Pretty soon the last school bus is going to roll out of the school parking lot and some very excited kids and teens will begin summer vacation. No more teachers, no more books, etc. For many this means summer vacation trips to the beach, cruises, or even trips abroad. For others, this may mean staying home with younger siblings while mom and dad work. Where ever you will be this summer, it will not be school, so that means everyone has something to celebrate.
Summer fun can mean a lot of things. The neighborhood pool is always pretty busy during the summer, this also means sunburns. When mom and dad are not around to remind kids to protect their heads, eyes, and skin, they sometimes forget. During the summer vacation months, it might be a good idea to leave a sign up on the refrigerator to remind the yourself to use sunscreen, wear a hat, and drink plenty of water while out. Also, if there is no lifeguard on duty at the pool, no swimming. Kids drown every summer due to lack of supervision.
It is a sad truth that most kids can only go to the pool so many times before even that gets boring, or it is just too hot outside! Summer movies are always a hit in the summer months. But, if money is low and transportation is unavailable, it's a good idea to have movie night at your house and invite some friends. Have everyone bring their favorite soda and you pop the popcorn.
Another low-cost and fun summer idea is a good old-fashioned wiener roast around a campfire. This should not be done without adult supervision. If you have a fire pit, or have one in your neighborhood, that is awesome. If not, they sell them at Walmart or Home Depot and they are good for year-round fun. Don’t forget the s’mores! No wiener roast is complete without s’mores.
No time or money for a camping trip? Camp out in the backyard. Have all your friends bring their sleeping bags, create a makeshift tent with bed sheets and some poles. This is a great way to end a wiener roast!
Many schools have summer reading programs, so one way to spend some of your time this summer is reading a good book. When you finish the one assigned, read another. Reading at least two books over the summer will increase your vocabulary, and give you something to talk about in class when your new English teachers asks about your summer. So… added bonus- you score points with your new teacher.
Sadly, summers are not as long as they used to be. It seems that before we know it, it is over and it is time to return to school. That is the reason why it is important to make the most of every day. It might seem tempting to sit at home and play video games all day, watch TV, or sleep, but when you do this, it just makes it seems the summer sped by and you did nothing. Well...think about it.
Sometimes when kids are out for summer and they have had all the manufactured local fun they can have, they may get bored. When boredom sets in some kids may be tempted to try drugs or alcohol. This might seem like a good way to fit in or to make you feel grown up, but it is not a real grown up thing to do. Even adults can act irresponsibly when it comes to such things, so all you are doing is being an irresponsible teen who provokes your parents to punish you.
Summer is the deadliest time of year for automobile accidents. If you drive, don’t text and drive. Don’t play the music so loud that you cannot hear cars around you. Avoid having more than one person in the car with you. Don’t go anywhere you do not have to go. Consolidate your trips. Avoid being on the roads during peak hours or when the grown-ups are coming home from happy hour.
Summer should be all about having fun. However, for some kids when school gets out they feel isolated, lonely, and depressed. If there is a lack of family involvement, or if there is trouble in the family, some kids may think of harming themselves. Summer and the holidays are high risk times for suicide among adolescents. Most schools provide student support counseling and escape for kids who come from families where there is a lot of fighting. Kids who are prone to depression are much more likely to try drugs or alcohol during the summer. There is safety in numbers. If you are feeling blue, call a friend and hang out. Be sure your parents know how you feel. If your thoughts scare you, or you are thinking of harming yourself, call 911, the teen suicide hotline or talk to a therapist right away. You are important, and whatever is going on that is getting you down, it will pass. You want to be around to know when things get better.
Summer is about having fun, and taking a break from learning. However, taking a mental break from school does not mean entirely checking out when it comes to using your head. Think before you do something you will either regret, or that could get you in trouble. One way or the other, there will be consequences.
There are many activities that you can engage in for the summer months that do not involve a great deal of money. Don’t let boredom be your excuse for making poor decisions, getting into trouble with your parents, or the law. If you are at home without supervision, it means your parents trust you to be mature and responsible. Don’t let them down. If you have younger siblings, don’t let them down, and most importantly, don’t let yourself down.
Summer is here. Enjoy the break, responsibly. Don’t be the sad story your friends have to tell when they return to school for the fall.
Marie Miguel is an avid internet researcher. She is fueled by her determination to answer the many questions she hasn't been able to find the answer to anywhere else. When she finds these answers she likes to spread the knowledge to others seeking help. She is always looking for outlets to share her information, therefore she occasionally has her content published on different websites and blogs. Even though she doesn't run one for herself she loves contributing to others.
Stay Healthy and Safe, Chaps! Happy Summer!
-Kristi and Katie