August 5, 2020
It’s July - the middle of the summer. If you’re anything like me, you’re starting to hit that summer slump: the period of the summer where you have nothing to do and nowhere to go, so you just sit on your couch, scrolling aimlessly through your phone, and wonder what the meaning of life is. You're going crazy, holed up in your house with nothing to do. Most of everyone is traveling or at camp, but you've hit that dangerously boring part of the summer where you would quite literally rather bang your head against a wall than spend another minute in your house.
Of course, I’m sure a ton of you think I’m crazy. You’re probably saying, “What are you talking about? What summer slump?” or "Excuse you, doing nothing is the best part of summer break!" However, in that case, good for you! For the rest who are wondering exactly what to do with your summer, I’ve got you. Let’s do this.
I know. I get that this idea makes you recoil in revulsion. Your phone is your child, your baby, your one and only. It's the splash of color in an otherwise completely blank slate that is summer. Trust me, I love my phone too. And I’m not saying to just throw it in the trash - you should obviously be able to enjoy Instagram and Snapchat or play games. However, if you keep better track of time on your phone and set a limit (say, three hours a day), you’ll find that all of a sudden, you have a lot more free time to do stuff that’s a little more productive. Trust me, it'll feel a lot less like a sack of flour just lying on your couch.
Have you ever been told to get a breath of fresh air? It’s not as ridiculous as it sounds. Studies show that even something as little as taking a walk outside can improve your creativity and make you happier. Therefore, if you ever find yourself falling into a hole of existential dread, go outside. You could run - or if running isn't your thing, (it definitely isn't mine) go and take a walk around your town or city. Try out that new coffee shop, or go to the museum. Maybe even just take a stroll through the park. Bring a friend along with you, too, if you can. Just go see nature! It’s better for you than you think.
You have so much free time in summer, so why not use it to do something you’ve never tried before? Ever wanted to write a book, or learn how to swing dance? Anything you’ve ever wanted to do but never had the time to do is open to you now. Don't waste this moment! Summer is (obviously) really warm, so it's a good time to do something outside - maybe learning to swim, or painting something and letting it dry. Maybe grow a plant. If you really want to do something new, but just can't find a hobby, don't worry. I've got a master list for you right here.
There’s always the next school year to think about. You could get a head start on physics, or learn a little more about government before you take the AP. If you're a junior, you could pick up a few SAT prep books from your local library. It’ll pay off in the school year when you’re stressed and too swamped with extracurriculars to study, or just as an extra bonus when you really don't want to study. However, if the idea of studying when you don’t have to makes you want to cry, don’t do it! Summer is about enjoying yourself, so don’t study if that’s going to make you stress more. It's a break for a reason.
Summer is that free time, that gasp of relief after a stressful school year. Congratulations! You did it! This is your present - the beautiful summer break. In the end, you don’t even need to take any of these suggestions if that’s not what’s going to make you happy. So bask in the sunlight. Let it go. It’s summer - time to relax.
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