Well, it’s officially that time of year again. College students around the world are removing their feet from the wet cement they’ve been trudging through and running full speed ahead to the light at the end of the tunnel. School is coming to a slow and grueling end and every kiddo’s favorite season is on the horizon!

Let’s take after the best role models out there: the kiddos. After all, they’re obviously doing something right.

And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:3

Here are a few things that the single-digit people of the world would like you to know about making this your best summer ever.

1. Wear your butterfly pants.
When I was a kid, I had these terribly electric bright purple pants with butterflies plastered all over them. Of course, I adored them and insisted on wearing them at all times, especially in very public places. This summer, wear what you want!! College life is exhausting, so cut yourself some slack, take a breath, and stop trying to please everyone. It’s too hard to define what you do by what other want you to do.

2. Eat popsicles & run through sprinklers.
I don’t know about y’all, but I think that popsicles are very possibly one of the best creations to ever grace the planet! When I was 8, I was just starting on the swim team at our local pool. Each week, the team would have “Fun Fridays." We played games, jumped off diving boards, and sped down water slides. One our last Fun Friday of the season, our coach gathered us up and brought out enough popsicles to feed a small village! I don’t think anything could’ve been more exciting for a rowdy group of kiddos. This summer, be content in the simple things! Let yourself be thrilled by popsicles and sprinklers and the littlest joys of everyday life.

3. Dance like a fool & sing in the grocery store.
I once saw the cutest little girl, probably about 4, twirling in a princess dress and singing a song (surely her own creation) in the baking isle of the grocery store. I gave her a little wave and she came up, grabbed my hand and invited me to dance with her. In that moment, I forgot that I was a 20-year-old with homework, hardships, and expectations. Allow yourself to be in the moment! Be present in every experience and let the joy of a moment sweep you away like the little Cinderella in the grocery store.

4. Jump in puddles.
Never underestimate the magic in a rainy day! Sit by the window, listen to the thunder, make a cup of tea and enjoy the beauty of life-giving water falling from the sky. (Rainy days are my FAVORITE! Seriously, I’m giddy just writing about them!!)

5. Make like SpongeBob and…

Take it all in!!

Make the most of every moment and allow yourself to fail a few times. Life’s more exciting if you succeed through perseverance. Plus, you usually end up with some pretty great stories from failure too. Learn new things. Take up that hobby you’ve always wanted to learn. Get to really know your parents. Listen to people’s stories, passions, experiences, travels and adventures.

6. Don’t believe in “awkward.”
Remember those friends you would randomly meet at the beginning of summer and then ended up spending every day that summer with them? At what point in our lives did that stop being “socially acceptable?" Because I am done with it!! Don’t let being away from school stop you from reaching out to new people. You can have a friendship built solely on the fact that you want someone to ride bikes with, sprint after the ice cream truck with, and help you make the lemonade stand. Only now you can drive and eat ice cream for every meal if you want! If you see something fun happening, join in! The best friendships are founded on spontaneity and good times.

7. Rub some dirt in it.
Things happen, life is hard, and it can sure get you down. But have you ever noticed that a child will stop crying the moment he realizes he could miss out if he was hurt? Don’t dwell on it. Shake it off, draw a smiley face on your band-aid and don’t let it stop you from chasing lightning bugs around the backyard. Ruminating on the small speed bumps in an otherwise splendid time of life will only end up hurting you.

8. Make a fort.
Find your happy place! My sisters and I once built a fort so big it had multiple rooms and we refused to sleep in our beds for days. Find somewhere to put your soul at rest. Let it be your own little secret and meet Jesus in a place of solitude.

9. Knock on doors and run like crazy.
Explore! – Whether you’re in your hometown, traveling the Italian countryside, or spending 8 hours a day in a cubicle, don’t let the opportunity to explore your surroundings pass by! You might just find an excellent adventure in the most unlikely of places! Do something that scares you. (Try not to make it illegal…)

10. Grab your razor scooters & the get gang together.
Find your community! Don’t let being away from school stop you from seeking out community this summer. Find a few women with hearts after the Lord and do the Delight Summer Series together! Stay in community, continue in fellowship, and remain in Him! More information about the Summer Series will be released in the coming week so stay on the lookout. Let that ring the truest thing about Summer 2016.

Here’s to a summer season of silliness and surrender!

-Erin Cosgrove // @e_coz

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