You know those days in the middle of the summer where you have nothing planned, no one is free and it’s almost too hot to function? While lazing around sounds tempting and is a valid option, consider spicing up your routine with a fun, fresh activity!


Oprah does it, Emma Chamberlain does it, everybody’s doing it—reading. Who would’ve thought that the hot new trend this summer would be the very thing we dread most during the school year?

There is an endless library of content to choose from, pun intended, and genres that cater to every interest under the sun, no matter how specific. Interested in trailblazing women and history? Pick up “Square Haunting,” by Francesca Wade, a biopic of five women writers living in Mecklenburgh Square in London between the two World Wars. Like action-packed stories that fit the trope of “enemies to lovers” while also including fantastical elements? Pick up “Six of Crows,” by Leigh Bardugo, a name that should sound familiar to fans of Netflix’s newest series, Shadow and Bone.

Reading never been your thing? Listen to an audiobook with a service like Audible or borrow one from your local library’s collection. Don’t forget to check out what you have access to through the Syracuse University Libraries!

If you and your friends have been talking all year about having a “hot girl summer,” you heard it here first: hot people read books.


Nothing hits quite like a dip in the pool during those hot and humid days in mid-July. Whatever you have access to — a personal pool, a community pool, a beach, a lake, a pond, a river, a sprinkler, a hose — refreshing your body refreshes your mind! If you’re finding yourself stuck in a midsummer slump, maybe what you need to wash away the boredom.

If you’re spending your summer in the Central New York area, check out one (or all) of the Finger Lakes, which all have public water access. Not in CNY? No problem. A quick Google search of “free swimming near me” and take your pick. Bonus: you get to explore and could discover a hidden gem of a swimming spot!

Develop a new hobby!

No, hobbies were not just for the first phase of quarantine. If you developed master-level skills in banana bread-making last spring, consider expanding those baking skills to summertime sweets. Think homemade ice creams, fruit tarts and strawberry shortcakes.

Baking not your jam? There is an endless roster of activities for you to try. For example, anyone with a smartphone can pick up photography at any time. Other cost-effective summer hobbies include friendship bracelet-making, drawing, hiking, yoga and creative writing.


The world is out there waiting to be discovered; even your hometown has some places you haven’t been or haven’t seen. If you want to become more adventurous but struggle with where to begin, don’t fret. An easy way to tap into your inner explorer is to change your mindset — be a tourist in your area!

Ask your friends, coworkers, neighbors and family members where their favorite places to go are, then go there. Eat at the restaurant you’ve always noticed but passed by for your familiar favorites. It’s simple. Once you decide that your life and your surroundings are interesting, they are.

The opportunities are endless, but the summer is not. It’s worth it to get outside and experience all that the summer has to offer. That being said, don’t feel pressured to do something every day. Rest is equally important as entertainment.

As a wise duo once said: “There’s 104 days of summer vacation and school comes along just to end it. So the annual problem for our generation is finding a good way to spend it.” Spend it well.

Written by Cecelia Kersten ’23, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications