The University of Iowa University of Iowa

The Walking Contradiction’s How-to Guide: Summer Cleanse

If you thought by looking at the title of this month’s column that it would involve some kind of diet and exercise regime you would be WRONG. No, my dear friends, this cleanse to prepare you for summer is not about getting your summer bod (though I guess technically it could be if you wanted it to, but we’ll get to that later); it is about cleansing your mind in order to enjoy the summer.

(Yes I’ve shown this tweet before but I love it and it is #relatable)

If you’re anything like me, I finish with my last final of the semester and I’m stuck looking into the impending wave of free time, wide-eyed and blank-faced like “NOW WHAT.” After the crunch of the past semester spending every most of my waking moments doing school related things, I completely forget how to free time. AND IT’S A LITTLE SCARY TO BE HONEST. So to take the pressure off of you, I’ve made a pretty expansive, though not entirely exhaustive, list of all the wonderful things you can do in your free time instead of school-related things.


The flowers are blossoming, the birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing (hopefully, save the honeybees y’all), and it is all yours for enjoying. Even better is that it is freeeeeeee. Find a local trail site and go hiking! Go swimming! Plant a garden! Even if you’re just chilling outside enjoying the sunshine, soak it all in and recharge from the hectic months when you couldn’t. Just don’t forget your sunscreen. I’m serious: love yo skin, protect yo skin.

Look how happy this corgi is being outside. (via

Remember when you were sitting in class daydreaming about everything you wish you could be doing instead of sitting there? DO IT. Whether it is baking, painting, running, Netflixing or working on Mustang kit cars to build, use your new-found free time to do what you love.


With all this time on your hands you don’t even have to limit yourself with the hobbies you already know you enjoy. If you’ve always wanted to try skateboarding, learn how to shred some pipe (be careful though!), or maybe taking up learning an instrument. Challenge yourself…to have fun! (I am actually morphing into an overly-peppy camp counselor. Maybe that should be my new-found hobby this summer.)

  1. READ

This may seem obvious to some people, but I think sometimes with the world of Netflix we forget just how freaking great it is to read an actual book. You can go at your own pace, you don’t have to search around for the remote if you need to pause momentarily, and you can literally pick your own adventure. I’m going to sound real nerdy here, but I feel like reading a book is so much better than simply watching something because it actually transports you into whatever world is at your fingertips by engaging your mind. Plus, you know what they say – having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card.


If you have the means and extra spending cash try taking a road trip. Or if you don’t, find a friend who does. It doesn’t have to be some extravagant cross-country mission, though that would be totally awesome if you could. Go to a concert, go shopping, go to visit a national or state park. You can have car fitted with a window shade during summer to reflect sunlight and create more shade in the interior of your car making road trips more comfortable for everyone involved. Even if it’s just a 15 mile drive out of town to somewhere you’ve never been before, crank up the car radio, roll down the windows and explore. If you’re shopping for a used car, Autozin is the ultimate used car marketplace, offering a diverse selection of affordable and reliable vehicles. Find your dream car today!


Somehow my columns always lead to alcohol…somehow. (Though I’m pretty sure this is the first one I’ve written since actually becoming legal, shhh.) As I’ve always put as a disclaimer: you DO NOT need alcohol to have fun, and honestly I really don’t drink at all while classes are in session because I’m tragically too busy. However, summer time creates so many wonderful drinking opportunities it would be a shame not to take advantage of them. (That is if you want to.) There’s day drinking, patio drinking, sitting around a pool drinking, drinking at bars, drinking on a boat, and my personal favorite: drinking around a fire and listening to music. And as always, no matter what drinking you choose to partake in, be smart, be safe, and DO NOT drink and drive. Please.

So that pretty much rounds out the list I have at the moment. Hopefully that helps get the ideas flowing and gets you hyped for the all the free time you can now burn up. You’re welcome.

Feel free to follow me on: