Summer is a liberating time of year, a break between semesters that lasts for a third of the year. It's spent traveling, interning, beaching, and doing a whole lot of what college students wish they could spend more of their time doing during the semester, nothing

But with all the free time comes opportunity to neglect routine and find solace in the "giving myself a break" mindset, which is necessary and healthy to an extent.

At the same time though, it's also healthy to start a well-balanced summer off with expectations and goals, as well as mindful habits and starting to maintain a routine, making for a productive and happy summer. 

Make lists and think ahead. 

coffee, candy, chocolate
Xara Brianna

You might be interning and want to have a list of professional skills you hope to gain and solidify, traveling with a list of things you may be nervous about going to new places, or going back home with people in mind you hope to catch up with and books you want to read on the beach. 

Starting off the summer with lists of expected challenges, exciting moments ahead, and goals for the few months can act as motivation to achieve the goals and combat the challenges. It can be empowering and really helpful in creating structure for a well-balanced summer.

Start off the summer with a routine you want to keep.

tea, coffee
Alison Weissbrot

With that initial list-making, imagine your ideal weekday for the summer. List all of the things you wish you did in an ideal world. Maybe waking up early to go for a run before work, listening to a podcast during the commute, eating a balanced and healthy lunch, or catching up with a friend on the way home before getting into bed to read at the end of the night. 

Summer is a great time to focus on habits you want to add to your routine, and the best way to do that is gradually. Pick one thing on the list to start with at the beginning of the summer and focus on keeping it in your routine all week.

After it starts to feel more natural and second-nature, add in a second habit. By the end of a well-balanced summer, routine will be something you're used to. It will just be a matter of readjusting to the semester ahead. 

Find a balance between everything you do.

ice cream, ice, chocolate, cream
Shannon Herlihy

It's 2017, and us millennials are competitive and always looking for the edge up. Summer is a perfect time to make money, gain professional experience, and network. But it's also a time to breathe. 

Pressure is high on college campuses. Free time for things like laundry and cooking meals becomes compromised during the semester.

coffee, tea, cake, beer
Julia Murphy

Summer is a time to make sure to nourish your body with a well-balanced diet, which of course includes ice cream. It's also a time to nourish your mind with time for relaxation and whatever you enjoy doing.

Go for bike rides, spend time with friends, explore new places, and read wonderful books. Take naps on the beach, create new recipes, and spend time thinking about all of things you don't have time to during the semester, which often times includes yourself.