6 Goals For Summer 2017

When I say "summer goals," I'm not talking about the ones you see on Instagram. You know the ones- the impossibly gorgeous sunsets, the poolside snaps, and impeccably plated meals al fresco. Instead, I'm talking about the kind of goals you set for yourself in order to have a productive summer.

As students, the majority of our years are spent doing coursework, socializing, and participating in extracurriculars. Basically, we just keep on trudging along. So the summer is the ideal time to set goals and intentions for these few months of sun in order to prepare ourselves better for the coming year. Today, I've pulled out my handwritten list of summer goals and elaborated on them to share them with you, in case your in need of any inspiration, or even if you're just a bit nosy.

Have at least 50 annotated resources for my dissertation 

Ah, the dreaded dissertation. It's been hanging over my head for a while, but since it's due in it's complete form in December, I really need to kick it into gear. So far, I've written a proposal that's been approved, drafted a questionnaire, and done a fair bit of research through online journals and other academic resources. Since my research is going to be focused around Edinburgh, I unfortunately can't do my in-person fieldwork over the summer. But I plan on doing as much research remotely as possible. This means compiling a long document of annotated resources that I can refer back to later when I end up writing it up (of course, I'll have to do more of this later as I do my fieldwork, but it can't hurt to be prepared).

Practice yoga once per week 

While I'm a keen runner training for my second half marathon this summer, and a casual pilates gal (okay, more like every day pilates gal), I thought practicing yoga would be a great goal for this summer. My lower back has really been bothering me lately, and recent candid snapchats that I've seen of myself have left my shocked at how bad my posture is. And I think there's more to fixing this than just "sitting up straight" and taking an Advil or two. I'm not very flexible, and barely stretch after I run (I know- shame on me), so once a week of yoga will surely at least improve things a little bit.   

Start applying to graduate school 

I feel like this isn't a totally tangible goal (what does it mean to "start" anyway?), but that's because I actually haven't had access to all the application opening dates for my prospective schools! While I've compiled a list of places I want to apply to, it's still a bit early to know exactly what they're looking for. But for the things that I know I do need- for example, writing samples, an updated CV, research proposals- I really want to get a head start in at least organizing what I can. I know that my first semester of university this year is going to be crazy busy (even though I'll only have one class), so having at least somewhat of a jump start and a plan will be helpful.

Visit friends in at least two cities 

My friends are all over the place this summer. I'm very lucky that they've all ended up in very exciting (and fairly easy to travel to) places- for example Cape Cod, New York, and of course Stamford, Connecticut where Hayley's just moved (check her blog out for updates on her move!). And while I'm making it a goal to not sit around at home all summer, this also means that I need to be financially savvy to make it work. Still, I need to make it a priority to spend my money on experiences rather than just things (that means less unplanned coffee runs at work). I hope that seeing my friends across the Northeast will be a good incentive for me to a.) explore more and b.) be more careful with my money.

Read at least 5 books 

I recently commented to my mom while (re) watching Beauty and the Beast that I never understood the trope of a pretty girl who always has her head in a book. Not that that kind of person doesn't exist, but that I just don't relate to it. Reading at every possible moment? Not for me. Reading a few pages of a book before bed? To me, that's manageable. I've never been a huge reader- meaning, I don't go from book to book in a matter of weeks or days. I like non-fiction more than fiction (which people find weird), and I much prefer writing over reading. But this summer, I'd like to finish five books. I'm currently reading The Empty Family, a series of short stories by Colm Tóibín. So far so good. Also Lean In is on my list, but it's basically a re-read for me as I've already read most of it years ago. But because it's such an inspirational book I think it'll be a great read as I go into my final year. 

Have an article published

I love having blogging as an outlet, I really do. But sometimes I feel like I have more to say than is worthy of just a blog post that may or may not be read by people. No matter what publication it's for, I'd love to be published in a newspaper or magazine. And I'd want to write about something that's meaningful to me. I'm not quite sure what that is yet, but I'll be thinking of ideas, drafting, editing, and editing again sometime in the near future. I just know it.  

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