As the bell rings on May 24, crowds of students will flood the hallways, hoping to leave the exasperating memory of finals behind them at the gate of the school. Excited chattering will start to arise as students ask each other about summer plans. Some may enthusiastically describe an upcoming international trip, while others might list a variety of internships, camps, and summer jobs. The other percentage of students will simply reply that they plan on relaxing. Surprisingly, this option may be the most beneficial for students’ health.

Summer is the perfect time for students to take a break. However, many feel the pressures of needing to meet expectations or participate in school classes and camps to put on their college applications. Before they know it, many students’ summers are filled with more homework and studying than relaxation, and the line between school and vacation
begins to blur.

An article by the Daily Bruin notes that “students that work harder during summer may find themselves falling victim to the monotonous daily grind of completing assigned tasks.” When summer vacation is filled with studying, work becomes “nothing more than something to complete rather than something to experience fully and learn from.” Although more studying and work
may seem necessary for a college resume, the never-ending routine of homework and school can cause a student to lose
interest in learning.

Summer should also be an opportunity to catch up on sleep and be less stressed. This seemingly insignificant break can actually be crucially beneficial to studets’ performance throughout their lives. According to the Huffington Post, summer relaxation can boost memory and help people make good decisions.

In a state of anxiety, it is hard to memorize and process information. Relaxing decreases stress while increasing memory.

Stress and sleep deprivation lead to rushed and poor decision making; relaxation has the opposite effect. Using summer to sleep in and relax can induce many healthy benefits, so students should apply this opportunity to their schedule during the three months of vacation.

Although the idea of relaxation seems easy to fit into a summer routine, it often becomes last priority. After researching this topic, I decided to try to include more relaxation in my own upcoming summer vacation. However, after excitedly signing up for overnight camps and multiple summer jobs, I realized I only had about three weeks with no events or obligations. Despite this, I will use those valuable three weeks to sleep in late and detox from stress.

Relaxation is extremely important, but that does not mean that students should spend their entire summer watching Netflix while trashing the couch with chip bags and candy wrappers. Part of relaxation is participating in activities
that can’t be done during the school year.

Go ahead, watch a few episodes. Sleep in. Indulge in pizza. But don’t forget that the outdoors still exists. Go for a run. Dive into the pool. Go swimming.
Remember, summer camps, internships, and other activities are essential to an enriching summer vacation, but relaxation is just as important.