EQ...Leisure Education

Some things this summer

Ah, summer. For most students , it is a time of holiday cheer. A time when it’s okay to sleep in until 1:00 p.m. on a weekday, and eat a bucket of caramel popcorn for breakfast. A time of making plans with friends to do nothing, and then cancelling those plans because doing nothing involves too much work.

By most accounts, “doing nothing” is one of the hallmarks of summer, one of its biggest USPs (the others being watermelon and mango season respectively). But what if I told you that you might be looking at summer holidays all wrong — and that it’s actually the prime time to do something?

Here is a depressing fact about adulthood: There are no summer vacations. There’s no time to do the things you want — at least, such time isn’t freely handed over; you have to create it yourself. No one prepares you mentally for this shocker until you’re well into adulthood yourself and wondering why your productivity decreases as the temperature outside rises. So consider yourself lucky that I’ve shared this secret with you. Start treating your summer holidays with more respect and reverence. Squeeze every little drop of fun out of them, but also use them as an opportunity to do productive things you’ve always wanted to do but never had time for during the rest of the year.

Some suggestions

1. Learn something new: Yes, yes, I know, how could I even contemplate suggesting that you do some learning when that is the very activity you’re trying to escape from this summer? The difference is, these are things that you actually want to study. Maybe you want to learn a new language, figure out how to design a website, or learn to play the harmonica. Whatever it is, use your summer to build a strong foundation and understanding of the basics, so that you can hone your skills through the rest of the year, when you have relatively less time to focus on them.

2. Get an internship: Another seemingly counter-intuitive suggestion, to be sure. But if there is a field that you are passionate about and want to find out more, there’s no better time to do it than during summer. You don’t need to wait for your college to mandate that you need to get an internship. Go seek it out for yourself. After all, it’s primarily for your benefit.

3. Engage in volunteer work: How often do you get a chance to give back to the community? Identify a cause that you support and volunteer your time for a few hours a week. This will help you create a schedule that you could even carry forward to the rest of the year.

4. Treat yourself right: Your body is a wonderland but it can get very confused during summer time, because your eating, sleeping and physical activity schedules are very different from the rest of the year. If you’ve always meant to exercise but never had the time, use this as the chance to enrol in a summer camp. It’s now easier than ever to get restaurant food at home, but don’t let that serve as a motivator to eat pasta primavera for three meals a day. Also, a week before it’s time to get back to work, ensure that you try to return to your usual eating and sleeping patterns, so that your body has time to adjust and go back to the old routine.

5. Have fun: Try not to muddle your mind with thoughts of having to eventually get back to work. It’s easier said than done, but take each day as it comes and don’t set a countdown to when the curtains fall and you have to return to the daily grind. On behalf of all the adults out there, have a great summer!

The author is a psychologist and management consultant.krithvis@gmail.com

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 1:34:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/some-things-this-summer/article23465090.ece

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