Summer activities on a budget
Exams are over and now there are around three months before uni starts up again. So much time! I have a tendency to make grand plans for the summer, to decide on getting so much done, but it never happens. This summer I am just going to use it to chill out, but a few weeks in and I am already getting bored…
The big advice that people always give is to use your summer for going travelling, to see the world while you are still young and before you are constrained by a full time job. Others advise to get an internship or get a summer job. Good advice, but not necessarily realistic for everyone.
Internship applications closed months ago, and there are very few places that offer summer work near me. I don’t drive and the bus connections in my town aren’t great, plus they’re too expensive without a bus pass. I’m saving up for a longer trip abroad (hopefully next year sometime), so I can’t afford to go travelling even to cheaper nearby destinations this summer. I’ve also just blown my monthly budget on getting my ears pierced for the first time (yes I know I’m 20 in September and yes it’s taken me ages but I was scared and had a sudden burst of courage. Now I look in the mirror and say ‘pretty’ the same way Eleven from Stranger Things does).
So, if you’re in a similar position to me and are lying on your bed staring at the ceiling wondering what on earth you are going to do with three months of nothing, here are some of my top ideas for killing time on a couple of pounds:
Make a cake (or any other variety of baked goods). Alternatively, practise cooking meals that you could make at uni.
Start a scrapbook. Buy an A3 paper pad from a craft store (or find one at home stashed in the arts-and-crafts drawer that no one opens anymore), print off some pictures from the past year, stick them in and write little notes next to them with the who/what/where/whens of the pic, so that when you are older, you can look back and have some context to photos that would otherwise just be sitting in a hard-drive somewhere.
Try learning a language. I never used to care about languages in school, but I really regret that now. Coming to uni you meet so many people from all over the world and realise that the world is wider then you thought. There are plenty of free resources online for all kinds of languages, so why not try it. A year and a half ago I would never have imagined being able to understand Korean, but here I am, a lower intermediate learner.
Netflix (or any other subscription service of your choosing). One month free trial and then split the monthly cost with a friend. Summer of entertainment sorted.
Read a book. Write a story. Borrow a book from the library. Sitting out in the garden covered in suncream with a cold drink while reading a book is one of my favourite ways to get me out of the house and away from my laptop (and YouTube), at least by a few metres.
Go for a walk around your neighbourhood. Make it a quick stroll or a full-on hike to the next town over. It’s tempting to lie on your bed all summer, but make sure to stay fit.
Start up any other hobby. There’s loads to choose from.
Remember that everyone lives life at a different pace. Just because someone you follow on Instagram is doing something now, doesn’t mean that you’re never going to do it.