When a college student comes home for the summer, everyone expects them to have a job or an internship lined up. If you don’t have specific plans for the next three months of your life, people will tell you to keep trying to make plans. “Don’t give up! Someone will hire you. You just have to keep looking.” Good advice. But maybe I’ve been called to stay home. No, I don’t have a job this summer. I don’t have a lot of travel plans. I’m living at home, and that’s ok.
After looking for a job throughout my last semester of freshman year, I made the decision to stop. I didn’t give up, and I don’t think I’m being lazy in this decision. My summer isn’t going to be meaningless or empty. My plan for the summer is to focus on free time. I don’t have a lot of free summers left in my life, you know. I just want to take advantage of this one. Making this decision was not easy, but I’m confident that it is the right thing for me.
This summer I want to spend time with my family as much as possible. I also want to have time to catch up with friends over coffee and be able to be spontaneous with travel plans. If I were to work all summer, I would have a very limited amount of time to spare. I would stretch myself so thin that I would eventually snap. A summer without a job does not make it empty. It makes it easier for sure, but I don’t think that is a bad thing. This summer will probably be the easiest summer of my college career. It’s going to be simple.
Simplicity is not a synonym of emptiness. Simplicity is often more meaningful than busyness. Because I will have quite a bit of free time on my hands, I will be able to be more intentional about how I spend my time. Without a set schedule, I will have to make the conscious decision to be productive, and I think that will be good for me. It’s a challenge that I’m looking forward to.
Whether you tried really hard to find a job, or you just want a simple summer; as long as you are not sleeping the summer away or being incredibly unproductive, you are making a good decision. You can absolutely have a meaningful summer without a job. Make the most of your free time, though. Don’t let it slip away. Don’t waste your time doing nothing. Use it to your advantage. Catch up on your reading list, pick up a new hobby that you haven’t had time for, or check off some things on your summer bucket list.
Learn something new, create something new, go somewhere new. Whatever it takes, fill this summer with simple adventures. If you’re making lifelong memories, no adventure is insignificant. You have the power to make everyday a special occasion. You can make every second of your day an adventure. It’s all up to you.
words by Lucy Boyland and photo by Cate Willis