10 things you can do this summer

So you’re out of school with nothing to do, huh? Why let time eat you alive when you could transform minutes into a master plan of accomplishment?

Here are a few things you could do with your “free” time this summer:

Why do they call it ‘free’?

Because ‘free’ are the only activities you’ll be able to afford if you don’t start making and saving money soon!

I’m not saying you have to “go out and find a job” (although you might be glad you did), but if you aren’t pressed to ‘clock in’ at your age, here’s some helpful ideas of how to convert your time into productive elements to better your future.


  1. Pick your 3 favorite (full course) meals and learn to cook them start to finish. Give yourself a goal to know how to make and serve that meal well to your closest friends by the end of the summer.
  2. Learn how to do your own oil changes. This skill could be invaluable! Find the auto guru on your block or ask a trusted dad or car repairman to show you the way. You’ll save money and time on your own (and maybe your friends) oil changes throughout your life.tim-mossholder-212029-unsplash
  3. Go tour an apartment complex. Learn what apartment shopping is all about, how to find and pick the best ones, and what to check for in a lease. Grab an older friend who’s been there or leasing right now and get the skinny on their place. At the end of the day you’ll learn what it takes to move out on your own and you’ll be able to set better financial goals in place for the “one day on your own.”
  4. Check out a temp agency. If you’re in the early stages of your soon-to-be employment, swing by your local staffing agency for a free test to evaluate your skills. You’ll get a score that reveals how much you’re worth an hour. You could even sign up to get an hourly temp job for a day in the meantime. Exposure to a few different workplaces may give you a great idea about what life behind a desk looks like and may teach you to avoid it or work harder for that promotion. Either way, you might get a paycheck just for alphabetizing the secretary’s files!
  5. Purge your bedroom closet. I’m sure it’s time for an audit! Dig in and pull out everything you’ve forgotten about or haven’t seen in the last year or two. It’s gotta go! Make a pile ready for a Goodwill run when you’re done. Set aside a stash for that friend your size who would love some hand-me-overs, and give that closet the organizational face-lift it deserves. alp-allen-altiner-352227-unsplash
  6. Browse free internships. If you can ‘afford’ to not work or get paid, there are still plenty of companies and organizations that will take you on (especially during college age years) and you can get some crazy good experiences and probably references too.
  7. Offer to house-sit or dog watch. Yes, these may not be the most useful spend of your time, but maybe there’s a family vacationing for the summer and would enjoy a responsible young adult living in their home. You may not get offered money, but you definitely will get the chance to enjoy a little freedom and learning to live on your own. You can find many house sitting websites; just google it, but do your research and be safe about it!sharon-mccutcheon-520937-unsplash
  8. Start a blog or youtube channel. You’re bright and talented, I’m sure you can come up with something to write, speak or share about. Just start with what you enjoy and what things make you happy. Then share them with the world! Think of it like your own little business startup and have fun! (For inspiration, google topics and ideas you like to research other blogs / channels people have made.)
  9. Make a fun, crazy random summer goal and accomplish it! Could be anything from “I’m going to visit somewhere new every weekend this summer” to “Hike every trail in my local state parks.” (Check out The idea is to set out to do something you wouldn’t have time for otherwise and cross it off your list. Great job!derek-truninger-509493-unsplash
  10. Print some of your best digital photos. That’s right, old school. Let’s be honest, every photo today gets lost in the digital archives of your cell phone or social media. Shoot some prints over to CVS and surprise a friend with a framed pic, scrapbook or memorable photo album. (They make for great gifts and home decor!)

Alright, well that’s a start. I offer these productive ideas as a supplement to your spend of time. Obviously, the most significant thing you can do with your time is get to know your Creator and learn who He made you to be. For some great daily online Bible study ideas, check out the YouVersion App. Certainly don’t neglect to spend ample time alone with your Father and consider the great works He planned in advance for you to do.

Ephesians 2:10

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Q&A with Kurt Parker

It’s no secret that many college aged students find themselves questioning what this next season should look like. We recently graduated from high school where parental supervision, a structured academic path and solid friendships were all provided at no extra cost. However, now all those built in guarantees seem to have expired. Now we have to face many decisions that people say will shape the rest of our lives. Let’s be real, it’s slightly terrifying. What happens if we make a wrong decision? How do we know what God’s will is for our lives regarding a career/major? What if our parents don’t support or agree with our decisions? What if we aren’t in college? Can God still use that?

This past tuesday, at the second official meeting of Eighteentwentythree,  Kurt Parker and his wife, Danita, opened up their home for tacos and a Q&A session.    What started out as a simple Q&A tuned into a mini message that was a huge encouragement to those facing these unsettling questions.

After hearing Pastor Kurt explain his story of his call into ministry, it was a immense encouragement to students in our phase of life. Through the retelling of his story and the answers he gave to our questions, a common theme was very obvious. Above all else, God is sovereign. He never had a plan, He HAS a plan. There are many uncertainties in life, but that is not one of them. We may not always be confident in every single decision we make, but as long as we are pursing the heart of Christ and are sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can find peace knowing that God is in control. We are in the will of God, if we are in pursuit of him. Now this doesn’t mean that everything is going to be easy and smooth sailing; that was never apart of the deal. We may face the disapproval of our peers and even sometimes our parents. However, we are never alone though it may feel as though we are. God promises to never leave us. What a huge comfort we can find in that promise. We each have a unique purpose in this time in our lives, and what better purpose could there be than one in the will of the sovereign God.

Stay faithful friends. Pursue that purpose and find confidence in His sovereignty.


Where did we come from?

EighteenTwentyThree was envisioned long ago but conceived on Tuesday 5.31.17 at the Clearwater Mellow Mushroom (where all great things are created and inspiring Mighty Meaty pizzas are consumed. Our formal apologies to all vegetarian bloggers.)

The movement began out of great need: the need for college students and early young career seekers to have a community of purpose in their diverse and ever-changing world.

The creators of EighteenTwentyThree have grounded that purpose in the living Words of our unchanging Almighty God. From this truth the mission is formed:

1.) Take time. Be alone or be together. Regardless, spend some time to think, pray, listen and reflect. Restore your soul.

2.) Go out. We are not made to be idle. You are called to have an impact on people and in places within your circle of influence. So go with purpose, intention, and strategy.

3.) Strengthen disciples. Contribute to other lives. Encourage. Give to the point of sacrifice. Bolster another’s faith. Love with your words, your time and your actions.

You have a mission. You have a special calling during this season of life. Don’t miss it and don’t waste these years. Even if you have to stand alone, stand. Stand up for your generation and the impact you can make during these critical years.

So take time, go out, and strengthen disciples.