Sunshine on my mind

A guide to building and conquering your summer bucket list

I think I speak for the majority of college students when I say that at this very point in the semester, the only thing keeping us going is the thought of it almost being over. With the spring semester coming to an end and the summer being so close that we can already feel it, it’s time to start making that summer to do list. 

In movies and TV shows, we always see how legendary summers look for college students. If you are wanting a summer for the record books, here are a few ideas to help kickoff your summer in an epic way.

The most painfully obvious option is a beach trip. While it is very cliché, some of the best memories come from taking road trips with your best friends. Take a trip to the beach and really engulf yourself in the community and culture while you are there. One rule we always follow on trips is that we can not eat at any chain restaurants we have back at home. Trying new cuisine is a fun way to spice up any trip. If you are wanting to travel, but you are not much of a beach person, try going to a big city. While the city might not be for everyone, a bigger city equals more opportunities. One of the best things about Texas is the size. If you are wanting to venture out, but you want to stay within state lines, try going to a metropolitan area in Texas. Many of my favorite restaurants, shops and memories have been found in cities where I am forced to try something new.

While traveling is fun, it is not always financially possible. If you are looking for activities that are a little more cost friendly, I have some suggestions that are perfect. Going to the lake is a staple part of every summer here in Texas. Laying out, going fishing, tubing or even just having a picnic with friends would make for a perfect day.

 Another fun and budget conscious option is going to a carnival, fair or festival. While all of these options have the opportunity to be a little expensive, it is all in the hands of the attendee. 

Another activity that can get you outside and active is to walk a dog from your local animal shelter. The Erath County Humane Society offers visitors the opportunity to walk a dog for free. This is something you can do alone or with friends and it is a great way to be outdoors and be active. 

If you are more of the outdoorsy type, camping and hiking should definitely be on your summer bucket list. There are tons of hiking and camping opportunities all around the Stephenville area if you choose  to be here in the summer. Mineral Wells has a great park for hiking and several of the surrounding lakes have camping opportunities. National parks can be a great place to visit as well. 

Looking back at what I would consider some of the best summers I have ever had, one common theme arose. Concerts are one of the most exciting and fun activities you can do, especially during the summer. Music festivals can be a blast and getting to see some of your favorite artists performing live is one of the most thrilling feelings. One of my biggest pieces of advice is to go to every concert you can. Try to avoid being that person that posts the entire concert on their Snapchat story. Being present in the moment is one of the best things about musical events. A video can be deleted, but a memory will last forever.  

This summer I want to challenge you to do something that scares you. As cliché as it sounds, doing things that test you is so exciting and nothing beats that adrenaline rush you get. If you have never been skydiving, do it. Try out a karaoke bar, even if you need a little liquid courage first. Swim with sharks or dolphins if you have the opportunity. If you really want a challenge, walk up and go talk to that attractive stranger that’s caught your eye. In all situations, you will never know if you don’t try. 

My last piece of advice for the summer is to surround yourself with the people you love and enjoy the little things. Ignore the incredibly high gas prices and go on late night drives with your friends with the windows down and the music blaring. Go to bonfires and listen to the one guy around the fire who is tone deaf and can barely play the guitar. Eat the ice cream cone even if you have to unbutton your pants. Most of all, try to appreciate all the things around you. There is good in every day, but it is our job to find it.