BY ALEXA CHERRY
For the UAS Whalesong
It’s almost summer break, which for college students generally means finding a full-time job so that we can make the money to attend school for another semester. That being said, there’s more to summer break than working yourself to the bone – sometimes with summer classes on top of a job. Sure, it’s 3-4 months of making money, but (at least for some of us) it’s also 3-4 months where you don’t have homework. In the spirit of making the most of all that spare time, here is a list of things you could try out.
Read for fun. Whether it’s an audiobook, Kindle book, or physical book, summertime is your time to finally catch up on all of that reading that you just didn’t have time for during the school year. Re-read your favorite series, start a new one, or do both – after all, (presumably) you don’t have homework in the evenings, so there are no pressing deadlines that you should be working towards looming over your head. Another added benefit is that you won’t be balancing academic reading along with recreational reading, and having to decide between the two.
Learn to cook. Cooking is one of those things that it’s difficult to devote time to during the school year – at least, for some of us. At the end of a long school day, getting food from the cafeteria or heating up a frozen TV dinner is a lot easier than hauling out a bunch of ingredients and cooking actual food, especially if we’re ravenous. However, practice makes perfect, so why not practice during summer break, when you have time? I practiced cooking last summer break, and I learned how to make shepherd’s pie and crab cakes. The latter is a little exotic for everyday college eating, but you can add it to your repertoire of “things to feed people you want to impress.”
Clean out your inbox. Okay, this doesn’t really fall into the category of “fun” things to do over summer break, but trust me; it’s something you want to do while you have the time. Delete all those old newspapers, E-mails from professors for classes you took 3 semesters ago, and expired online coupons. Finally unsubscribe from those newsletters you never read.
Clean your room/apartment, on the note of not-fun things to do. Again, this is something that summer break is the ideal time to do if you’re not taking classes. The average college student accumulates a startling amount of stuff every semester, and it’s a good idea to take a look at what you have and determine what is and what isn’t worth keeping around. This is especially important and useful if you live on student housing, where you have to move in and out at least twice a year – more, if you’re staying on housing over summer break. You want to have to move as little stuff as possible, believe me.
Socialize! Whatever you do over the course of summer break, try to interact with at least a few other people. It seems like every fall semester, I hear horror stories about people who were only seen at work or in class, then spent every waking second of their spare time confined in the depths of their apartments binge-watching TV shows or playing video games. Even if you have all the spare time in the world, remember that you need to see light and people that aren’t 8-bit or 1060p at some point. I don’t care what Skyrim teaches you – man cannot live on virtual cheese wheels alone! Even if it’s just once or twice a week, try to schedule some time where you hang out with people outside of your room and away from your TV. I love my TV just as much as you do, but trust me. This is good for you. You’ll thank me at the end of the summer!
While that’s certainly not everything you could do in your spare summer time, these are a few ideas that I’ve come up with from experience and from browsing the Internet. If you have ideas of your own, feel free to submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org!