With exam week coming up in a month, students are looking forward to escaping the stressful environment of college and enjoying summer. In preparation for the warm summer months, there are steps to take to ensure that the break is fun and safe.

Stay Protected

The months of summer are the hottest months of the year. With tank tops, shorts, and shades comes the risk of overexposure from the sun. While searching Discovery online, I found that the sun is approximately 1.4 million miles away from Earth, but can still cause severe damage to your skin. We have all had that pesky sun burn, the kind of burn that prevents us from moving, along with the suffocating smell of aloe vera to try and soothe it. Why suffer through all of that on vacation? Whether you’re hitting the beach or out and about in your hometown, stay protected from the sun’s UV rays by wearing sunscreen. Wearing at least SPF 15 can provide your skin with the protection that it needs to prevent burns as well as deeper damage that can cause skin problems in the future.

Keep the Hair at Bay

Whether you shave, wax, pluck, or pull out your unwanted hairs, keeping them at bay during the summer months can make you, and especially others, happier during vacation. No one likes to see a woman on the beach in a bikini with unruly hair in places where it should not be. Waxing will yield longer results, but for those ladies just not into the cost, shaving is a simple and easy way to look neat and clean all summer long. Also, whether you wear your hair natural, relaxed, permed, or in braids, keeping your hair protected from the sun with moisture can keep your hair manageable during the busy days of summer. I know that for my hair, keeping it moisturized during the warm months keeps it healthy and prevents it from drying out.

Get the Beach Body

Working out before summer has been a tradition for me and my friends since I can remember. The need to fit into the perfect swimsuit serves as the ultimate motivation; however, having the same workout routine can get boring. To add variety and enjoyment, try a fitness class. The recreation center has classes Monday through Friday and Sunday that can suit the needs of anyone. For those wanting to focus more on abs, there is a class called AB solutions. For those wanting to focus on a total body workout, BOSU Burn and Raise the Bar are the classes for you. I personally tried the BOSU Burn class with a group of my friends. It’s a total body, intense workout. I was sore for a few days, but “no pain no gain.”

Be Safe

The last step to take I would say is the most important. Be and stay safe. If you are traveling somewhere else for summer break, be aware of your surroundings. Know where you are and where the nearest emergency services are located. Also, never walk or go anywhere alone. Staying with a group of friends can help to keep you safe. Limit the information you give to people you do not know and never hesitate to report suspicious behavior. I am sure we all would appreciate all of our NCSU family returning to the university safe and sound in the fall.