It’s 8pm, and I’ve just spent a day sitting in the garden with my dog, two books, and several cans of diet coke. I set up camp there at eleven, and have just retreated indoors to save my skin from a healthy twenty-degree heat. It was, I feel, a very nice day. However- and this is important- tomorrow I will get up early and do things all day. There are only so many days you can do nothing without it becoming a slump of sorts. You’ve got to earn your days off.
After college or school ends, quite a few of us have no idea what to do with ourselves, but even if you’ve gone home to the backarse of nowhere for the summer, or, like me, all your friends are in Canada with half the college population of Ireland, you need to get out and do. Here’s some advice on creating your own productive time, without relying on anyone else to do it for you.
Have a plan for every day
This can be as simple as walking to the town to buy some Cocoa Brown, returning home and applying it. Alternatively, google a recipe for a cake. Walk to the shop for flour. Bake it. Wow your mother. Bring a slice to your granny. The point is that you leave the house, and you accomplish something. Yes, it might only be to achieve a healthy bronzed glow without the aid of our fickle friend the sun, but it’s something. (Also, please ensure that this activity will take up at least three hours. It’s no good making a ‘ten-minute mug cake’, and then wondering what you’re supposed to do for the rest of the day).
Get some exercise
Honestly- and I know you’ve probably thought of this- exercise. If this sounds vile, work it into your daily schedule. Walk home from work. Walk the dog. Go into the field and run around it for a bit (younger cousins are handy for this sort of thing. A nice nostalgic game of tag will cheer you all up no end). If that’s not your thing, maybe you could throw on a pair of leggings and go for a run. Return only when absolutely covered in sweat. Boom. You’ve achieved something. Imagine the looks from your library boyfriend/ girlfriend when you return to college in September, an absolute machine.
Limit your screen time
Summer is not, contrary to popular belief, a chance to watch Suits in its entirety. You’ll feel awful when you finish. Get out. Leave your laptop. Lose it for a day under a pile of magazines. Maybe you could read a book- and please don’t, like so many people do, feel that you have to read something intelligent. Twilight was popular for a reason. Jonathan Tropper is a favourite author of mine- he will draw you into the comedic life of an aimless thirty-something Jewish man in middle class America like War and Peace never could.
Work on a long-term goals
Lastly, you must work on some long-term goals. Download duolingo and learn French in time for your holibops. Sand and paint the dining room table. Plant an array of perennials in the garden. My personal favourite, and my own plan for this summer, is to learn to drive. Go get that licence, and finally, you will be able to take four of your closest non-Canada friends (traitors) to sit in the McDonald’s car park to eat drive-thru McFlurrys- the ultimate summer experience.