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It’s finally here. Summer is upon us. All school year, you were so stressed and so busy and all you wished was for summer to come. And now that it’s here, you’re bored out of your mind. While you are used to being over-scheduled and under-rested, it sure didn’t take long for that to wear off. Now you have nowhere to be, nothing that needs to get done, other than maybe some chores here and there, and this is a set-up for trouble. I personally hate seeing teens get into trouble, so I’m going to offer some ways for you to fend off boredom, keep busy, and stay out of trouble.
- GET A JOB. Your parents will love this, but you will love it even more. You will earn an income for the first time in your life, which will allow you to do or have some of things you want. Most people feel independent and capable in a way that cannot happen without having a job. And, it looks great on college applications and resumes. You might even have fun and make some new friends.
- Not every teen is ready for the responsibility and commitment of a paying job. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of productive things you can do. Find a cause that interest you, whether it is animals, children, the environment, homelessness, etc. Find a place nearby where you can volunteer your time for a cause that matters to you. You will feel useful and appreciated, and others will benefit. That’s what I call a win-win. Even better, volunteer opportunities look great on college applications and resumes. Often, it even directly leads you to a paying job.
- TAKE A CLASS OR WORKSHOP. This will keep you busy, teach you something interesting or useful, and again looks great on those applications and resumes. Furthermore, classes have a social aspect to them, and they are typically fun. Try something new or hone in on a talent or skill.
- PLAY ORGANIZED SPORTS. Find a team or try a new sport. It is healthier than playing on your Xbox all day long. Get moving, keep busy, reap the physical and mental rewards. Physical activity triggers endorphins, the feel-good chemicals, to be released in your brain. You will be a happier person if you engage in sports.
- GO EXPLORE SOME INTERESTING PLACES. If you live in or near a big city, there are literally a million things you can do. Even if you don’t, there are always things to explore. Become a tourist for the day and hit some sites, or explore nature by taking a hike…you can even have fun at the zoo. You can even explore with drawing or photographing what you see.
- FIND A NEW HOBBY. Learn how to knit, how to paint, how to trade collectibles, martial arts, yoga, build puzzles or models, create digital images, build websites…I could go on and on. Don’t just sit around and sleep all day and then waste time on your electronics. Engage in something.
- HELP NEIGHBORS WITH YARD, KIDS, ELDERLY…You can either volunteer or make a little cash by helping an elderly neighbor with small tasks, like taking out the trash or trimming their yard. You can help a family with their kids by playing with them or babysitting. You could even mow your neighbor’s lawn.
- You probably have some summer reading assigned anyway. But go above and beyond. Find a good reading list, or read more from an author you’ve enjoyed in the past. It will make you smarter.
- Do this outside, not on your devices. Run around. Ride a bike. Play basketball or football with your friends. Go swimming. Take your dog outside and play. Just have fun and move around.
- Be with other people as much a possible. Real, face to face interaction cannot and will not even be replaced by electronic devices. Learn to look people in the eye and read their body language. Communicate directly without the use of gadgets. You might find something that your generations is missing out on. The human connection is powerful and healing and necessary.