Creative personal projects: making the most of time away from school

I am often lost when deciding how I should be spending my time during my summer academic break. I work part-time, or even full-time, but this quickly starts to feel monotonous and unfulfilling. Last summer, I began approaching time off of school differently in an effort to work on myself.

Getting started on creative personal projects during this time off from school has left me with a sense of fulfillment. There are a limitless number of possibilities for what this project might be. I’ll list a few things in this post that I think just about any student can have fun doing.

Start a collection

With my increased interest in music during the school year, I found myself interested in hi-fi listening experiences and, ultimately, listening to music through vinyl.

Recently, my dad found me a turntable that a friend of his didn’t need anymore, so now I’m set to start collecting records.

A turntable, used to play vinyls
This is the turntable that my dad found laying around for me.

Building a collection can be expensive if you buy things brand new from retail stores, so I find it’s best to look around in smaller shops and to check out garage sales and any other clearance events I can find. Things like Kijiji are really great for building a collection economically as well.

Looking at a collection that I have put together is like looking at a work of art. It also feels like a representation of myself and the what I have gone through to build the collection.

An image of animated characters Rick from "Rick and Morty" and Ryuk from "Death Note"
I’ve recently taken An interest in figures of animated characters. Meet Rick and Ryuk.

Learn a Craft

The way I keep my learning skills sharp during what can be very long breaks from school is to learn a craft or skill of some sort. Besides simply keeping me busy, learning a skill in an area I am unfamiliar or have always wanted to experiment with is great for keeping myself focused during the summer so that I don’t end up wasting time.

A skill that I’m working on this summer is creative writing and the steps involved in creating a good narrative. It’s a great way for me to let my mind wander during my free time and also helps with selecting reading material for my breaks at work.

An image of the book "Naming the World"
This is a great book for tips on creative writing from world-class authors!

I expect that improving this skill will leave me feeling accomplished and refreshed heading into the new academic year in September.

Where to start?

Just start! If I think something looks pretty, I start to collect things like it. If I want to learn a skill, I look up a YouTube tutorial. If I want to make a photo album, I take out my phone and start taking pictures of anything and everything.

As long as you simply start, you will be left with more than you had before you started.

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