With the semester nearly over, it’s hard not to overhear conversations of everyone’s fabulous summer plans. It seems like everywhere you look people are set to travel the world, begin research for their dream project or start the perfect internship. But let’s say this isn’t the case for you. How else can you occupy your time? Here are five ways to take advantage of your summer break and come back to school as the best version of you, no matter your social or financial status:

5. Use your free time as an opportunity to learn how to cook. We’re all adults-in-training, and cooking food for yourself is an important skill to have. Use summertime to learn how to shop for yourself, experiment with dishes and make food that’s healthy and delicious. This will help you gain motivation to cook during the school year, too.

4. Take time to explore your passions and hobbies. School moves very quickly and often requires you to think of only the tasks directly in front of you. Use the leisure of summer to take a step back and examine what you’re passionate about. Maybe this will give you insight into a life path, but at the very least you’ll find comfort in doing the things you love.

3. Develop a workout routine. Summer is the perfect time to find your workout style. Maybe it’s evening runs or early morning swims. Maybe you like going to the gym five times a week, or maybe yoga in your living room works better for you. Basically, you have plenty of time to figure it out.

2. Save money. Find a part-time job to provide structure to your days, and save up some extra money. Bonus points if it’s in any way related to your future career goals.

1. Rediscover your home town and find beauty in the little things you forgot about. Maybe you’re grateful for that one road you love driving down, or the independent coffee shop by your house. No matter what you focus on, be sure to go back to school with a fond memory of home and a piece of your childhood.

This is the opinion of Emma Averill, a freshman civil engineering major from Porter Ranch, CA. Tweet comments to @LALoyolan or email comments to editor@theloyolan.com.

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