The end of the spring semester ushers in a time of long days at the beach, tanning beside a pool and slow days with a book for many.
While summer means a break from exams and assignments, it does not always bring complete relaxation for students who must spend their summers working.
Scrolling endlessly through feeds of friends traveling or celebrating freedom from school can be disheartening when you have to pick up shifts, not flights.
However, working does not have to equal spending your summer miserable.
There are steps and rituals to adopt that can allow for money in your bank account and fun memories to look back on.
Accept the situation
Perhaps the worst part of working in the summer is watching everyone else not doing so. You might feel you are missing out, but this attitude is not helpful in the long run.
Being stuck in the mindset that your summer will be horrible because of work sets you up for failure.
Instead, accept that your summer might look different from others, and watch for ways you can allow yourself to enjoy each day.
There are still adventures to be had before, during and after the workday.
Spend time wisely
To find fulfillment in each day of your summer break, you must find unique ways to use your time. When working long days, every hour counts.
One way to spend your time wisely could be as simple as waking up earlier than usual.
Giving yourself time to move through the morning slowly allows you to feel that summer leisure and relaxed feeling before your shift.
How you spend your time after work is also crucial. While we’re all guilty of it, playing on your phone all afternoon until you fall asleep is not the way to spend the break.
Setting up hang-outs with friends, movie nights with family or even a date can make all the difference for your summer nights.
There will be times when spending your summer break working feels dull and unfair. When it is hardest to feel joy is when you must try your best to do so.
The trend of “romanticizing your life” can be a helpful idea to remember when looking for a work-life balance this summer.
From buying or making a latte every morning to spending part of your lunch break reading a book, romanticizing every moment is crucial.
Constantly reminding yourself how awful it is to work will only lead to spending time unhappy.
One of the best ways to ensure fun times for your summer is by becoming friends with coworkers. Coworker friends can transform work days entirely.
Spending breaks laughing or trading stories with work friends will allow you to feel like your time at work is worthwhile instead of a waste.
Even if your coworkers are much older, there is an opportunity to make friends who differ from you and whom you might even learn from.
Finding at least one coworker with whom you get along well enough to make work feel less like “work” should be a priority for your summer.
Allow yourself a break
If you have used every other step or process that should make your summer fun and still feel sick going to work, know it is okay to ask for a break.
Even if you can only manage one day off, it might be the refreshment you need.
Do not feel guilty for not wanting to spend your break working, and realize it is realistic to feel left out.
Take however long a break you can or want to from work, then keep practicing how you can achieve a healthy work-life balance this summer.