How to spend your summer months
Ryan gives his tips on how to keep busy, happy and healthy during the summer months
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be it during in-house school tests, the Leaving Cert or college majors, somehow we have survived those bleeding summer exams. We can all get caught up in the idea that our summer holidays are the answer to our most desperate prayers, until a couple of weeks in and the boredom takes over.
Boredom around not having any plans for the summer may be a hell of a lot better than exam stress, but it's in our nature to want to rise above that and enjoy ourselves before we head back to the trials and tribulations of it all. Although sometimes having fun during the summer or even finding ways to occupy yourself is much easier said than done.
Increase the chances of finding a job
Now, it's not in me to tell you that - before anything else this summer - you need to go and get yourself a part-time job, because I know myself how utterly frustrating it is to hear that. It just so happens that I've had the same part-time job for two years now, but it goes without saying that not everybody is in the same boat. If you're currently considering finding employment, just know that it often requires some patience.
One thing I will ask you to do, is to leave yourself very open to employment in the event that something does crop up. Before considering any of the below things to do this summer, I suggest investing some time dusting off and fine-tuning your CV and getting the daunting task of dropping it into retailers, restaurants, hotels, etc. out of the way. It's definitely something that sometimes requires a bit of a kick to do, but even if a job doesn't crop up immediately, at least you'll have the benefits of being able to target other things with more ease of mind knowing that something might crop up. Revisiting the places you've already dropped your CV into on occasion is also a good idea. It will be half the battle after the first time and would also show any potential employer an angle of your determination and commitment by being enthusiastic about working for them.Eat Sleep Blog Repeat
I have to say that - after college - and even coming before my part-time job on my list of activities that keep me occupied is definitely blogging. For me, it has to be an addiction at this point and since it’s gotten to stages where I’ve had to take weekly breaks from it, I know that as long as that's around, I'll be occupied this summer. The thing with blogging is that it's not restricted to anything at all - whether you want to blog about soccer, video games, music or food, you'll surely be warmly received into your niche within the blogging world.
I've already found that by being passionate, consistent and positive so far with my blogging, a lot of great opportunities have come my way which have not only been a pleasure to have worked through, but also things I know might bulk up my CV for future interviews. Blogging has many perks, but getting too consumed isn't something you want either as you might feel your reality slip away from you a bit. When done right and in a balanced way, it will give you the chance to attend events, witness the joy of blogger awards and even make you some friends with the same interests that you may also get the chance to visit this summer! My blog food and wellness blog, www.EndorphinStew.com might give you a better insight into what I mean by blogging. Read tips on creating your own media here.
Take time to heal
Make short-term goals around your health and fitness. There's something addictive about progress and, once you have your mind set on something and feel it's approaching benefits, you're going to want to follow your own instructions religiously. This might mean eating better while you have the time to follow the recipes you've dreamt of following during busy college terms, running, cycling. e.g. I told myself that one of my goals was to be able to run - from start to finish - a local hill by the end of the summer without stopping. The fact I'm excited about that goal makes hard work so much more enticing. Get fit without breaking the bank by following SpunOut's tips here.
Take time to catch up
If you feel as though some people you miss and drifted away from over time are too distant to reach out to, and that there's no point in contacting them without feeling awkward, don't. The chances are, the other person probably feels the same about you, and beyond the reluctance, the reality is that you'd both like to see each other. Send a message to somebody you miss about catching up, because leaving it any longer will just reduce the likelihood of you contacting them again. Who knows? The sparks might come back in an instant and you could be ending a very eventful summer being closer than ever to this person.
As it is for many, it might be the case that your previous semester or school year carried along some stress with it. This could have been education related e.g. feeling overwhelmed or as though you're sinking in the tide approaching exam time, while everybody speeds ahead of you. Or it could also stem from anything else like failed relationships, confidence issues, etc. I don't think there's one student who hasn't felt down about something or other at some point along the line, and that's completely normal.
Why not view the summer as your chance to revisit some of these issues if they're still niggling at you, or even to bring some closure to some things you've had to brush aside in the midst of a busy year. Mindfulness is an exceptional way of doing this, and it essentially involves focusing yourself and your mindset on appreciating the present moment rather than dwelling on the past or feeling anxious about the future. Another way to tackle any bad thoughts in a positive way is to get out there on a long, peaceful cycle or run - without music - and allow the pure air to filter out whatever's on your mind while giving you the chance to appreciate the good things you have in your life at present. For more on mindfulness, check out some of the informative articles published on mindfulness on SpunOut.ie or download the free app, Headspace.