I won’t lie. At the start of the summer session, I couldn’t help but envy all my friends who were taking fun road trips around Ontario, signing up for online painting or cooking classes, or simply enjoying the summer sun. Meanwhile, I felt trapped inside my apartment, studying the days away.
Two weeks into summer, however, I realized that I was going to have to create my own version of fun, even if I did have to dedicate some time to academics. Here’s how:
Take Advantage Of The Breaks In Between Summer Semesters
Between the May-June semester and the July-August semester, there is about two weeks of break, depending on whether or not you have exams. This year, fortunately, I don’t have any exams and thus, I’ll be taking advantage of the break in between sessions by going for ice cream trips every day, walking my dog and taking time for self-care.
My goals this summer is to pamper myself galore, by doing at-home spa treatments, getting professional massages, and listening to audiobooks to help make a dent in my intimidatingly long list of books to read.
Take An Extra Class (But In Something Non-Academic)
Guess who signed up for an extra class this semester?? That’s right. On top of a full course load, I’ve signed up for language lessons at an online school in Germany, called Lingoda. The minimum amount of classes you can take per week is three––but, I’ve been taking between six and seven each week. As an avid Spanish learner, I feel energized by my goal to study Spanish for at least five or six hours per week. Truthfully, my sweet spot is around ten hours a week.
I’ve also decided to resume language exchanges on iTalki and have been practising my Spanish by chatting with people from all over the world. Summer is supposed to be fun-filled, yes, but it can also be a time for growth, development, and learning. Why not sign up for an extra class in something you enjoy?
Make Time For Social Activities (Even When I’m Busy With Exams and Work)
According to Stanford Medicine, spending time with friends can lower one’s risk of chronic loneliness, anxiety, depression, other mental disorders. For me, spending time with my friends (albeit through Zoom), is one of the best ways for me to boost my mood and renew my sense of belonging.
The academic world can be isolating and competitive, which is why it’s important to build a strong sense of community and a sense of self outside your grades and assignments.
Designate Certain Days Of The Week As “No School Zones”
For me, the weekends are sacred. Although it’s difficult, I try to get all my schoolwork and studying done during the week. That way, I can spend time doing the activities that help me recharge and feel my best self.
All in all, I make time for fun this summer by creating a balance between work (or school, in my case) and life. Instead of living to work, I choose to work to live.