10 Ways To Enjoy Your Summer While Working A 9 To 5

Being an adult seems like a blast and a half, until you realize that “summer break” just turns into “commuting in a sauna.” Gone are the days of part time jobs and weekdays off — your landlord still expects that check every month, and the only way to make sure you’re not on toeing the line with your building is to go to work. That being said, your summer is not LOST, it just looks different now. Now, you work in an air conditioned building that may provide bagels every now and again, instead of a hot pizza kitchen that turns you into a giant pepperoni.

That being said, different comes with its perks, most of which include rooftop bars and the knowledge that no, you don’t have to pack up your life for the sake of dorm living in two months. Having a 9 to 5 doesn’t mean your summer is just another season, it just means you’ve got to be a little more creative with your time and activities.

1. Become one with happy hours

Ah yes, the thing all office workers look forward to after a long day. Thanks to this change of seasons, rooftops, balconies, and patio dining all over the city is at your disposal — most of it being intern-free. Take advantage of the happy hour lifestyle and enjoy some quality time with coworkers or friends on a weekday. Just because you work Monday through Friday doesn’t mean those days are a lost cause!

2. Bring a book everywhere

Even if you’re not an avid reader, bringing a book or a magazine with you will make it so much easier to just stop and enjoy the park, the waterfront, a new coffee shop — whatever — on a whim. Your entertainment is right there, no need to worry!

If you need book suggestions, check out my latest reads here.

3. Eat your lunch outside

Sure, you may have to work five days a week, but you’ve still got to eat! Find a nice bench outside to eat your lunch on, or simply use your lunch hour to take a walk. I bet one of your coworkers would love to join you!

4. Pause the binge

I know — so many Netflix episodes, so little time! But if you’ve been looking to go “screen free,” or just spend less time staring into an internet void, now is the time to cut back on your binging. It’ll still be there once the days get shorter, but for now you should use the sunlight to enjoy!

5. Go to your city’s free events

Yes, believe it or not, big cities (and most normal cities, too!) have free community events that are hosted each summer. Whether it be movies in the park, cooking classes, or sunrise yoga, there are plenty of things you can do for free — with a buddy or by yourself!

Check out my New York summer bucket list here.

6. Walk everywhere

Especially if you live in a city that turns into the arctic once November rolls around, take advantage of your walk home. Walk to the grocery store. Take a lap around the block after dinner. Your legs will be begging you to move soon enough, put those suckers to work!

7. Participate in an ice cream crawl

Or any kind of food crawl you deem worthy. Taco crawl? Burger crawl? French fry crawl? Donut crawl? All totally acceptable reasons to make a day of it. Pro tip: Optimal group crawling size is 4-5 people. More food, less money spent. Yes, we’re thrifty AND hungry.

8. Picnic like a crazy person

Are you getting a “food + the outdoors = happiness” vibe? Good, you should be. Picnicking is my favorite verb once the sun starts making daily appearances, and really makes you forget about that pesky office you work in. Invest in a cooler, invite a couple of friends, make a Trader Joe’s run, and enjoy the day.

9. Learn about your city

Most large cities have walking tours, museums, or online “bucket lists” that you can use as your guides to learning more about where you live. Since the weather is nice, you can take a Saturday wandering around without worrying about bundling up like an eskimo.

10. Take a weekend away!

If all else fails, hopefully that handy dandy 9 to 5 pays you enough for you to take a weekend (or two!) away. Sign out of work on a Thursday and come back on Monday, refreshed after some time in a new city. It doesn’t have to be the other side of the country — a town or city close to you will do just fine. Let’s be real — staying in Airbnbs and hotels will always be fun, no matter how old and boring you may feel!