You did it! You finally made it through almost nine whole, long, agonizing months of schoolwork, professors and group projects and now you can taste the melting ice cream, feel the sweet sting of sunburns, and smell the many campfires to come.

Sounds great, right? Only if you keep your mind fresh enough to recite your great summer adventures to friends when you come back to class in the fall.

This summer, don’t let your brain go to mush. Don’t let it melt like that sticky vanilla ice cream cone.

Yeah, we all deserve a break, but do you want to come back to class with the brain of a potato? No, because potatoes don’t have brains, so you would be dead. Please do us all a favor and don’t come back to class with Potato Brain Syndrome.

How do you avoid Potato Brain Syndrome? Don’t sit around all summer waiting for something to happen.

Read a good book. Hell, read 50 good books. They don’t all have to be brain expanding, mind blowing, earth shattering books – but some should be – just books that you will enjoy.

If you want a book that reads the way most of us think – in long, unfinished thoughts – Jack Kerouac’s “Big Sur” will never steer you wrong.

Read a small town thriller like Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” or walk through World War II with Kurt Vonnegut in “Slaughterhouse Five.”

Read a classic or two, and follow a distinguished Princeton graduate as he explores life outside of college in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “This Side of Paradise,” or travel from Oklahoma to California amidst the great depression in John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath.”

Indulge in some guilty pleasure books, too. Read “50 Shades of Grey,” no one will judge you. Check out that new young adult novel that you’ve been dying to read even though you are are a responsible adult now.

Need a few more suggestions? Look up Lifehack’s 25 books every college student should read.

Reading books is great for your mind, but not so much for that bikini body. Get up once in awhile and do something active.

Go for a hike! New Mexico is a beautiful state, believe it or not, and there are plenty of amazing places to explore within an hour of the city. The Cibola National Forest, Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, and Sandia Mountains offer many trails to hike, bike or simply wander.

Go to the pool with some friends. You can work on your tan and relax, and swim laps if you are feeling up to it.

Take a walk through downtown Albuquerque or stroll down Central. You never know what amazing new coffee shop you will discover on a sunny stroll around town.

Try cleaning out your mind by literally cleaning. Go hard core, take your pictures and posters and tapestries down and wash your walls, because I am sure you have never done that before. Clean out your cabinets and come up with a new organization system, rearrange your bedroom and give your space a fresh, new feeling.

In order to keep your brain in tip-top shape this summer, just get up and go somewhere. Go down the paths of intricate plot twists with your favorite author, go hiking and get stuck in the rain, walk around your town or simply get up and go clean something!

Please don’t plant your butt on a couch or in a bed all summer and come back to the rest of us with boring, dusty, mushy brains in the fall.

Celia Raney is the news editor for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @Celia_Raney.