorite tunes. Driving around alone is my only opportunity to sing my favorite songs at the top of my lungs. I’m telling you — it’s very therapeutic. My summer playlists are usually an eclectic combination of oldies songs mixed with more recent sing-a-longs. This summer’s mix is guaranteed to include songs like “We Found Love” by Rihanna, “We Are Young” by Fun, and “My Body” by Young the Giant.
5. Do something spontaneous.
This task could apply to anything. Surprise a friend at work. Bake a batch of cookies for your mom — just because. Grab a friend and just drive somewhere. Call up an old crush from high school. Go skinny-dipping in a lake. Just do something in the spur of the moment and have fun with it!
6. Go on bike rides.
This task could be a little bit tricky for me since I don’t actually own a bike at the moment. But it definitely would not be that hard to find a decent used bike to ride about town. Bike riding is great exercise and an even better way to save money on gas. Is there any better way to get perfectly toned legs and save the earth at the same time? Nope, I don’t think so.
7. Creatively update wardrobe.
My closet is in serious need of revival. Do you ever feel like all of your clothes are extremely boring? I feel that way a lot lately and my style is in need of a tremendous reboot. The summer months are the perfect time to shop. You don’t even need to spend a lot of money on clothes: check out your local vintage, resale, and thrift shops. If you have the right attitude and take the time to search through all the worthless junk, you are guaranteed to find some hidden gems.
8. Make a video with friends.
This is one of the things that I really want to do this summer. Making a music video with friends is a fun and unique way to spend a summer afternoon. First, pick a song that is very catchy and fun to sing along to (i.e. “Call Me Maybe”). Second, shoot lots of video footage in various locations with your friends singing along to the song. Third, upload the footage on to your computer, edit the clips together, take out the audio, and lay the music track over the video footage. For an even more creative video, download the 8mm video app for the iPhone and shoot video that looks like vintage film.
9. Buy a homeless person lunch.
I have always wanted to do something like this. There are so many days when we all just walk past homeless people on the street as if they are not there or as though they don’t exist. One day this summer I want to buy a homeless person lunch and actually have a conversation with him/her. You never know when a simple gesture can make someone’s day.
10. Attend a bonfire.
This is pretty self-explanatory. Warm summer nights are the perfect time for bonfires with friends. This is also an ideal occasion to bring out the pretty sparklers (try light painting with them — it’s super fun). And while you’re at it, make some s’mores!
11. Make new friends.
If you are starting a new job or internship this summer, then you are about to have the opportunity to meet new people and make friends with others who share similar interests. If you are going to be living in a new city, meeting new people is also an opportunity to see what local life in that city is really like. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone a little bit — trust me you will not regret it.
12. Bake a birthday cake from scratch.
Homemade cakes are always better than store bought ones. Cakes made from scratch are made with love and you can decorate them any way you want. I happen to have a birthday coming up in May, so I will definitely be making my favorite vanilla cake to celebrate.
13. Take lots of photos.
I love taking photos. I also love using a variety of different cameras including my iPhone, DSLR, Instant Mini, and even disposables. You don’t have to have a really nice camera to take good photos. The first important thing about a photo is composition — so make sure you choose interesting subjects. If you want to see more fun photography project ideas be sure to check out photojojo’s website here. They have some really cool ideas of things to do with a disposable camera.
14. Swim in the ocean.
Out of the month that I am near the ocean in the summer, I normally will only get into the water a total of 4 times. I usually just lie in the sand and maybe dip my feet in the water. I’m not exactly sure why this is. Maybe it has something to do with getting salt water in my eyes or having my skin itch from all the wet sand. Anyways, this summer it is my goal to get past these minor obstacles and actually enjoy swimming in the ocean.
15. Go get pancakes at midnight.
For some reason I am obsessed with the idea of going to some kind of diner in the middle of the night to get pancakes. I just feel like this would be a really fun and spontaneous activity to do with friends. Sadly, Indianapolis doesn’t have any really cool old-fashioned late-night diners so it looks like my alternative options consist of Denny’s, iHop, and Steak’n’Shake. Check your local city for more authentic late night diners.
16. See a movie at a drive-in theater.
After recently reading a story in the IDS, I have become determined to attend a movie screening at a drive-in theater this summer. What better way to spend a warm summer evening than in the beautiful outdoors? Drive-in movie theaters are somewhat hard to find nowadays so check your local listings for the theater closest to you.
17. Make some money.
Being a broke college student, making some money this summer is at the top of my priority list. Seeing that I will be working an unpaid internship, I am going to need to come up with some creative ways to rake in a little cash before August rolls around. If you are anything like me, try making and selling gifts at a local art fair or pick up some babysitting jobs. If you are musically talented, try throwing a house party and charge a cover price. Get creative and you should be able to make at least a little bit of extra cash. Where else are you going to find the money to attend all the amazing music festivals this summer?
18. Go a day without using electronics.
This task could be surprisingly challenging for a lot of us. I learned in one of my telecommunications classes this year that the average person spends over 8 hours a day looking at screens — whether it is a phone, iPod, computer, or TV. At least one day this summer, I want to turn off my phone and go the whole day without using any electronic devices. Instead, I want to spend the day being outside with nature and enjoying life without social media for a little while.
19. Follow a healthy lifestyle.
Summer is the perfect time to pick up healthy eating and exercise habits. Next year is going to be the first year in my life when I am responsible for making meals for myself, so this summer is going to be the perfect time to learn how to cook healthy and delicious meals. The summer months are also a great time for getting into an exercise routine — whether that be trying to run on a regular basis or starting to pick up yoga classes at the local gym.
20. Have fun and make memories.
Summer is a time to rejuvenate yourself and relax away from the stresses of school and college life. Enjoy your time off and do exciting things while you can. You are young and you have the rest of your life ahead of you. Make memories, have a blast, and stay safe!
**All pictures taken from various Tumblr blogs**