A Summer Bucket List for University Students

A group of young adults wearing swinsuits and holding plastic cups

The university experience is about more than just the months you spend at school; it’s also about how you spend your breaks. Since summer break is the longest, it makes sense to fit in as much as possible throughout the season. There are a few activities that need to be on every university student’s bucket list — and you should even be able to find the time to do them all, even if you’re working a job or internship over the summer.

1. Take a Staycation

Set aside some time to be a tourist in your own city. Once you’ve been living somewhere for a while, you may get into a routine and might never take the time to visit the top sightseeing spots. Besides, even if you have already seen all the highlights, it’s fun to revisit them.

2. Make a Reading List

You spend all semester on required readings — now’s your chance to catch up on books you want to read for pleasure. Make a list and try to get through as many as possible.

3. Visit an Old Friend for the Weekend

Ask a friend you haven’t seen for a while if you can come to stay. Sleep on your friend’s couch to keep things cheap and explore the city together.

4. Learn a New Skill

Dedicate a few hours a week to learning a skill that will help you either academically or in your career after you graduate. This could be anything from note taking to public speaking. There are plenty of resources online to help you learn anything you can think of.

5. Head to the Water

Whether there’s a beach or lake nearby — or even if the best you can do is a pool — make sure you do spend some time in or by the water this summer. Work on your tan or use the opportunity to cool off and relax.

6. Start an Art Project

Spend your free time away from screens by picking up a craft. If you use materials you already have, art projects can be inexpensive, but you can still see great results.

7. Go Camping

Recruit a couple good friends and drive out to somewhere in nature. You could pack a tent or you could just set up your sleeping bags directly under the stars. Make sure you bring everything you’ll need to start a campfire to complete the experience.

8. Find an Opportunity to Volunteer

Gain some valuable skills while making great use of your time by volunteering. Choose a cause you’re passionate about or search for an opportunity to give back to your local community.

9. Go on a Road Trip

Hit the road with no destination in mind. With the right company (and some music you can sing along to), it won’t even matter where you end up.

10. Improve Your Foreign Language Skills

By dedicating just a few minutes a day to practice, you can pick up enough of a foreign language to survive on your next trip abroad. This is extra easy now thanks to the many language-learning apps available. Learning languages is great for changing the way you think and keeping your mind active — which is extra important when you’re on a break from your studies.

If you’re currently living on campus or the lease on your apartment expires before next semester, you should also use your summer to find a new place to live. Your best option is to move into off-campus student residence. Waterloo students can find all-inclusive housing at Preston House and Bridgeport House. Book a tour to check them out for yourself.