Stress-Free Summer

Summer is not only a break from school and its accompanying stresses; summer allows you to embrace whatever you just don’t have time for the other 8 months of the year.  Personally, my last year at JMU owned me and as a result I have not taken one moment of my freedom for granted this summer.  Earlier in the summer, I formulated a small list of items to accomplish and consistently perform to save me from the terrors of boredom (I’m staying in Harrisonburg for the summer) and stop me from overworking at my internship.  I’d like to share with you my list and hope that you haven’t lost any precious “me” time these past few months.


 1. Travel and explore:  I fear leaving my precious JMU campus on the weekends since I’m only here for four years and I want to soak in all that college has to offer while I still can.  Unfortunately H’burg during the summer is not as glamorous, and a weekend getaway is graciously accepted.  So whether traveling to Charlottesville to try a new restaurant with my boyfriend, or traveling to Maryland to enjoy fireworks on the water, these road trips have opened my eyes to a new style of living and takes my mind off the stresses. 

 2. Read a good book:  I absolutely despise being forced to read.  You give me something to read for an assignment and I will automatically shut down and refuse to become interested.  I really do love reading for enjoyment though.  This summer I joined the local H’burg library and I have become a reading machine, getting lost in stories of people or things and their journeys whether realistic or fiction. With textbook season around the corner I have no choice but to cram all the pleasurable reading I can now.

3. Cook or bake:  I read somewhere at some time how cooking and baking are therapeutic.  The extent of my cooking during the semester is boiling pasta or sticking a frozen pizza in the oven.  So I traded my frozen dinners in for fresh ingredients and as chef Emeril would say, BAM!  It’s sad knowing that in a few short weeks I won’t be able to afford ingredients or have time to cook, because it definitely has kept me productive during this time of the year.

 4. Exercise:  After a long day of classes, club meetings, and homework, the last thing I want to do is go to the gym.  I know it’s good for you and makes you feel great and blah, blah, blah. With this being said, I can proudly say I have dragged my butt to the gym and go 5-6 days a week a minimum!  For someone who finds climbing the stairs to be a physical challenge,
 I would say that’s really impressive.


Just remember to not take the simple moments for granted.  Next time you’re bored with nothing to do read a book, go on a walk, explore a part of town you’ve never been to before, or bake a cake for someone you love.  Just promise me that you won’t live with all the stress and hassles of a semester at college this summer.

~Katelyn Diehl (Executive Assistant)

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