By Heather Newlin, Chattanooga, Tenn. —

As students, summer is an opportunity to experience a three month change of pace. No matter how busy you are, you can make the most of your summer.

First of all, nice weather in the summer months means concerts are happening all the time. No matter what city you’re or what your schedule is, you can always find a concert near you. Support local bands, save up for a headliner, or see a show in a genre you’ve never explored. Concerts are a great way to set work aside and focus on something fun. They also are a great way to spend quality time with people you love. Take a friend to one and make some memories before they start traveling for the summer, or ask a date to go with you and test to see if your music preferences are compatible.

If you have a little more free time on your hands, take advantage of relatively cheap gas prices and do some traveling. Go a town or two over, a city away, or across the continent. Sometimes summer means long road trips that you’re not particularly excited for, but those trips can be fun, too.

Marissa Slaughter, a sophomore from Puryear, Tenn., said that when her family moved across the country from California, they spent four days driving across the country so they could stop and see things along the way.

“We stopped and saw giant dinosaurs you can go inside. We went through New Mexico, Texas and Los Angeles and made great memories that I’m really thankful for,” Slaughter said.

If you’re staying home for the summer, use your extra funds from your summer job combined with your student discount (don’t lose your mocs card!) and “treat yo self.” Saving money on clothes and food leaves you with extra cash to spend on all your summer adventures.  Clothing stores, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, and even Spotify and Amazon cut deals for students that you can take advantage of.

Make a tangible list of your goals for the summer. Start writing down what you were talking about every time you said, “I really want to do that sometime.” Remember to do all those things and put a date on them. Make plans with all those people you keep saying you’ll get lunch with sometime.

In the end, consider your regrets from last summer. Did you work too much? Do you wish you had spent more time with anyone? If you never planned that hiking trip, plan it this summer instead.

Emilie Sloan, a sophomore from Hendersonville, Tenn., said her biggest regret last summer was not keeping in touch with friends.

“Most of them live in different cities,” Sloan said. “It was lonely not hanging out and talking to all of my friends every week. So this summer I want to make more time for my friends and stay in touch as best I can.”

No matter how you’re spending the summer, treasure your time and enjoy who you’re with. John Mayer said it best; “a little bit of summer is what the whole year’s all about.”