Ahh it’s finally summer time, and the U of T campus has never looked more beautiful and inspiring. For me, every time I think of summer I get a burst of excitement because there are so many options and activities. Balancing schoolwork and extra-curriculars throughout the school year has always been a challenge of mine and during summer school it is no different. I still have to go to class, study, and manage my day with my job included. It has become increasingly difficult to find down time for myself and I’ve noticed that I’ve been stuck in this triangle between school, work, and home or library. However, I’ve found some simple ways to break that repetitive and boring triangle that has helped spice up my day and can help yours too.
Visit one of the cafes on campus
The St. George Campus has so many little cafe areas where you can step away from classes and have a nice coffee or tea and just relax. Every so often I like to grab a cup of coffee at Kelly’s Cafe in Kelly Library and sit at one of their lounge chairs and either organize my schedule or enjoy the atmosphere. It’s also a great place to study as well if you enjoy seeing people and it’s not eerily quite. Whether if you go to Kelly’s Cafe, or The Green Beet in Gerstein Library, or even Hart House Cafe at Hart House each atmosphere is different and unique that can add to your overall experience.
The weather has been beautiful and the campus is blooming in luxurious colours from the new bloomed flowers and trees. It’s hard not to be outside and admire its beauty. Plus there is something about sitting outdoors, feeling the fresh breeze graze your skin, and inhaling the soft scent of flowers that gets your body to breakdown and relax. I’ve been studying recently on an outdoor table on campus and it has been very peaceful. While studying you feel more relaxed and honestly, less distracted and more focused. I know what you are thinking, “But Ashlyr there is always noise happening outside”. Yes, I know, but whether if it’s someone walking by or birds chirping, you tend to zone out all of those minor details while you are studying. But if you think studying outdoors is not for you, I still suggest spending at least 15 minutes outside doing anything you’d like. Trust me, it’s worth it.
It’s finally warm enough to actually play outside! I know it’s childish to “play”, but there is something about summer that really unleashes your inner child. You can play basketball, soccer, tennis, road hockey, frisbee, outdoor chess… the options are endless! It’s also a great stress reliever from a long day, and a great social opportunity. My friends and I like to play basketball at one of the outdoor courts on campus at St. Michael’s College and we tend to meet new people passing by wanting to join in. Don’t be afraid to kick off those shoes and get down and sweaty because as soon as summer comes it goes, so enjoy every living moment of it outside.
Summer school and other life obligations can take up all the hours of your day, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect downtime for yourself. We all need it and it’s very important as it allows us to recover and rejuvenate. These are just some of the few simple things that I do to relax and I suggest you can do too. So take advantage of the warm, blazing sun, and try something different to break that repetitive triangle. The school year may be over, but that doesn’t mean campus life is over too.