Flickr photo by foundphotosljSummer is coming! Your teenager might already be fantasizing about lots and lots of couch and poolside lounge chair time; however, Chelsea Krost, 19-year-old national radio personality and teen advocate, has some ideas for teens who want to relax but also stay productive on summer break.
More from The Stir: Keep Kids Reading This Summer
"The best way to maximize your summer is to get some needed rest, recharge your batteries, and be ready to hit the ground running this fall," says Chelsea Krost.
Chelsea's essential DOs and DON'Ts for the most successful summer yet:
More from The Stir: Bristol Palin -- On Being a Single, Working Teen Mom
DO find a summer job that suits you
Before sending out your summer job applications, figure out what interests you. "If you get stuck with a job you hate, you're going to be miserable all summer," Chelsea advises. Interested in working with kids? Consider a job as a camp counselors or nanny. Enjoy competition? Many retail jobs offer commission-based pay that will keep you motivated to do your best. "Most teens don't have financial concerns and job issues, so it's best to find a job that makes you happy -- the extra dough in your pocket won't hurt either!"
- For the real go-getter, you can even use this summer to get an internship, which can be paid or unpaid, but offers invaluable experience.
DON'T let the summer fry your brain
- Use the downtime to explore different activities and hobbies. Sure, summertime doesn't require long hours of studying and test-taking, but it can't hurt to learn a thing or two during your time away from school. Many local fire departments offer courses to get you certified in CPR and first-aid, for example. You could even take a speed-reading or a cooking class at a local community college.
- Completing skill-enhancing programs is a great way to set you apart from others. You'll thank yourself later when you apply for a real job! "Extracurricular activities and special certificates are great resume-boosters, which are essential in today's competitive age," says Chelsea. Improving basic life skills will give you a sense of accomplishment and help keep your brain running until the fall rolls back around.
More from The Stir: Does Your Teen Have a Summer Job?
DO stay in shape by bringing out the kid in you
- "Just because you've grown out of your childhood games doesn't mean you can't play outside," says Chelsea. The warm weather allows for more physical activity than usual, so take advantage of the heat by meeting up with friends for a pickup game of soccer or joining a summer softball league.
- Exercising outside is also a great way to relieve stress. For those who enjoy working out alone, a fun hike or a long run in the park always leaves you feeling energized. "The summer is all about relaxing and having fun," says Chelsea, so what better way to do so than with a little running around?
DON'T let the sun get the best of your health
- The new rule of sun protection is to seek the shade. Many doctors and dermatologists admit that it may not be feasible to apply sun block every 15 minutes or to cover up in the scorching heat, so if you find yourself outside for more than 20 minutes without sun block, look for a tree or an umbrella to shield yourself from the sun's damaging rays.
- Just one burn increases the chance of skin cancer by 50 percent. "Most teens don't worry about sun damage and wrinkles, but the truth is most of the harm caused by the sun occurs before age 30," Chelsea warns. Go out and enjoy the weather, but stay safe! Exercise, moderate caffeine intake, and a healthy diet can also help prevent sun damage.
More from The Stir: 10 Sunscreens That Work
DO spend some time with Mom and Dad
- "A great way to appease your parents and keep them on your good side is to spend a little quality time with them," suggests Chelsea. Gone are the days of early bedtimes and family vacations to Disney World. While you may be enjoying your newfound independence, with a new job or a driver's license, Mom and Dad may not be so pleased. If your Dad digs a good workout, why not join him on a bike ride around town? Mom would also enjoy your company while she gardens or tidies up the house.
- You may not realize it, but these small gestures mean a lot to parents. By checking in with them on a regular basis, you can help them worry less, especially if your parents are strict. Chelsea says, "Better relationships with your parents can only mean good things for you, particularly in the curfew, allowance, and dating department!"
Chelsea Krost addresses many of these topics and more on her weekly radio show Teen Talk Live, which broadcasts live on TeenTalkLive.net.
More from The Stir: Plan a Backyard BBQ With Your Teen