Make this the Best Summer Ever

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There is no off-season for champions. Those that max out their success simply move from performance to preparation. Think athletes, musicians, but also you. Students who look at the summer as their off-season miss out on a valuable time to develop themselves. Without the time constraints of going to class and studying, you now have an incredible opportunity to truly invest in yourself.

If you aren’t investing in yourself, you aren’t growing. So you can spend the four-month break between semesters on cruise control, or aggressively make moves. I was a College Athlete and much of my success came from the development I gained in the summer. Hitting the weights and working on technique lead to leaps and bounds of improvement that set me apart from others. When I connected those principles of growth to my professional and leadership development, I saw immediate results. You can spend intentional time investing in yourself during the summer to make you a stronger leader and work on developing specific habits and skills that will help you catapult your career.

I know that students aren’t often taught to work on leadership development while a student. All your focus should only be on your classes alone, right? I am a huge advocate for education and have high goals for myself as well, but your time as a student can go extremely underutilized if you don’t work on your own development in addition to gaining your education. Call it the “other” education, the social and leadership skills you need to know to understand how to use the education you gain in the classroom in the real world. If you do both, you’ll see double the results! A diploma and the leadership capabilities to make an immediate impact in your career.

There are a few ways you can catapult your development during the summer. Start with these:

Recognize Your Values and Goals

If you find yourself with a bit more time on your hands during the summer (and even if you don’t) then you should spend some time identifying what is most important to you. Find your number one priorities. Identify your passions and what you truly want to accomplish in life. You know the questions, students get asked them all the time. What do you want to be when you grow up? What is your major? What are you going to do with that? I remember feeling the social pressure to give a specific job title as an answer to all of these questions, and turns out I didn’t pursue any of them. The first job I had in my career was not even one that I knew existed while in High School. Don’t feel tied down to a job title unless you know that is exactly what you want to do. Instead, make a list of what you want your life to look like 10 years from now. Where do you live? What do you do? Who are you with? Be sure to think big, and review the list often so you can be committed. Those who are interested in a successful life might think about it, but don’t take any action. Those who are committed take action.

Involve the Right People and Resources

I call the people you spend the most time around your Circle of Influence. This Circle is the most influential aspect of your life. The people you spend the most time around will either build you up or break you down. Your friends help you deem what the minimum standard is for everything, how much you study, the food you eat, your habits, and more, it is all impacted by the people you are around. Reflect on the people you spend the most time around and make the decisions that will bring you closer to accomplishing your 10 year plan. If you need to find that social support through social media, so be it. I have networked with many people to help boost up my Circle so that I have higher standards. This Nix Your Limits Leadership Academy was created for this exact reason, you can find out more information here about that opportunity.

It is also important to surround yourself with the resources you need to succeed. That comes in different forms. You can foll0w successful people on social media, but be sure to watch how they do things. Watching how they work and lead is often where the most impactful lessons can be learned. You can also find blogs and podcasts that will provide valuable training and tools. There is plenty out there, you just have to look for it. Start implementing what you learn into your summer job and watch for results.

Strategize to Develop Skills and Habits

Most leadership skills and habits are universally beneficial to everyone. It doesn’t matter what career field you end up in, things like communicating effectively, personal organization, conflict mediation, and personal accountability will always serve you well. Think about people you admire because of what they have accomplished. This doesn’t have to be someone you know personally. Now look at what makes these people successful. What habits do they have? How do they communicate? Use their success as a roadmap of how you can see positive results. Start developing these skills because the earlier you do, the sooner you’ll see results.

Whatever you do end up spending your time doing this summer, be the best that you can. Have the best customer service of any cashier. Be the most organized shift lead of the company. Communicate better than anyone with your boss. Today matters, and if you look for opportunities to grow, and follow through with the action, you’ll find yourself developing the skills that most are waiting until they graduate to start working on.

Execute

If you don’t execute, you don’t get results. It is great to feel motivated, read blog posts, watch YouTube videos, and look up quotes, but unless you do anything about it, you will keep seeing the same old results. Stop wasting your time and take action! Stop only asking yourself what you learned and start asking yourself what you are going to do. Those who take action get what they want. Will you?

You have incredible potential within you. There is no shortage of success. You can set goals, you can audit your circle of influence, you can make lists of habits you need to develop, but until you do something about it, you will never see the results you want. Take action this summer, even though most won’t. Those who do will start living the life of their dreams while everyone else is still out there dreaming.

5 Unique College Spring Break Trips

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Now that March has finally arrived, we have one thing on our mind: Spring Break! Whether you’re a senior and an expert in all things rest and relaxation or a freshman about to embark on your first major college vacation, we could all use some unique college spring break trip ideas! We picked our top 5 that will leave you saying in awe (and will be light on your wallet).

1. Washington, D.C.

Sure, you may have visited the US Capitol on your 8th-grade field trip, but we promise that DC is so much cooler than that. Whether you’re into politics, history, or city living, the working center of the States is calling for you to visit again.

The food scene in D.C. is why you go. With so many great bakeries, in particular, you can spend an entire week tasting famous cupcakes and donuts. But outside food, there’s museums featuring an almost endless amount of things to see and learn for FREE! Use your college ID to get a huge discount on other, paid museums when necessary. It’s the main reason why D.C. wins our vote as a top frugal destination.

 

2. South Padre Island, TX

Fans of the popular HGTV show already know about South Padre Islands and how its residents and Texas locals love it. For newbies, here’s the rundown: sandy beaches, surf-worthy waves, warm weather, and tons of cute little boutiques and shops.

It’s easy to see why it’s a college student’s dream destination when you just want to get away from it all. If you have a big group, such as a sorority, consider renting one of the many homes listed on Airbnb or similar sites. Many include access to water gear like jet skis and even fishing boats if you sign waivers.

 

3. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

It’s pretty much every college student’s dream to spend their spring break somewhere exotic and outside the country. But for many, the huge price tag to fly and stay is out of bounds. The time is now for Mexico where everything is cheaper, and the resorts are more welcoming!

Puerto Vallarta is one of those spots south of the border where you can get a big bang for your buck. Take a walking tour downtown, visit one of its many islands for a day trip, go on a wildlife tour, and sit back and relax in some of the world’s top all-inclusive resorts for ultra pampering.

 

4. Los Angeles, California

We give a lot of attention to other cities in California, like San Francisco or San Diego, but L.A. keeps calling our name. It’s perfect for those who love to go out dancing late at night or celebrity stalkers who want to take in the sites.

But why we love L.A. is for the extra perks. L.A.’s food scene is insane, especially for Asian cuisine fans and those who would travel the extra mile for the perfect taco truck. Walk it off by taking a hike to the Hollywood sign or rent a bike and cruise along The Strand for a sunset view. After taking it all in, relax poolside or trek to one of the eight distinct beaches.

 

5. New Orleans, LA

Mardi Gras may be over, but in New Orleans, the party never really stops. But the best part about this city is that it’s out-of-the-box, totally different from the typical beach vacation.

Take the excursions. There’s pretty much something for everyone in your group. From art tours to fantastic cajun food, you can spend your day walking around the downtown without ever getting bored. For those more adventurous travelers, take a swamp tour or a haunted walking tour to up the adrenaline.

Unique College Winter Break Trips in the U.S.

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We’re loving winter break. The last few weeks have been spent filling up on mom’s food, avoiding the recommended reading for next semester, and catching up with old friends. But now, we’re getting a little restless and we’re thinking a winter break trip is a must-do to spend our last few weeks off. These unique college winter break trips in the US are on our destination wishlist.

Nature and the Great Outdoors

No winter break trip list is complete unless you mention skis and snowboards. The weather is perfect for it, even if you just plan on riding the ski lift and sipping hot chocolate in outdoor lounges.

 

Where you should go: When we think of snow, we think of Colorado. Denver is both affordable, easy to get around, and full of ski slopes. If you need more adventure and have the money to drop, trade in typical Colorado for Alaska wilderness. You’ll get to see the world famous dog mushing while skiing during a moderately busy season.

 

Beach Reading and Swimming Pools

On the other hand, this list would also be pretty empty if we didn’t talk about the warm weather and sandy beach options. Much of America isn’t quite ready for swims in the ocean, but you can still warm your toes, soak up some sun, and save big on off-season prices at a few US hotspots.

 

Where you should go: Florida is perfect this time of year, especially Miami and Daytona Beach. It may not be that hot, but it’s still warm enough to pull out the beach chair at a resort. California coastlines are equally great, albeit a bit chillier. If you can afford to fly, make your way to Puerto Rico. You won’t need a passport, but you’ll still get that tropical paradise feel.

 

Museum Tours and Cultural Events

Who says you can’t get a little education on your winter break? You can take your days off to see the sights and experience what a big city has to offer for you. Luckily for you, if you’re heading to some major cities, you can get good deals on winter tourist passes so you can see more than one sight at a time.

 

Where you should go: New York is always top of the list, but you shouldn’t forget about Chicago where they have the top ranked art museum in the world or Washington D.C. where you can visit multiple US history museums at zero cost all year round.

 

A La Carte Paradises and Road Trips

You can get all of this and more from beaches to culture to the outdoors and more. You just have to do a little work and think out of the box when you’re looking for the perfect winter break trip spot. By staying away from top tourist cities or busy resort locations, you can have a unique experience.

 

Where you should go: New Orleans will give you great weather, fantastic art and city legends, along with loads of opportunities to see wildlife or take authentic boat trips. Texas too has island life, cities full of museums, and spas for a great massage or facial. All of it is within reach with a short flight or an epic road trip.

 

 

Perks of Christmas Break

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This year's tree! Putting up the tree is always my favorite part of the holidays.

We all know how it goes- you’re finally done with finals and couldn’t be more excited to be going home. Then no more than a week in, you’re bored of home already. It’s happened to the best of us!

Fortunately, there’s so much to look forward to over Christmas break that it’s so easy to fill up your schedule with friends, food, and fun!! So if you find yourself missing school on your time off, remember the following perks of Christmas break and take advantage!

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1.) See old friends!

Chances are it’s been a while since you’ve hung out with some of your friends from back home! Be sure to make time to catch up!

2.) Spend time with family!

You know they’ve missed you, and you know you’ve missed them! Spend some quality time before you head back to school for another semester.

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3.) Get some good food!

Let’s be honest with ourselves- the dining hall was getting pretty old. Enjoy some home cooked meals and stop by your favorite restaurant. Treat yourself!

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4.) Earn money!

If possible, Christmas break is a great time to get some hours in at work! As a “broke college student”, that’s as good an opportunity as any!

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How are you spending your Christmas break?

Happy Holidays, and a wonderful Christmas break to all!