Make your summer reading list. Everyone needs a good book right? Whether you go ambitious and stretch yourself to read more, or just put 3-5 books down that you really want to sink your teeth into, make sure to use the summer to do some of the reading you have a hard time keeping up with during the school year. I totally recommend the Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger, beginning with Soulless. It's a 5-book series, but each one is a wonderfully quick-paced read. It's set in Steampunk Victorian England. You want machine gun parasols? You got it. In addition to the awesome steampunk technology element, it's a fantasy series with vampires and werewolves. You might want to dismiss the vampires and werewolves thing as played out, but they actually add value to the story outside of being hot and super-strong. Carriger builds a world full of depth that gets built upon in every book, and the Supernaturals are not just characters, but institutions built into her Victorian England.
Prepare for your future. If you're graduating, or just thinking ahead, it's good to start mentally and intellectually preparing for the complexity of adulthood. Maybe you need to get a credit card to build credit. Maybe you need to supplement your income so you have some savings. Maybe you need to prepare for a big move! Don't try to tackle everything at once, but maybe focus on one goal, like selecting a good starter credit card, or packing your non-daily items for your move.
Purge your life! If you're in college like I am, you're at a crossroads between adulthood and childhood. It's time to start boxing up, donating, or selling the relics from your childhood! I went through my entire closet, desk, and bookshelf after I came home from school and separated everything out. I might be hard, but you've gotta let things go! If they've stopped being part of your life, they shouldn't be a part of your home. Plus, who wants to lug their 8th grade art projects with them to their post-grad apartment? On a related note, clear out your facebook friends list-- unless you're really meticulous about your privacy settings, you're probably divulging a lot of information about when you leave your home, what you're doing, and where you are to 800+ people-- some of whom you may have only added because you shared a class or a freshman dorm. Do it for security's sake, and make a point not to take it personally if someone you rarely speak to unfriends you!
Splurge on a nice frozen dessert! It's summer! (Well, almost.) Get a little spendy and treat yourself to a real frozen treat-- ice cream, froyo, maybe a smoothie! It's good to treat yo'self!
Get fit for charity. Suns out guns out. Or, in my case, chunky arms. I never have, nor ever will I be the fittest person in the world. A traumatic history of gym classes, duck-footedness, and a general willingness to let myself eat more than I should will ensure that. But, that doesn't mean getting healthier is impossible, and honestly it's really important not just for my health now, but for my health later. I'm in my early twenties! This is the time I'm supposed to look back upon and say "wow, I ain't what I used to be!" At this rate, I'll be a pile of goo by 60! But being who I am, I need a little more motivation than just "Harper, you need to do this for your health." I shopped around for fitness incentivizing apps, and I liked CharityMiles best! Available for iOS and Android, you just select your charity, then walk, run, or bike. It uses GPS to track how far you've gone and then converts that into a donation for your charity! I've been supporting GirlUp and She's The First. Personally, I would avoid donating to Autism Speaks due to the way they spend their funds and the really messed up way they talk about autism and autistic people as a burden that has to be suffered through (more on that here, here, and here). Anyway, back to CharityMiles! CharityMiles is a wonderful app, and you can use it to turn the miles (down to a tenth of a mile!) that you walk along the beach, the boardwalk, or the mall into positive change!
What are you hoping to accomplish in May?