Making the most of your summer

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A page on a clipboard with a list of to-do items like finding a summer job, reading more, and enjoying the weather.
On the warmest of summer days, it can sometimes be easy to forget the horror of the long, cold winters. Clker-Free-Vector-Images via Pixabay, manipulated by Lee Lim

The sun-soaked months will pass fast, so now’s the time to get your priorities in check 

Summer is the perfect time to recharge, explore, and grow. As a student or recent graduate, you can optimize your summer by balancing work, internships, travel, and relaxation. This includes developing new skills, networking, staying motivated, and reflecting on your personal goals and mental health. Figuring out how to make the most of this time can be challenging, but with the right mindset and some planning, students can have a productive and fruitful summer. 

Engaging in an internship or a job related to your field of study during the summer can be a game-changer for your career prospects. This can provide valuable experience, help you build a professional network, and give you a competitive edge when applying for jobs after graduation. The key is to find an internship or job that aligns with your interests and career goals. Many organizations start recruiting for co-op and summer job positions months in advance, so it is important to start your search early. If you are a recent graduate, make sure to connect with your professors or alumni network as they can offer valuable advice and recommendations for your job search. While Regina and Saskatchewan offer many great job prospects, you can keep your options open and also consider job opportunities beyond. Many companies offer internship positions in other provinces, and this can certainly be an enriching experience, especially if you’re a travel enthusiast. 

If you’re looking to explore new places and cultures during your summer break, traveling can be a great option too. Saskatchewan may not be the first choice on many people’s bucket lists for tourist destinations. However, it is certainly a hidden gem to explore if you’re seeking a respite from the fast-paced lifestyle of urban areas. Saskatchewan is rich in culture and history, with many museums such as the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Western Development Museum, and the Saskatchewan Science Centre, and its heritage sites that showcase the past. Saskatchewan is also home to some popular lakes, including Lake Diefenbaker, Wascana Lake, and Candle Lake among others which offer various recreational activities such as swimming, boating, fishing, and camping.  

As a student, you may also be interested in exploring other activities in other provinces. If you’re a fan of outdoor activities like hiking and skiing, British Columbia offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. The Rocky Mountains, Okanagan Valley, and the historic city of Victoria are must-sees for any nature enthusiast. Located just a few hours east of British Columbia, the Banff and Jasper National Parks, the diverse wildlife, and the vibrant culture of Alberta is also worth exploring. If you’re a fan of music and festivals, Ontario is the place to be. Take a trip to Niagara Falls, CN Tower, Algonquin Provincial Park, Royal Ontario Museum, or even Canada’s Wonderland to level up your traveling experience. 

Expand your summer experience by taking a step out of your comfort zone and exploring new opportunities. Attend a class or workshop to develop a new skill, volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about, or take on new challenges to try new things and create meaningful experiences. This is the time to break away from the routine and get that adrenaline rush by trying something different. It’s an opportune time to grow as an individual. Taking an elective class or attending a workshop can be a great way to broaden your horizons. As you delve into new hobbies or skills such as cooking, painting, or dancing, you can attest to a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. The feeling of learning and improving yourself can be such a rewarding experience, leaving you with pride and confidence. Not only will you gain a new skill, but you will also get to interact with new people who share your interests.  

Volunteering is also a great opportunity to gain valuable experience and give back to society.  The Regina Open Door Society (RODS), the Regina Food Bank, and the Saskatchewan Environmental Society are some stellar examples of non-profit organizations within the city where you can volunteer and make a positive impact on the lives of others. With a wide range of organizations and causes to choose from, there is something for everyone. A visit to Excalipurr Cat café, located at the heart of the city, is also a unique way to spend your time while volunteering in Regina. It’s not just a haven for the feline companions awaiting adoption to find their forever homes, but it’s also a cozy spot for you to relax, grab a coffee, and hang out with the adorable cats. 

While making the most of your summer break is important, it’s equally essential to avoid burning out in the process. Striking a balance between enjoying yourself and planning your activities is key. Over-planning can often lead to stress and fatigue, so take the time to relax and recharge as well. One tip is to prioritize your activities and commitments. Make a list of what’s most important to you, and focus on it first. Schedule downtime for yourself, whether that’s spending time alone, with friends, or just having the courage to say no to activities and engagements that do not align with your priorities or add unnecessary stress to your life. After all, taking care of yourself is also essential to enjoying a fulfilling summer.  

Practicing self-care, setting boundaries, and connecting with loved ones are effective ways to focus on your mental health during the summer. Whether it’s through regular exercise, meditation, spending quality time with your pet, or simply taking time off to do things you love, make sure to dedicate time to yourself each day. Try going on a walk without your phone and focus on the present moment and see how this increases your mindfulness, uplifts your mood, and reduces your anxiety and stress. Don’t be afraid to brave the odds and seek help when necessary to prioritize your emotional well-being. 

To crown it all, summer is the perfect time to soak up the sun and create meaningful memories. Remember that the summer is like a popsicle – sweet, refreshing, and yet disappears too quickly. So, savour every moment and make it a summer to remember! 

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