5 Ways to Not Waste Your Summer

My first college summer, after finishing my Freshman Year, I went home. I sat on the couch. I babysat. I slept in. Then I babysat some more. Honestly, I can’t recall anything memorable from that summer other than doing a great Bible study with my friends who were also home.

I can also tell you what I didn’t do. I didn’t use my school year to prepare for the time when I wouldn’t be there. All I could do was think about the two-month-long, proverbial “deep breath” I was about to take. I didn’t invest during those two months the way I had been learning to do during the last 10. I thought that working for a summer camp or going on a mission trip was for the older, more spiritually mature– not me.

In contrast to my first summer home from college, I am here to tell you to not waste your summer. This does not mean you are not allowed to go back home, because I truly believe you can make disciples under your parent’s roof, in your hometown, just as much as you can in Guatemala living with a missionary. But what this does mean is this is your chance to be proactive in utilizing a uniquely open, two months for the purpose of gospel centered ministry and deepening your faith in Christ.

Let’s chat about ways to do this.

  1. Find a way to serve. Use your school year to explore the opportunities available to you. There are a variety of organizations focusing on global missions and summer camps that you can be a part of to be intentional about sharing Christ. Within Servant Life, we have the A1eight Project for college students to serve on teams of 3-5 as a summer intern with one of our missionary partners. You can learn more and apply here.
  1. Plan for spiritual growth and to replenish your spirit. How will you study the Bible this summer when you are away from your normal small group? Try looking up a Bible Reading Plan or finding a study that you can walk through while you have less structured days. Make a reading list of books for your spiritual health that will challenge and help keep you pointed towards Christ. Looking for recommendations? Check out our reading list here.
  1. Kick laziness to the curb. Ever feel like you get sucked into a social media “black hole” and the next thing you know you’ve been on the couch looking at Instagram for an hour? Yeah, me too. Let’s call it for what it is: Find ways to spend your time that bring life and relationship rather than losing minutes by scrolling the precious puppy account you follow. Set limits and boundaries so you can catch yourself when you have fallen prey to laziness.
  1. Explore and learn who God has created you to be. Try new things. Invest in areas you haven’t before. Test and see things that God has possibly created for you that you may not have tried otherwise. You have a uniquely open season of life for exploring, so use it well! Don’t know what you enjoy or what God has gifted you in? Now is a great time to find out!
  1. Stay involved with other believers. This one is pretty clear. Don’t use the excuse “I’m out of my routine” for not meeting with and living in connection with other Christians. Be proactive to find a local body of believers that you can be encouraged and challenged by. This may look like a new small group, finding a mentor to disciple you, or plugging in with your local church.


For my first summer in college, home was a trap of laziness. Be on guard against it, find your ways to serve, and be active with other believers. Whether that’s being a summer missionary in the A1eight Project* through Servant Life or working at a summer camp, the 2 months you get next summer will be ones you never get again. The opportunities available to you are vast. Take advantage of them!


Lesley McClanahan

Servant Life Coordinator


*For more information about the A1eight Project for college students, click here.

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