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Service Journalism: How to Have a Productive Summer

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School’s almost out! Summer’s just around the corner, and students can’t wait to put down their textbooks and let the good vibes kick in. Let’s face it, summer break can become tedious once you’ve immersed yourself into an endless cycle of merely eating, sleeping, and maybe even watching TV. There are plenty of opportunities for you to become more creative and spontaneous in spending your summer.

Apply for a summer program.

Programs that promote leadership and academics do not only enhance participants’ minds, but such programs allow them opportunities to have fun and meet new people. Programs such as: California State Summer School for Mathematics (COSMOS), National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC), UCSD’s Summer Summit, and UCSD’s Sally Ride Summer Camp are ways in which students can participate in hands-on academic activities, while meeting other students who share similar goals with them.

Become a student intern.

Applying for a student internship not only looks good on college applications, but it’s an effective way to build experience and sometimes even earn money.

Become part of an organization.

Organizations and clubs are a great way to have a sense of belonging. Become part of an organization that promotes something you care about. Such organizations include: church groups, youth organizations, and clubs.

Participate in community projects.

The summer is a great time to get your community service hours. Also, what’s a better way to spend your time than helping others and contributing positively to the community? There are several organizations that promote environmental awareness as well as organizations that encourage students to help provide clothing or food for those in need.

Visit a museum.

Visiting museums can enhances one’s knowledge. Not only does it positively impact the brain, but it’s a creative and inexpensive way to spend time with loved ones, or take a moment of solitude. Every Tuesday, Balboa Park has an array of museums open to the public for free.

Create a vision board.

Map out your goals for the summer by hanging up a vision board filled with the things that you want to invest your time in. Create a checklist of the productive things you want to accomplish.

Clean out your closet.

In preparation for the new school year or a new endeavor ahead, summer is a great time to clean out your closet and get rid of the excess clothing you no longer need or want.

Sell your clothes.

Stores like Plato’s Closet buy clothing from customers. Based on the brand and quality, Plato’s Closet will purchase the clothing and translate it into money or store credit.

Donate your textiles.

H&M has established an eco-friendly project that grants customers an opportunity to donate unwanted textiles in exchange for 15% off the customers’ next purchase. Local thrift stores, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army are places wherein people donate their clothes.


Often times, students are refrained from traveling due to their school schedule. The summer break gives students leeway to visit new places. Also, travelling broadens the minds of people and helps them become exposed to multiple cultures and atmospheres.

Learn how to play an instrument.

Music not only helps with hand-eye coordination, but it stimulates both sides of the brain. Places like Alan’s Music Center, Guitar Center, and Hollywood Music 2 offer music lessons for fixed prices

Visit the library.

If you haven’t signed up for a library card, now’s the opportunity. You can rent out and renew books, use the library’s computers, or print out documents. In addition to the more obvious functions of a library, the library, particularly the Skyline Library, offers free exercising classes. They even have a bookstore that sells books for less than $3. Grab your opportunities while they’re still readily available.

Take a dance class.

There’s nothing wrong with trying something new. Culture Shock Dance Center, Hollywood Music 2, and Legacy Creative Arts Studio are dance studios in San Diego that offer inexpensive drop-in classes for people interested in the art of dance. No experience is required.

Take up a new hobby.

Trying something new does not have to start outside of home. You can learn how to cook, bake, paint, or even learn how to do pottery. The options are endless; taking up a new hobby is universal in setting.


Reading expands your knowledge. Students are often limited to the places they can go to over the summer, but a good book can always transport readers to far away places.

Improve your writing skills.

Keep a journal to keep track of positive things that occur during the summer. Write about things that intrigue you. Learn and use words you don’t normally use. If you take the time to write every now and then, during the summer, it will be easier for you to transition to next school year’s writing expectations. Even if you’re about to graduate high school and don’t plan on furthering your education, writing is an important tool you can always enhance.

Stay active.

Go to the park.

A park is an effective place to play sports or enjoy your leisure time. Depending on the park, it may have walkways or trails to encourage the public to go on a walk. Similarly, some parks have basketball, volleyball, or tennis courts.

Go to the gym.

Gyms promote exercise, and exercising helps one care for his/her body and mental health. Some gyms don’t only have exercising equipment, but they have swimming pools. The Kroc Center, for instance, offers a day-package in which people can have access to its multiple gyms to play indoor and outdoor sports.

Take a walk.

You don’t have to travel far in order to exercise. Your neighborhood is a great place to start. If you’re more into scenic views, the beach is a great place to go for a run. Additionally, Rohr Park has a 3 ½ mile jogging trail open to the public.

Go hiking.

Hiking allows people to get in touch with nature. It’s a quality time to spend it alone or with loved ones, and it also promote a good health. There are several hiking trails in San Diego such as: Mission Trails, Cowles Mountain, Mount Miguel, and more.

Go bouldering.

Grotto Climbing and Yoga has a rock climbing wall that allows people to enhance their body strength for an inexpensive price.

More ideas on how to spend a productive summer can be found on

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