How To Survive Summer Break As A College Student

Ahh...summertime. The time where many college students flock, well, home.

After living on your own for 3/4 of a year, it may be very difficult to transfer back to living under your parent's roof and by their rules. One weekend you go from late night Target runs to being home by 12 AM. It seems a little unfair? But is it really?

I am not going to lie to you, coming back home for summer break is a LOT to take in, but I am confident in you. Today I am going to share my biggest tips for surviving summer break as a college student so that you can spend more time this summer enjoying yourself, and less time being upset about the freedom that you used to have.

How To Survive Summer Break As A College Student | Returning home after being gone for 3/4th of a year can be really difficult for any student. Today on the blog I am going to share five tips for dealing with being home for the summer so that you can keep your great relationship with your parents while surviving the summer and enjoying your time back home.

1. Find An Apartment Or Sublease For The Summer

If you are not ready to go home for the summer and give up your freedom, you don't have to go. Ultimately, you just can't stay in most dorms over the summer unless you get a summer lease for a summer class or something similar.

Don't feel the need to leave your college town if you don't want to and you have a job or are otherwise able to pay the bills. PLENTY of people get 12 month leases but don't stay in their apartments over the summer. A lot of people choose to move back home or they do a study abroad trip for the summer.

Ask around your friend group to see if anyone is subleasing their apartment for the summer, or even better, move into an apartment.

Many apartments have a TON of openings right now that they are trying to fill before the school semester starts. They may even have some good promotions happening right now because they are trying to fill so many open spots. 

When it comes to apartments: read reviews, get the lowdown on all the apartment have to offer, and make a smart decision. Don't rush into a lease just because you don't want to go home for the summer just yet. Make a rational decision if you were planning on looking for housing at the moment. I would only use this option if you also plan to stay in that apartment during the school year.

But, back to subleasing. Subleasing is a great way to help someone out and live in an apartment over the summer without taking on a super short term lease. With subleasing you are usually working with the original lease owner and the apartment manager to pay the rent. It's great because you are paying their original rent and not paying huge fees for a short term lease. When you are only staying at a place for three months, the rent can be kind of expensive because of the turnover the apartment will have to endure getting the room ready so many times.

If subleasing or getting an apartment is not an option for you, let's chat about what you should do to survive summer break at home as a college student.

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2. Come To Terms With The Change

Okay, it's going to be a wild and bumpy ride, y'all. College affords a TON of freedom that being home under your parent's roof just doesn't afford. I mean, during my freshman year alone I:

  • Got a tattoo late at night on a random school night
  • Went to a handful of parties
  • Went to many a midnight/late night movie
  • Went on many late night/spontaneous trips to Walmart (many times when I should have been studying for exams)
  • Ate way too much takeout and restaurant food (including many late nights at Waffle House & iHop)

Many of those things (and more) I would not have been able to do under my parents roof. Being home was an adjustment that I had to come to terms with.

At the end of the day, you have probably lived with your parents for 18 or so years, so a few months between leases will not kill you. It's going to be an adjustment, but dear, I am confident you can conquer it.

Personally, I treated the summer as calm place. During the school  year I was usually moving around from one thing to the next. Class, work, sorority events, etc. every. single. day. That can get quite tiring. So, yes, I had to adjust to a slower pace at home but ultimately those slow moments made for balance in my otherwise way to crazy school life.

3. Chat With Your Parents About The Rules

Your parents know that you are used to certain freedoms in college that you don't get when you are at home. I am not saying that they will go nuts and give you all the freedoms after you return home from college, but I am telling you to have a serious chat with your parents about the rules.

If you never talk with your parents about adjusting your rules, there is no way that you will know how much they are willing to adjust the rules. Sit down with them and talk through the transition back home. Let them know that you want to re-evaluate the rules you had when you were in high school to accommodate for the growth that you have made since you were in college.

Above all else, once those rules are set, freaking follow them! Your parents are probably very excited to have you home, but it's an adjustment that never gets easy in my opinion. This is likely your parents first big break with you as winter break is usually about a month but summer break is a whole quarter of a year! Give your parents a break as they are getting back to having you in their lives (for at least a few months.)

How To Survive Summer Break As A College Student

4. Get A Hobby

Time is definitely going to pass a bit slower, so you want to take up something to fill your time. You could:

  • Get A Job: A job is not really a hobby, but it's money that will help you out a TON so you have spending money for the summer (and if you budget correctly) during the school year too.
  • Start A Blog: Blogging isn't for everyone, but it could be fun to take the time you have now and use that time to start a blog and connect with people across the country.
  • Craft: One of my favorite things to do during the summer after my freshman year was craft. I moved into an apartment my Sophomore year so I was able to get my college dorm deposit back. I used that money to load up on craft supplies at Walmart and made ~cute~ paintings (and I say cute like that because they were ugly AF but it was a fun experience.) I'll stick to designing cute things on Photoshop though.

Whatever your hobby for the summer is, find it so during those times when you can't leave the house or your friends/family are busy, you can spend your time doing said hobby (and maybe even making a bit of money from it!)

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5. Know That Being An Adult Is More Than Late Night Ice Cream Trips

It's so easy to be upset at the fact that you can't do what you could do while at college. I think it comes down to understanding that being an adult is more than just getting what you want. It would be nice if you could spend time with who you want, stay out as late as you want, and grab ice cream at 3 AM but that may not be your life during the summer.

You are an adult now but you also need to respect your paren't wishes and live by their rules while you are staying under their roof (probably rent free.) They are saving you a ton of money by letting you live there and eat their food, so be respectful and learn to love it even if it's not the same freedom you had in college.

Understand that being an adult doesn't consist of getting what you want 24/7. Many people go through their adult life never getting what they want 100% of the time. You can suck it up for a summer (or four) for the sake of free food and lots of love from your parents.

Final Thoughts

I hope that this post was helpful for you as you begin to embark on your journey back home after spring semester. You are going to have a ball living at home, it may just feel a bit stifling at the moment. Take a deep breath and get excited to spend time with  your family and friends back home this summer.

Extra Resources

Here are some extra resources from places across the web that also cover this topic. Do some research so you understand how to survive this time back home.

10 Tips For Getting Along With Your Parents Over Summer Break from Cabrini University

7 Skills to Learn Living With Parents During College Summer Break from Education Quest Foundation

Home (Bitter) Sweet Home: A College Student Perspective from Grown & Flown


Amanda Cross

My name is Amanda Cross and I am the blogger behind The Happy Arkansan. I am a 20 something college graduate, graduate student, and all around awesome person.

The Ultimate College Toolkit


Enter your name and email address to get instant access to my college toolkit. The toolkit features 60+ resources to help you with things like writing, research, scholarships, dorm decor, and so much more. This toolkit will be updated with new resources every month so please check it out today!

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Interview With A College Student: Jenna Singer

Happy Tuesday, Babes!

Today we are starting a brand new series on The Happy Arkansan called Interview With A College Student. I am so excited about this series and I hope that it helps you get to know the real college students that are taking classes all across the country. You can learn from so many people, whether they own a college blog or are just regular college students. Check out this interview with Jenna who attends Kent State University.

Interview With A College Student: Jenna Singer | Meet college student Jenna Singer! Learn her advice for how she stays sane as a Public Health for Pre-Medicine major involved in multiple organizations on her college campus. Learn why she decided to attend college and what her best study and budget tips are.



Name: Jenna

Major: Public Health for Pre-Medicine

Year: Junior

What made you decide to attend college?

Nobody in my family had ever attended college, so I didn't know much about what college was like. In my blue collar Ohio town, going to college is very uncommon. I knew medicine was my calling and that attending college would be necessary in order to achieve my goals.

What has been the best memory of your collegiate life thus far?

One of my best memories so far was my first finals week. That sounds very odd, but that was when I learned how much I could handle while under stress. My classmates were also very supportive of each other, so that was when I realized how great my school was.

What is the best piece of advice you have for incoming freshman?

Study! If you complete all of your work and put effort into your education, you earn get good grades. Also, join at least one club!

What organizations are you involved in?

Pre-Medical Club, American Chemical Society, Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society, and Phi Theta Kappa.

How do you best balance your major with the four organizations that you are involved in? What is your best tip for students who want to be involved in a lot of student organizations?

Balancing the four organizations I am involved in is very difficult, especially while maintaining my 4.0 GPA, but it is possible! Joining clubs is very important in college, and if you love something you will make time for it. Find organizations that only meet once a month or so, or in between your class times. All of the organizations I am involved in are science related, so often times they plan activities together. Being involved in clubs that relate to your major also you to stay on track with your schoolwork!

What is your best study tip?

Everyone learns differently, so it is important to learn which study methods work best for you! I have found that creating my own practice exams/study guides is very effective when studying for exams. Also, explaining topics to others is a great way to study because if you can explain a topic well to another person, you must have a good understanding of the material.

What is your best tip for sticking to your budget in college?

Planning! I use excel to plan a monthly budget, and having a clear plan pushes me to stick to it! I allow myself to splurge sometimes (I love thrifting), but having a plan/visual to follow helps me remember my priorities.

Jenna has some amazing advice and I am so glad that she was the first student that I featured on Interview With A College Student. 

I would love to feature you on this new series just like I featured Jenna! If you would like to be featured be sure to click the button below to be taken to the survey and start the process of being featured on the blog.


Amanda Cross

My name is Amanda Cross and I am the blogger behind The Happy Arkansan. I am a 20 something college graduate, graduate student, and all around awesome person.

The Ultimate College Toolkit


Enter your name and email address to get instant access to my college toolkit. The toolkit features 60+ resources to help you with things like writing, research, scholarships, dorm decor, and so much more. This toolkit will be updated with new resources every month so please check it out today!

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5 Things That Sororities Look For During Recruitment

Recruitment can be a scary time for so many students.

Many high schoolers aren't sure exactly what to do during recruitment because they may not have had any family guidance or their family members were a part of the Greek system so long ago. Today I am going to be sharing a couple of universal things that most sororities are looking for during recruitment. Once you understand these five things recruitment will seem a lot less scary because most of you already have these qualities, it's just a matter of getting over the nerves, and making sure the sororities see these qualities in you.

5 Things That Sororities Look For During Recruitment | Many college students will go through recruitment this upcoming fall, but so many of them don't know what sororities are looking for in their potential new members. Click through to learn five things that sororities are looking for as they are going through the recruitment process so that you can practice adding these things into conversation and add them into your recruitment applications.

1. Leadership Potential

Leadership potential in sororities is SO important because there are TONS of leadership positions to be filled in sororities. In order to fill all those officer and chair positions sororities need to find members who are willing to step up to the plate. There are leadership positions for so many women but sometimes people end up filling two or more positions because a lot of people don't want to step up. Women are busy with their majors or they may even lack the confidence necessary to step up.

If you are thinking of joining a sorority:

  1. Play up your past leadership roles on your application.
  2. Ask about leadership positions during the recruitment process.

If you do these two things you will be able to share your love of leadership with the sorority easily. Do this with many people that you meet during recruitment. You want to make sure that many sisters know how excited you are about potential leadership opportunities.

Make sure that you are varying the ways that you ask about leadership opportunities. With one sister you may want to ask about the leadership opportunities outright, then with another sister you may say "Oh _____, was just telling me about her leadership role as the chapter secretary, have you had any leadership roles in the sorority?", then with another sister you may want to take a more natural approach and ask her about what drew her to the sorority/see if leadership naturally pops into the conversation as y'all are talking.

2. Genuine Interest in sorority life

*Not the party life.

Being in a sorority can lead to a fuller social calendar, but that should never be your sole reason for wanting to join. There will be plenty of time for you to worry about socials with boys later as they will inevitably come up during chapter meetings. Right now, though, your sole focus should be on getting to know the women and making sure that you feel comfortable and can see yourself hanging out with them often.

Sorority life is more than just social events with fraternities. Sororities hang out and have sisterhoods together, they bond over volunteer work, they do homework together, and so much more. You need to have a genuine interest in the totality of sorority life--not just one aspect.

If you want to learn more about what they do on a day-to-day basis don't be afraid to ask a sister what her favorite sorority event was. Don't be surprised though if she still isn't forthcoming about socials as she is trying to find a sister not a party buddy. Respect her wishes if she wants to tell you about another avenue of her sorority life and believe her as some people genuinely aren't interested in the socials aspect of sorority life. I, for example, can probably count on one hand how many socials I went to throughout my time in my sorority. I went to far more sisterhoods than I went to socials.

3. love For education

I am not telling you that you need a 4.0 to get into a sorority, quite the opposite. Good grades never hurt, though, because many sororities pride themselves on education. Many sororities can't really afford to take grade risks (a grade risk is when a potential new member doesn't meet the minimum GPA requirements.)

A chapter's GPA is very important, but not only that you need to have a strong GPA. Most GPAs drop during the new member semester because the first semester in a sorority can be so demanding (most, but not all, mine went up by .2). To top it off, a lot of women are going through recruitment during their first semester of college so sororities are going off your high school GPA. If your high school GPA is low it doesn't give sororities a lot of confidence that you will be able to handle your first semester of college plus a really demanding student organization.

If your GPA is really great, highlight that because sororities are always looking for women who are academically gifted. At the same time though, the only time you really have to worry is if your GPA is below the minimum GPA requirement. I am sorry to say that having a GPA lower than the minimum is the first thing many sororities cut for--even if they love your personality.

All is not lost though, if your GPA isn't ready yet, take some time to raise it your first semester at college, try to meet different sorority women, and then go for a continuous open bid in the spring. Alternatively,  you could go through recruitment as a sophomore and use the entire first year to get your land legs together. If your school does deferred formal recruitment, you are in luck as you will have a semester to work hard and raise your GPA by doing well during your first semester of college.

5 Things That Sororities Look For During Recruitment

4. Willingness to volunteer

Being a volunteer is a big part of sorority life. Whether you want to volunteer at a soup kitchen, by tutoring students at local schools, coaching a Little League team, etc. volunteering is at the heart of what sorority women do. During your time as a sorority sister there is a big chance that you will have to submit a certain number of volunteer hours and those hours can take place with your sorority or outside of your sorority.

If you love the philanthropy of your potential sorority that is also a really great advantage. The biggest advice I have is to be alert during philanthropy day. These women are sharing one of the biggest parts of their sorority with and you need to look at least mildly interested in the philanthropy they support. Once you are in the sorority there is a huge chance that most of your service hours can be outside of this philanthropy, but you will probably be doing a number of activities related to this philanthropy throughout your time in the sorority.

5. Strong values and passion about something

Last, but certainly not least, sororities are looking for women who have strong values and women who are passionate about something. More than anything, this really means that sororities are looking for people who have a personality and aren't afraid to show that to them through their conversations. If you are a huge Harry Potter geek, don't be afraid to bring that up. If you are passionate about zoology, don't be afraid to bring it up. If being kind is a big part of who you are, don't be afraid to let that be seen.

Sororities are here to help make you a better version of yourself. Having a strong value system and just sharing your passion with your potential sisters is a great way to get their attention. Passion makes you happy and that happiness shows in everything that you do. Take the time to make yourself more comfortable during recruitment by sharing your passion and values with your sisters.

Sororities are made up of so many types of women and they all have their own passions and value systems. You never know who you are talking to during recruitment so by sharing your values and passions you could be talking to the person in the sorority who matches you the most. Even if that person doesn't match you exactly, by sharing more about you they can figure out if you would fit in with the sorority or if they knew someone who would be perfect for you to meet.

Final Thoughts About What Sororities Look For

As you notice, I didn't add looks here. Yes, there are some sororities out there that seem to fill their sorority based on superficial looks. Yes, even for sororities who don't base their recruitment on looks, you want to look presentable and like you are trying at least a little bit during recruitment. I have had a few posts on the blog about what to wear and how to look during recruitment on the blog in the past and there are so many resources out there that I highly suggest you check out. Check out my posts about fashion and beauty during formal recruitment here and here.

I feel that these five topics are the best topics that you can focus on when it comes to what sororities look for the most. Looks can only get you so far in most sororities if you don't have other things like leadership, volunteering, education, etc. to back it up.

Overall, don't be afraid to be yourself and to open up during recruitment. Recruitment week is your one chance to make an impression on these women and get a bid to join their sisterhood (for now anyway, you can always go through recruitment again or do a continuous open bid if you are dropped.) Don't waste that opportunity being scared and shutting down. Practice your conversation skills and find ways to interject your personality into the conversation and into your recruitment application.

I have so much faith in you that you will find the right sisterhood. Get ready to crush recruitment, yo!


Amanda Cross

My name is Amanda Cross and I am the blogger behind The Happy Arkansan. I am a 20 something college graduate, graduate student, and all around awesome person.

The Ultimate College Toolkit


Enter your name and email address to get instant access to my college toolkit. The toolkit features 60+ resources to help you with things like writing, research, scholarships, dorm decor, and so much more. This toolkit will be updated with new resources every month so please check it out today!

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