Something I’ve noticed through my 4 years in college is how little free time students get each semester. Most of our class schedules demand hours of class time and studying each day (unless you somehow found professors who don’t assign much homework, in which case, kudos to you). If you include working a job, getting involved in clubs and having a social life, it’s amazing we don’t all collapse from exhaustion. I’m not saying the college lifestyle is bad; it’s exciting, unique and, most of all, fun. However, keeping up with all your obligations can be overwhelming at times. Sometimes, I find myself wishing (and I’m sure I’m not alone on this) that I could take a break from the hustle and bustle of college life.
For the past few summers, I’ve worked for a housing company that rents out student housing at the University of Dayton. The students leave for the summer and my boss and I find these old houses in terrible condition; you can tell the previous tenants had a little too much fun that year. I work on fixing the houses back up so they’re in good condition for the next batch of students moving in. It’s not glamorous work by any means. We replace carpets, patch drywall, repaint every single wall, and generally fix any problem we come across.
I don’t always enjoy myself at the time, but in the grand scheme of things, I absolutely love it. For one, it’s not nearly as stressful as college. It’s simple, and you’re always guaranteed to get a good night’s sleep. Having a set schedule will do wonders for your peace of mind. Also, something about fixing something with your hands is immensely satisfying. You also get a surprising amount of exercise. I find myself breaking a sweat every day and it feels great; I don’t always find the time to get in the gym while I’m at school. The job is hard work, but the whole experience is therapeutic to me. A lot of us spend so much time immersed in our hectic school lives, we forget to make time for our own mental wellbeing.
I’m not saying you need to go work a job like mine during the summer. If you find something else you’d rather do, by all means, pursue that! What I’m getting at is this: find something you absolutely love to do—that doesn’t involve school or your budding career—and make more time for it! For me, that means working with my hands and breaking a sweat doing physical labor. For you, it’s likely something completely different. The possibilities are endless! Just get out there and find it. You’ll be glad you did.