It’s hard to believe that it’s already mid-July. A four-month summer in university seems like a long time, but the fact that there’s only eight weeks left is startling. Time has flown by. I’ve spent most of my summer working part time at a café in Toronto, and the other times hanging out with friends or going to people’s cottages.

While I’ve had a lot of fun, I don’t feel mentally stimulated or productive, and I haven’t been finding good ways to make that happen, either. At school, I’m constantly acquiring new knowledge and completing challenging tasks, but in the summer, I’ve become complacent. Here's what I'm thinking:

Living at Home

I find that living at home keeps me from doing productive things like reading, writing, or working on personal projects. I am so grateful to be around my family throughout the summer, but after coming home from a day at work it’s too easy to just sit on the couch and watch The Bachelorette, when I could be doing something more beneficial to my mind or my health.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Plan a lifetime adventure photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters (@glenncarstenspeters) on Unsplash

glenncarstenspeters on unsplash

Even though I really like what I’m learning in school, it’s the extra-curricular activities that keep student life exciting. These activities keep me busy and help me be more social. In the summer, activities are more expensive and less convenient. Even with Spoon University, when I’m at school and meeting with my team face-to-face, I feel more motivated to write and more connected to the community.


It’s what it sounds like: the sheer lack of desire to get off the couch or get out of bed in the morning. My YouTube and Netflix addiction is proliferating. When I don’t have class to get up for, it’s easy to just lounge around and spend inordinate amounts of time scrolling through Instagram. My laziness has stopped me from finding things that make me feel purposeful.

What I’m Doing Well

Happiness photo by Lesly B. Juarez (@jblesly) on Unsplash

jblesly on unsplash

I’m not going to just wallow in my disappointment at the summer's mediocrity. After all, there are still exactly eight weeks to make the best out of my time. The cup is half full.

What I have done is find a job that has taught me a skill I’ve always wanted to learn: how to make good coffee. I’ve begun to learn the art of pulling espresso and frothing perfectly creamy milk into sweet little hearts and leaves. I can tell the difference between varieties of beans and coffee notes. I know how to assemble a $25,000 espresso machine. 

water, tea, coffee, grass, beer
Allie Fenwick

I’ve also read one great book. What I need to do now is find more books I like and actually read them. It’s easy to choose mindless TV-watching over mindful reading, but I’m making a vow to go buy a book I want to read and get to it. Podcasts are another great option that tend to be educational and engaging, and are great for long walks outdoors.

Woman, lady, female, earring and headphones HD photo by Siddharth Bhogra (@thefakebhogra) on Unsplash

thefakebhogra on unsplash

I want to write more. The free time I have this summer is the time that I don’t usually have at school. Whether it’s writing for Spoon, writing in my journal, or writing poetry, it’s just a matter of motivating myself enough to do something difficult, instead of something easy. 

Whatever you do with your time, be proud of it. Take breaks, fail, and start again. Our time is what we make of it, and if, like me, you've been feeling a loss of purpose, set new standards for yourself and start making changes right now. Let's look back on our summers and be happy with what we accomplished.