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The last summer before college is certainly an important one, and students have a wide variety of options on how to spend their remaining time at home.

GUS HEARNWith less than a month and a half of senior year remaining, the beginning of college is rapidly approaching. One checkpoint remains, however, before seniors are able to head out and restart their lives as college students: one final summer.

The last summer before college is certainly an important one, and students have a wide variety of options on how to spend their remaining time at home. Some students spend the entire time working in an attempt to earn as much spending money as possible, others look to travel in order to gain real-world experience, and some seek to solely create final lasting memories with friends. Many choose some combination of these three options.

There are a variety of benefits to each of the options. Spending the summer working provides an individual with many skills, and also puts the individual in a great financial position for beginning college. My parents always say, "It is much better to have spending money in college than in high school," and they are right.

Many activities, such as concerts, weekend trips and other events, arise during college that I hope to attend. Saving money now is the key to participating in as many of these opportunities as possible. Many other future college students have also come to this realization and thus, they plan on participating in a summer job.

A senior trip also has numerous benefits for students before they head off to college. A senior trip provides an individual or group of friends with an automatically memorable experience filled with adventure, learning and, of course, fun. Inspired by previous generations, my friends and I initially hoped to plan a grand European adventure during our final summer. Planning was easy, and we were able to generate numerous itineraries for possible trips. Funding however, was a different story.

Some unexpected expenses during the school year significantly hindered my saving, and ultimately we came to the conclusion that our money would be better saved for next year. We opted instead for a cheaper and less demanding trip to New York. This way, we would be able to spend more time in Lake Oswego working and also gain a unique travel experience before the end of the summer.

The final component of any summer before college is spending time with friends and family, creating final memories. This seems to be a theme among all summers, but the summer after senior year carries with it more importance. Sure, one is bound to see his friends during school breaks and during the following summers, but with so many new experiences and adjustments on the horizon, it is always nice to have additional memories with your hometown friends.

My friends and I spent so much time during previous summers just sitting around and doing absolutely nothing. We are beginning to plan numerous events now, including hikes, trying new restaurants and other miscellaneous activities, because we hope to not waste a single day of summer.

Ultimately, it is not important how one chooses to spend one's time during this summer. Whether it is one of the three options that I discussed or a different way altogether, all that matters is that one has a memorable time. With so many factors changing next year, it is nice to have a series of fond, stable memories to look back on as an entirely new life begins.

Lakeridge High School senior Gus Hearn is one of two Pacer Notes columnists. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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