Ready, Set, SUMMER!

Summer is just around the corner and soon school will leave the minds of most liberty students. What do people plan to do these next few months?

Eno+Ituk+in+Mexico+last+summer.+Her+family+loves+to+travel+during+their+free+time.+

Eno Ituk

Eno Ituk in Mexico last summer. Her family loves to travel during their free time.

That time of year all of the students have been yearning for is finally here. The school year is stepping on its brakes and summer is just around the corner. It has been a very long year, having a nice long break is just what Liberty students need this year. What should teens be doing with their time this summer?

The excitement that everyone is feeling is clear. There are numerous reasons for the need of summer. Some are ready because of how hard this year has been.

Eno Ituk, sophomore, is excited to feel a relief of stress that summer brings.

“I’m pretty excited for summer because this school year has been really mentally draining,” she said.

Nathan Kinzer, junior, has a mutual feeling.

“I am very excited for summer primarily because I feel burnt out from school. I can’t wait to have the freedom I get from summer,” Kinzer said.

It’s important for kids to still have time to be kids and be able to leave a period of exhaustion. It is the first full year back since COVID, making it feel extra long, and having a hard hit on the community was not helpful either. It’s nice for students to look forward to seeing friends and making memories with them, which is why Abby Hall, junior, is ready for school to end.

Vanessa Hegland and her two friends from dance, Maddie Rule and Mackenzie Besgrove. (Courtesy of Vanessa Hegland)

Hall said: “I am super excited for summer because I get to hang out with my friends everyday.”

Not only does summer bring excitement about all the extra time, but for some students it’s a time to focus on other things in their lives, like sports or hobbies.

Vanessa Hegland, junior, is ready for a dance-filled summer.

“I am very excited for summer!! I am excited for dance team summer practices, opportunities this summer to volunteer, and of course getting a nice tan,” Hegland said.

Likewise, Charlie Keenan, sophomore, gets to focus on his sport.

Keenan said: “I’m excited for summer because football starts and I’m really lookin

Tyler visiting New York for her summer ballet intensive. (Courtesy of Delaine Tyler)

g forward to it”.

Delaine Tyler, sophomore, is heading out of state to focus on dance, a tradition she has been doing for a few years now.

“I will be in Seattle for 5 weeks living on my own to train in dance more intensely”, she said.

Some students are participating in camps for their sport. Many colleges or programs offer a time where students can zero in and improve their skills. It can also be a great way to meet new people and have a constant thought to do with time.

Other than sports, students are also just excited to go outside. There was a very long winter this year and with the nice weather finally rolling in, it’s time to open up all the windows and head outside. Being outside is one of the best things to do because there are numerous opportunities and activities offered.

The Coralville lake and reservoir “beach” is definitely a popular spot amongst highschoolers.

Hall is one who is ready to pack up and head to the water.

She said, “I am most excited to go boating everyday.”

Without a boat, there are still numerous fun things to do on the water: Kayaking, paddle boarding, or just swimming in general. Not only is it good exercise, but it’s fun.

A perk of getting outside is leaving the pale twilight skin in the past. Tans are amazing, but remember to wear sunscreen. Tans can still happen with sunscreen, just with a lower risk of skin cancer.

Another big summer trend is vacationing. It’s fun to get a break from Iowa.

Eno Ituk is getting out of Iowa this summer.

She said, “I’m most excited for vacation: i’ll be going to North Carolina in July for a family reunion, and then in August, I’ll be traveling to the UK, Ireland, and France

Even if it’s not super far, like Ituk’s, taking a short trip can always be a great way to sight-see or gain new experiences. There are many lakes and cities nearby that are only a couple hours away.

Although there are many things to be happy for, some highschoolers have some things they are not as excited for.

Kinzer said, “There is not much I don’t enjoy about summer, but if I had to be picky I’d say my allergies.”

Itchy eyes and sneezing is not the move, so make sure to stock up on the non drowsy allergy meds.

July also is not the best month for the weather. Malia Taylor, junior, is not a fan.

Taylor said: “What I don’t like about summer is the relentless heat peaking around July paired with sticky biting bugs. I hate bug bites.”

Tip: bring water and bug spray wherever you go outside.

Eno Ituk is least looking forward to her job at Culvers.

“What I hate about summer is working- I don’t like my job,” Ituk said.

If you are looking for a job this summer, try to find one you can enjoy being out, because then it can be a win-win: Having fun and making money.

Jocelyn Klein

Another big concern is surrounding people. It can be sad or scary to spend summer without the people at school everyday/ “school friends”.

Keenan said: “This summer I am least excited about not being able to see some of my friends that I see at school everyday.”

Gallagher said: “I’m least excited to be seeing less people from school. I like to be friendly with everyone in school, but over summer I’ll be with the same few people”.

It can be fun to try to reach out to those friends that you are worried about not seeing for a while. Try to hang out with new people and really try to make the most of it.

Kinzer said, “When I’m bored, I like finding people to hang out with. Social interaction is a necessity for my happiness. I like making new friends and summer is a great time to do so.”

It’s true, reaching out never hurts because a lot of the time other people are bored too. Expand your horizons.

A big problem with teens and summer is boredness and laziness. It’s like a plague and they get stuck laying in bed all day on their phones. It’s important to try to make new experiences and have fun.

There was a lot of advice given for what to do when boredom hits.

“Usually when I’m bored I’ll play with Kevin [my dog] or text Isabelle Mahmen and or just show up at her house.”

Hall recommends just forcing your friends to hang out with you by giving no choice. It could be a nice surprise. She also recommends hanging out with your pets, they are always there and almost always down to run around with you. It also could be really nice to take them out: double whammy of exercise and tanning.

Emily Gallagher recommends relaxation and enjoying freedom

She also said, “Make plans in advance so you have something to look forward to.”

Brayden Mayer, freshman, input is also important.

Mayer said: “ Have fun and enjoy it (your summer). You are not going to be young forever”.

Try to write down some things to do this summer, then when there is nothing to do, go through the list.

Maddi Kain, senior, go-to activities include: going outside, working out, or baking cookies.

Malia Taylor recommends spontaneity.

She said: “Most people have summer bucket lists, but don’t always follow through. I think if there’s ever a moment you feel like doing something fun, do it! Those spur of the moment decisions often end up being the most fun and memorable.

Delaine Tyler agrees, “I recommend being adventurous and doing things out of your comfort zone”.

Try to spend as much time with friends and family. Other people tend to bring a lot of happiness and make summer a lot less lonely.

One last piece of advice for this summer by Abby hall:

Hall said: “I recommend that other people have fun this summer and not stress about school and stay safe and don’t do drugs”.

Happy summer!