25 Ways to Beat Summer Boredom That Won’t Break the Bank

Take a road trip! Photo: Jek in the Box

It’s not uncommon for us college students to count down the days until summer vacation. But once June rolls around, it’s amazing how there’s a surprising lack of things to do and we’re left feeling bored and uninspired. If you need some inspiration this summer, here are 25 ways to beat summer boredom that won’t break the bank.

  1. Join a book club. The structure of a book club will help you finish books on time and inspire thought-provoking discussions. The simple act of reading and talking about what you learn will keep you sharp for September.
  2. Go on a road trip. If there’s nothing to do in your town this summer, hit the open road! With KOA’s along the way, you don’t need to pay for a motel, sleep under the stars, and still have a shower in the morning.
  3. Prepare for the school year. Get your textbooks together, apply for your major, or research which schools you might like to apply to for grad school.
  4. Start a blog. Julie Powell blogged her way through Julia Child’s cook book and ended up in the NY Times with her own movie. Blogging gives people a voice. Start a blog through WordPress or Blogger and chronicle your summer!
  5. Take an online class. If you’ve been dying to learn Spanish, what better time than this? Many online colleges have online summer classes you can take that don’t require prerequisites.
  6. Start a movie marathon. If you’ve been dying to watch Lord of the Rings or Batman all year, hunker down, draw the blinds, pop some popcorn and have a movie marathon.
  7. Get a job to fund your other summer festivities.
  8. Stargaze. The Perseid meteor shower is August 12 and 13. Grab a blanket, your interest, and get out of the city to watch nature’s fireworks.
  9. "The Wishing Well" by Gordon Marino

    Start a band. Put those Rock Band skills to good use! Round up some friends and start your own band. Record a CD using Garageband, get a busking license and play downtown for donations with CDs for sale.

  10. Take a class. Learn to cook Italian food (a skill that always impresses the ladies), paint like Picasso, recite Shakespeare, or breakdance.
  11. Get outdoors! Enjoy the great outdoors by hiking, camping, and fishing.
  12. Go the library. Not only is it air-conditioned, but there are countless different ways to occupy yourself. Books aside, you can put up your feet and flip through all the latest magazines, surf the web, or try to catch a cute stranger’s eye.
  13. Start a new TV series. Summer TV may be boring, but you can always delve into a long TV series that you can stream on Netflix like Lost, 24, or Grey’s Anatomy.
  14. Prepare for and run a marathon. This will give yourself a reason to get off the couch and get moving. Grab a friend and train early in the morning or late in the morning after the heat of the day.
  15. Job shadow a local professional. If you didn’t get an internship planned in time, call someone in your city who does what you’d love to do and see if you can shadow them for a week. You’ll make a professional connection and learn a lot.
  16. Hit the beach. The surf and sun has an endless appeal to college students over the summer. You can BBQ, play beach volleyball, read, tan, or people watch. Just don’t forget sunscreen!
  17. Summer Love. Photo: Herbstkind


    Have a summer fling. Get outside of your comfort zone and say hello to the cute barista at Starbucks you’ve been eying. They don’t call it summer love for nothing. 

  18. Reinvent yourself. Impress your friends come September with a brand new you. If a new wardrobe isn’t in your budget, hit up the thrift store — it’s a great place to cultivate your own unique personal style. A new haircut or color can revolutionize your look.
  19. Learn a new skill. With all this time on your hands, you can finally learn that new skill, like learning to swim, play an instrument, mountain bike, or use Photoshop.
  20. Enroll in summer school. If you have a class that you’re dreading in the fall, taking it over the summer can help you focus your energies and get through it. Just think — wouldn’t it be nice to graduate early?
  21. Start an Etsy store. If you’re great at making vinyl stickers, T-shirts, or jewelry, why not flex that entrepreneurial muscle and start an Etsy store? If you’re studying business at college, what a great way to apply what you’re learning.
  22. Volunteer. What better way to beat the blues than find an animal shelter, homeless shelter, or women’s shelter where you can roll up your sleeves and help someone else.
  23. Support local music. Chances are you can find an open mic night to attend. If you have guitar chops, be sure to get up on the stage and share your latest song!
  24. Learn to coupon. When you’re living on a budget, clipping coupons can help you save bookoo bucks! One of the guys in our office is an avid couponer and saved 87% on his groceries this week. Impressive, no?
  25. Plant a garden. Exercise your green thumb and grow your own tomatoes, strawberries, or mini herb garden. You can start from scratch from seeds, or cut a few corners by getting some plants from Home Depot.

What are you doing this summer to beat summer boredom?

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About Sarah Ward

Sarah is a social media manager and image consultant originally from Vancouver, Canada. After executing her first makeover in the seventh grade, she has been helping people look and feel their best ever since. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys practicing yoga, shopping on Etsy, and watching Grey's Anatomy.

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