It’s the summer. That time of the year most looked forward to. Brilliant weather, amazing sales, travel discounts, and most importantly, not having to wake up at 8 AM in time for lectures. If you live away from home, it’s time to visit your family again and have great home food. If you’re the workaholic type and are reeling from the prospect of relaxing and doing nothing, don’t fret – summer internships are just tailor-made for people just like you.
But that’s it. While it’s the longest break from university life (just under four months), all of your friends are all over the world, so it’s not like you can hang out or something. Instant messaging is always an option but that’s just to keep in touch and assure your friends that although you’re having a great time, you still miss them and you haven’t forgotten them. Facebook is no different from email, except that people are on it more often and everyone can read what you write to everyone else, thereby promoting group conversations with ease. But again, it’s just not the same as actually being with each other.
So what to do during the summer? Your internship has ended. No more waking up at 6.30 AM and getting ready to sit in an office which has an air-conditioning system that is permanently stuck on five degrees. Forget light sweaters, fur coats are what you need. You’ve shopped so much that there’s no space in your closet anymore and you’re arguing with your mom about living in a house that’s too small to hold your 213,203 pairs of shoes. Is there anything left to do?
Fret not – I have brainstormed and come up with some ideas. And while you may not like them, they are ideas nonetheless!
This doesn’t necessarily mean spending millions and flying to Spain in order to join in the WC celebrations, hoping to catch a glimpse of David Villa (sorry, I just like mentioning his name). This is more like taking a break – head to a hill station to escape the summer heat, or to a nearby island to soak in the sun, sand and all the good-looking people who are bound to be there. Go and visit your cousins, have a reunion of your old school friends, make a trip together.
Yea I know, just staying at home is comforting enough. But what’s even better? Book a day in one of those peaceful spas – mud baths, steam rooms, aromatic full body massages, and the like. You’ll end up having the laziest day of your life, yet you’d never feel more full of energy. However, I do not recommend acupuncture – you want a lazy, calm day without any tension whatsoever, not a feel of what a torture chamber must be like.
3. Be creative
This is especially for those of us concentrating on science during the rest of the year. What about our creative skills, nurtured during our younger years yet abandoned when most required? I was looking up CVs the other day (yea, that’s what my life involves now. Whoopee. ), and most employers receive so many that they devote a maximum of ten seconds for each one. What will make you stick out? No I’m not saying we should all start off with writing CVs now. But there are other ways. Spend your time on a painting. Make a scrapbook or a collage. Learn to sing while strumming a guitar. Draw a sketch of your favourite person. Write your own tune. Experiment with your look.
Those who are messy and can’t be bothered or never have the time to pick up their clothes from the bed (or floor) and put them back into their closets can use this time for precisely that. Clothes can be hung on hangers or folded neatly on shelves. Shows can be lined one after the other or else put into their boxes and stacked in shelves, instead of being chucked under your bed. Yea, sounds fun, doesn’t it. But it can be made more interesting, by for example having a delicious snack or blasting loud music while you reorganize your room. Paint one wall a different colour. Print out some photos of you and your friends, and paste it all over your closet. Same goes for posters. Throw the old stuff away, whether it is torn clothes, broken shoes or old notes.
Yuck. I hate this. I wish we could all stay healthy and fit (and slim) without exercising. I keep telling myself that during the holidays I’ll go to the gym and become fit. It’s been one and a half months now, and I’ve been there just once. Exercise in the gym thrice a week. Get a personal trainer if you’re not sure about what to do there. Swimming is great for a full body workout - go swimming to get toned. Most people pig out during the summer and end up putting on weight due to a lack of exercise. While you may not be doing all this in a regular basis, it’s imperative as it makes up for the daily routine that isn’t in place anymore.
6. Blogging and the blogosphere
See what I’m reduced to?! This is already my third post of the month, and it’s not even been three weeks. BUT, it’s a great way to improve your writing skills. Not to mention that instead of always having a topic, like you did for your essays way back in high school, it’s time to be imaginative and write about anything and everything you want. Applying to universities, especially abroad, require writing quite a number of essays. And these essays call for a more-than-satisfactory grasp of the English language that not many have. Enter blogging. If that’s not what you want, you can always browse the blogosphere and find some hilarious, well-written posts or various topics.
Wasn’t this an interesting read? (No I’m not a prude. That was pure sarcasm). But once you give these a try, you’ll have a look at that calendar and realise its back to the routine in no time. And while this may sound unbelievable, its true - a part of you will be looking forward to that. I certainly am.