If Texas State students do not already have vacation travel plans, they should live in San Marcos for the summer in order to expand their knowledge, gain experience and meet like-minded individuals.
Students should consider the independence of living away from home and what it can offer them this summer. Parents are the fun police and place limits on guests, curfews, chores and the use of students’ cars, phones and Internet at home. Of course visiting family is important, but it is rarely fun to spend several months at a time stuck with mom and dad.
One common excuse students have for going home during the summer is to save money. However, in reality, the money saved living at home for the summer may not be worth it. At home, students are not going to discontinue spending money on eating out, gas money for transportation or paying admission to concerts, movie theaters and amusement parks. These costs are a constant no matter where students spend their summer. Staying in San Marcos can be relatively cheap if students get creative. Subleasing for the summer or sleeping on a friend’s couch are cheap options that provide students with the freedom of living away from parents.
Some students may think they will get bored staying in San Marcos for the summer. Personally, I have always felt taking summer classes is a good way to meet new people. In past summer semesters, I have enjoyed grabbing lunch with new friends after class and have received several invites from classmates to hang out off campus. Students should strive to meet new people while attending college. It is important for students to develop independent identities and friends away from their hometowns. Even during breaks, there are plenty of things to do and people to meet in San Marcos. Sewell Park and other locations around town are crowded with interesting, open-minded people for students to meet if only they take the initiative to introduce themselves.
San Marcos is home to several great places to intern if students want to build up their resumes this summer. The Greater San Marcos Partnership, CFAN Company (aeronautical engineering and manufacturing), Nexus Medical Consulting and corporate headquarters of McCoy’s Building Supply are just a few places students can check out for professional experience. There are plenty of options for students who prefer to be paid. San Marcos and New Braunfels offer students numerous options for employment. Many retail establishments in the area are in need of temporary summer staff, an opportunity students staying in town can capitalize on.
Students sulking because they missed the study abroad application deadline need not go home in defeat—it is possible to acquire a world-class experience right here in San Marcos. Students should take the opportunity to enjoy their surroundings. Lo and behold, the San Marcos River is not limited to tubing. During the summer, students can challenge themselves to try stand-up paddle boarding or gain skill kayaking. Equipment rental is available through the Outdoor Center at Sewell Park, so students do not have an excuse to not try.
Students with a phobia of water should visit the Bike Cave, a campus resource, and purchase a top-quality bicycle at a rock-bottom price. I purchased my own bike two years ago from the bicycle cooperative for $35. Cycling around the Texas Hill Country is another great way students can spend their summer.
The university library is open during the summer, and students should realize the books there are not just for show. Eleanor Roosevelt remarkably said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Intimidated students should take her advice, enter the campus’ massive seven-story marble walrus of a library and try reading a book or two during their break.
Living in San Marcos during the summer allows students the opportunity to make new friends and generate new hobbies. San Marcos offers students countless opportunities to be productive and have a great time. Students still iffy about what to do over the break should consider staying in town and taking advantage of all the city has to offer this summer.