These days, taking time off for yourself seems to be something that is frowned upon. Combined with the need to make money and keep busy, it can be especially difficult to bring yourself to take a break once in awhile. However, time off is incredibly underrated. Taking the summer off before starting your next adventure in life may be just the right idea.
1. It gives you a chance to try something new
Just think about it. For the past few years, your life has probably been extremely busy––you’ve had constant schoolwork, extracurricular activities to commit time to and probably a part-time job here and there. Combined with spending time with friends and family, it probably left you little time for yourself.
Cassidy Hopkins, a senior at Emerson College, took advantage of her free summer between high school and college. “It’s a great time to spend with family and friends and try something you’ve never had the chance to,” she says, “Take that road trip you’ve wanted to go on with your besties, plan a weekend getaway with your parents, pick up yoga or learn and instrument.” Now’s a better time than any other!
Taking a summer off from a job or internship could leave you with the free time you haven’t had lately––and allow you to do some of the things you’ve never had the time or energy for. Always wanted to learn more about photography? Sign up for a class! Haven’t learned how to drive yet? Now’s your chance! Want to spend more time cooking up those Pinterest recipes? Now’s the time! If you free your schedule from the usual part-time job, school or internship, you’ll finally have a chance to check those fun things off your to-do list before you head off to college.
2. You may save money
Depending on your usual plans, taking a summer off could actually save you money. Many pre-collegiettes and collegiettes commit to unpaid internships or move to cities with high living expenses. While internships are great learning experiences and it might be tempting to up and move to your dream city, think about what you could save by holding off for another year or two.
Alex Watson was one of these collegiettes. “I originally wanted to spend a summer interning in New York City, but it turned out that the cons outweighed the pros,” says Alex, a senior at New York University. “It would have been so expensive to live in NYC and basically pay to intern, so I decided to take a summer off at home instead. It was the best choice I could have made because it allowed me to save money and spend time at home instead.” Ambition is great, but the summer after high school might not be the best opportunity to put those ambitions into action.
Though it doesn’t seem real that you could save money by taking time off, it is true. Consider other factors like where you’re living and what kinds of activities you’re doing on a daily basis; they could help you save big. Holding off from some bigger, more expensive plans can actually have more benefits than you think!
3. It allows you time to recharge
When you are constantly busy managing school, work and your personal life, you probably don’t have much time to step back and relax. It can be easy to get caught up in the chaos of your busy life, and taking a summer off could give you the time to take a breather.
Cassidy also recommends using the summer between high school and college as a time to relax and recharge. “You worked hard all throughout high school, and when you get to college it will be just as rigorous, if not more. The summer is a great time to stop and take a step back from it all,” she says. After all, isn’t that what summer is for?
If you’re about to head off in another direction this fall, think about taking this last summer to relax and reassess. Remember that you have a long road ahead of you, and this might be the perfect opportunity to recharge before you get started again.
4. You’ll be working for the rest of your life
It sounds scary, but it’s probably true! You’ll most likely be spending the rest of your life either at work or at school. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, note that there might not be much free time in your future. When you get tied down to a job (or even a school), it can be harder and harder to tear yourself away for even just a few days.
Take advantage of the opportunity now and take the summer off while you have the chance! Odds are, you probably won’t have the same opportunity to take time off in the future––especially three months of it. While you might be hesitant to take the time off right now, remember that you might regret it later on if you don’t!
5. You can prioritize your own well-being
Chances are you haven’t had any “me time,” in a while––and we could all use some here and there. Take some time off this summer to take care of yourself and refresh to prepare for your next adventure: college!
A summer off will enable you to focus on things other than school and work, like friends, family and your personal health. Instead of stressing yourself out at work, you can relax with family, spend some much-needed time with your BFFs and set aside time for yourself. You’ll have the opportunity to work on your health, get organized and overall refresh before you head into the fall!
While it can be hard to let go of your responsibilities and take the summer off, there are certainly benefits to doing so! Freeing up your summer will allow you to relax, recharge and spend your time checking things off your summer bucket list that have been on there for a while!