If you're in college, you're probably counting down the days until graduation. For most people, "real life" starts when you twist that tassel and swear off finals forever. In reality, college is the prime time to accomplish some great things and make unforgettable memories. Once you graduate, you'll probably feel pressure to get a full-time job, then never have time to do all those things you vowed to do. There are a lot of things you can do while still in college to help you feel like you're already living your "real life." Yes, David At The Dentist, this is real life, and here are some ways to start living it:
A Summer Job Done Right
Yes, an internship that looks good on your resume sounds appealing. But does sitting in a dark, freezing office all summer make you jump with excitement? You'll have plenty of time to do that when you're old. Take the summer between semesters to do something that will give you memories for years to come. Think about being a river guide in a national park, or working on a cruise ship, or setting up camp as a host at a lodge in Australia. You can always get a resume-boosting internship during school. Potential employers will admire your go-getter attitude and ability to adapt.
Make Your Hobby Work for You
If you love being outdoors, tapping into your creativity, or (heaven forbid) training for marathons, carve out time every week to do it! School and work can be overwhelming, but cultivating a hobby keeps your mood in check, helps you make friends with similar interests, and makes you more interesting. If you have experience in art or fishing because you kept it up during college, your hobby could possibly get you an awesome job as an art teacher or a fishing guide in the future. And don't be afraid to look for a part-time job in your area of interest while still in school. It's never too early to start doing something you love.
Vacation Like A Celebrity
You don't have to be Jay-Z to go on an awesome vacation...you just have to adjust your expectations. Anyone with a mason jar and an income can save a little money each pay period to go towards an awesome vacation, albeit a year down the road. If you have caviar taste on a tuna fish budget, why not plan to go on a cruise? California has ports that go to multiple locations, and you can drive there in half a day. If cruises aren't your thing, pick a destination you've always wanted to go to...and go there. Planning trips six months to a year in advance can get you through the winter tundra we call Provo snow, and helps you get more out of your vacation. On a student budget, you'll need the extra months to save up the money, but the vacation will feel so good when you get there.
Submit to the Wanderlust with Study Abroad
You will probably never have the chance to run around another country for weeks on end again. Yes, Study Abroads are expensive in comparison, but not as costly as taking time off work later in life. You will make awesome friends, get out of Provo for a semester, and have epic stories to tell when you get back (just don't do it over the pulpit on Fast Sunday). If you're single, close this laptop and start researching a Study Abroad right. this. minute. You will never be as un-tied-down as you are right now. Do it. Trust me. It'll be amazing.
Now go out there and get your summer on!