10 Ways to Make the Most of Summer Break When You’re the Last to Leave

On the quarter system? Here are ways to pass the time

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you purchase through our links. Please read our full disclosure here.


Welcome to the “Really? You start that late?” Club everyone! Your friends have all left for college, some have pledged Greek life, others have found new clubs, some are bonding with roommates, and everyone is already complaining about homework. You on the other hand, are stuck at home, still waiting for move in, and fielding lots of questions about why you haven’t left yet.

Have no fear. This may feel like the longest summer of your life, especially if this is your first year in college, but your time will come soon. Stop looking at friends’ Instagrams who appear to be having the time of their life, and use this last bit of break to your heart’s content.

Here are 10 ways to make the most of these last few weeks of summer.

1. Familiar with the KonMari Method? Try Decluttering.

Eventually, you’re going to start packing and realize how much you’ve accumulated. Mountains of things went with me to college and I still had so much stuff.

Now is the time to declutter and think critically if you want to store things, what to replace, and what you’ve grown out of. (See our list of decluttering tips for a full guide to this!)

If you still have a collection of childhood books or an overflowing closet, go through them and decide which ones are really important. That way, you don’t feel as overwhelmed trying to pack your life up.

2. Pick Up Extra Shifts at Work

Few things make the days go by faster than having your hours limited by a job. Making extra money can be nice towards the end of the summer, even if it means having to fake your customer service smile for that much longer. Which brings me to my next point…

3. Last Minute Trips!

Your friends don’t have the luxury right now to take a last-minute trip, but you do. How awesome is that?!

Use that extra babysitting or waitressing money and go camping, travel to a city you’ve always wanted to visit, or just explore your own state! I’m guessing many of us have a lot of places we’d like to visit in our own home state, and now’s your chance. You may even be able to fit in a visit to your friends at a nearby college campus.

4. Family Time is All the Time

If you’re on the quarter system like me, you get off later than everyone else, and all your friends leave a good three or four weeks before you do. Because of this, my favorite thing to do in the summer is to soak up time with my family.

Setting aside specific time to do things with my parents, going thrift shopping with my little brother, and getting lunch with my grandma are all luxuries I can’t do at school, so I try to spend as much time as possible with them before I leave.

5. Cook and Bake (While You Still Have Your Own Kitchen)

I love to bake, and the loss of my own kitchen is something I feel deeply. Okay, I’m being dramatic, the shared kitchen spaces aren’t that bad, but soak up the ability to cook whenever you want with food you aren’t paying for while you can.

Food is expensive and at school they may or may not have pots and pans for you to rent. I missed the days when I could just open a cupboard and find a pan without having to search high and low for one.

6. Spend Time with Your Hobby

I love to paint, but don’t always have time every week to do so. When I have the time during the summer I try, although I don’t always succeed, to invest in an activity that makes me happy. Sewing, cooking, reading (or maybe a more unique hobby?)… whatever it may be for you, use this extra time to focus on your hobbies.

7. Learn Something New

If you have the resources to do so, try something new. I’ve always wanted to try bullet journaling, and maybe you want to know how to embroider. The possibilities are endless!

You have the time and you’ve always wanted to do something, so make that time now. Where else do you have the time and energy? If you don’t try it now you might not ever.

8. Have Some Major Adulting Moments

Here’s the chance to try out being independent in ways you may not have been before. Make your own doctors appointments, research absentee ballet voting, and change banks to one closer to your school if you need to.

While this may seem super boring, they all are important skills, and it’s much easier to ask your mom what XYZ means on the insurance bill when you’re at home instead of when you’re several hundred miles away.

9. Unabashedly Nap

College makes you busier than you’ve ever been before–especially within the first couple of months–which makes my bed sound all the more appealing. Since I know napping twice a day isn’t always something I can get away with at school, I do it at home. I highly recommend.

10. Netflix and Classic Films

Finally, the classic binge watching till you drop. I have a running list of classic films I want to see, and shows I need to finish, and summer is the prefect opportunity to do so. I’m trying to finish season four of Madam Secretary; does anyone else watch that show?

If you have a long car ride to school, it’s also great way to pass the time.

What are you doing to pass the time before school?

Are you ready for school to start? I’m doing #3 and taking a trip to the East Coast, plus all the napping I can get in. Tell me about your last minute summer goals before going to school below!

Leave a Comment