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4 Things To Do This Summer When You’re Home from College

This post is from a student, parent, or professional contributor. The opinions expressed by the author are their own and do not necessarily reflect the positions, viewpoints, or policies of Niche.

A group of people stand silhouetted against a sunset. Some stand while others sit by a bonfire. They are on a beach.

If you’re anything like me, the end of high school brought on excitement to move far away and have new experiences. I was ready to leave my hometown behind and start a brand new life in a new state with new classmates.

Thankfully, the university I chose was the perfect distance from where I grew up. With a few hours’ distance, I can experience a new area and lifestyle while having family within a reasonable distance.

Due to the pandemic, my first few semesters were under strange circumstances and travel was restricted, so I did not have the option to visit home even if I had wanted to. That meant that for the first time ever, I went several months without being home. With the uncertainty of how future semesters will be, it’s important to me to make the most of my time back home this summer.

Spend Time with Loved Ones

One of the most obvious things to do while you are home after a long time is to spend quality time with old friends and family.

I have made many new friends throughout my time at college, but there will never be anybody like the people I spent my life growing up with. Since most of them go to school around our hometown, I don’t get the chance to see them when I am away. Fortunately, we have stayed in touch for the months that I have been gone.

With all of us back home for the summer, one of the most important things for us to do is to spend some time together while we still can. In our small town, there is not much to do, so it’s difficult to make plans sometimes. However, it’s not so much what you do together but the fact that you are doing it.

Usually, we get food from one of our favorite local restaurants or drive somewhere and catch up if we don’t want to spend money. No matter what we are doing, we take it as a chance to maintain the friendship we have had forever and enjoy our time together. Nobody knows how often we will be able to see each other again in the future with our busy lives and career paths.

The same concept goes for family. They certainly have missed you while you were away and patiently awaited the day when you came home. Once you get settled in, spend some time with your parents and siblings if you still live with them.

My family usually has dinner together a few times a week, which is a great way to ensure everyone is spending time together. If you are close to your extended family, take some time to reach out to other relatives.

My plans for college have me spending most future summers away from home, so if you are like me, it is crucial to get this time in now with your loved ones.

4 Ways To Have A Productive Summer

Get Back to Old Hobbies

For myself and many others, the last few semesters seemed like a whirlwind of assignments and exams. Between that and trying to make new friends and have a social life, there wasn’t much free time for hobbies like painting, drawing, reading, or playing instruments.

While I missed doing them at times, I simply didn’t have the time to get back into doing them for a meaningful amount of time. If these things are still important to you, summer is a good time to go back to doing the things you love that you haven’t been able to do for the past few months.

It might be discouraging to start again if you find yourself a bit rusty, but once you get back in your old groove, you’ll feel better about being back to doing what you enjoy.

Plan a Trip

Planning a trip with friends is a popular idea for college students to do over the summer. If you have friends from college you want to visit, you can explore a new place and see them during your time off. You can even pick a new place for all of you to meet!

Alternatively, you could pick a place with a group of hometown friends and have a fun new experience with them. College students are known to be “broke,” so this may not seem like an option. However, you can opt for ways to make the experience more affordable. Bringing a bigger group to split the costs or staying for fewer days can help you have a memorable trip that won’t break the bank.

Try Something New!

Being home for the summer has left me with quite a bit of free time. Half the time, I am not even sure what to do with myself, especially after having had a busy and often overwhelming semester.

Because of this, I searched for new things to do with my time. I have a great opportunity now to start trying new things I have wanted to try for a long time.

It can be something as simple as watching a new show or movie, finding a new hobby, playing a new sport, or anything in between. The summer provides a perfect chance to start a new activity. For me, this has been starting a new book, learning to longboard with my friends, making new recipes, and starting a few new shows. If an opportunity to try something new comes up, give it a shot!


Returning home from a long semester away is exciting.  Be sure to spend time with your loved ones once you have the chance to by being home, but remember other important things to try doing when you are home to make your vacation the most rewarding experience possible.

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Author: Heidi Temple

I am a first-generation student at Princeton University. I am currently planning to concentrate in Molecular Biology there. Then, I plan to go to grad school and eventually pursue a career in medical research.