Your middle school days have finally come to an end (almost)! For most students, the summer after middle school is particularly exciting. This is the summer before you transition from middle school to high school. Come the fall, you will no longer be one of the oldest members of your school, but rather one of the youngest members. Before you dive into the adventure of high school, you should take the time to use your summer for growth, reflection, and faith building.
Here are some tips on how to make the most of your summer before high school.
1. Don’t let your mind go to waste during the summer
Once school is over, the first things on your mind will most likely be relaxing, sleeping in and not having to worry about school work. All of these things may be great to do the first few weeks of summer, but may not necessarily be beneficial to you in the long run. We suggest keeping your brain active during the summer months, so you aren't as rusty when you start school back up in September.
A smart way to keep your brain working during the summer is by reading. Consider the possibility of reading for fun. At first thought, this may not sound too exciting, but reading for enjoyment is very different than reading for studying purposes! During the summer you have the luxury of finding and reading books that actually pique your interest. Before school is over, ask one of your teachers for some of their favorite recommendations. Teachers can give excellent suggestions based on the genres you are considering. Reading over the summer will exercise your mind, increasing its cognitive functions.
If reading isn’t something you enjoy, have you considering putting together a puzzle? Yes, you heard us right, puzzles, especially those specifically intended for your brain, can keep your mind sharp during the summer months. Puzzles may be more enjoyable than reading because you can enjoy them with other people. Get some friends or family together and start any type of puzzle. Not only will you be working your brain, but you will also be socializing!
2. Stay active during the summer months
During the summer it is equally as important to remain physically active. Carving out time for relaxing and reading is great but it is also an excellent idea to remain active. Not doing any sort of physical activity for a few months, will definitely hinder you when you roll into P.E. in the fall.
Consider joining a sports team with a group of friends! The warm, summer months are the perfect time to get out on the track or field and let loose. If you don't want to start your own team, get online and do some research. Find out about the pre-existing teams in your area that you can join.
3. Make time for spiritual growth
Aside from sharpening your brain and remaining active, the summer is also a time for spiritual growth. In fact, summer is the best time to develop your relationship with the Lord. Without schoolwork on your mind, you can focus on daily prayer and frequent reception of the sacraments.
If you have a lot of free time, try to attend confession and mass on a regular basis. Consider trying something new like joining a Bible study or volunteering with a Vacation Bible School. This is a great opportunity to get involved and meet fellow Catholics in your community.
Having a spiritual mentor can be beneficial as well. He or she can help you pick out some spiritual reading to guide you in your daily prayer and reflection.
If you’re looking for other ways to grow this summer, check out the Summer Action Retreat. St. Lawrence Seminary holds this Summer Action Retreat on June 18th- 21st, giving young men the opportunity to have an enriching, faith-based experience. This year’s retreat theme is “Come Follow Me”. In the spirit of St. Francis, the retreat reflects on the role of service, community living, and personal prayer with Jesus to while learning to love like Him. Our retreat is designed to give students the chance to grow as adults in the Catholic Faith.
Whatever you plan on doing this summer, be sure you are making the most of it. It may be tempting to take the summer off and not think about anything important, but before you know it, high school will be around the corner and you’ll regret the wasted time! Take advantage of your vacation days to grow into the man you want to become.
Registration for the 2018 Summer Action Retreat is now open! Reserve your spot today!