Friday, July 19, 2013

11 Ways to Get Through a Job-less Summer (or what I've learned from Summer 2013)

11. Get into a TV series. This is an easy way to pass some time, and there's always that show you've been meaning to watch.. just don't get too caught up in it! Watching episode after episode won't be something to eagerly look back on about your summer.

10. Clean. Having a fresh, clean space to relax in is nice. If you're really bored, don't stop at your own personal boundaries. Clean the kitchen, tidy up the living room, vacuum the basement.. this might get you a little extra spending money too, if you have grateful parents (or if you're like me, it'll just get you a clean house).

9. Pick up an instrument and learn a new song. Messing around on the uke is always fun, but maybe find something challenging that will take more time and concentration. The Girl by City and Colour, anyone? Or, for the less musically inclined, some wax paper and a comb is always entertaining.

8. Go for a bike ride. Don't worry if you haven't taken your bike off the ceiling rack in a few years. Remembering how to ride a bike is like, well.. remembering how to ride a bike. Go for a trip to the park, or bike to the nearest Caribou and treat yourself to an iced tea when you get there.

7. Play outside with your pet. Throw a ball for your dog, or take your turtle out to get some sunlight. If you don't have a pet, you should probably buy one; pets are great. Here's an idea: you could buy a chameleon and invite me over to play with it. Please?

6. Look up a recipe to make. Maybe have a nice day of baking, or find a good meal to make for yourself. It's a way to pass time, practice some skills for the future, and it's always nice to have something to eat when you're done.

5. Do some yard work. It's summer! Be outside, and possibly do something productive? Perhaps the garden could use some tending, or the yard needs some weeding. Take on a larger task, even, like finally breaking down the fire pit. That has to be taken down because it's too close to the tree. That was set on fire last time the pit was used. And that still hasn't been taken apart yet. Dad.

4. Go to the beach. Gather some friends when they aren't busy and spend a day at the beach. Play some volleyball, go for a swim, eat some ice cream.. I think we all know the drill, here. If you spend enough time together, have a bonfire in the evening. And if you really spend enough time together, go for the obligatory late-night-Perkins run.

3. Grab lunch with a close friend. Hanging out with a lot of friends at once is fun, but it can also be exhausting. Sometimes it's nice to have lunch (or coffee) with a close friend so you can talk about life and how upset you are that you didn't get a job this summer.

2. Take up a new activity/exercise. You want to do photography? Take a stab at it. Thinking it'd be fun to learn to water ski? Hey, there's no time like the present. Never been a runner? Try it out. (I'd suggest early in the morning, or late at night, when the sun isn't so blasted hot.) Or perhaps you could take up yoga. Do something to stay in shape or keep yourself active.

1. Read a good book. Seeing as you're too busy for leisurely reading when classes are in session, summer is the best time to finally check some of those books off your I've-Been-Meaning-to-Read-These Booklist. If you're looking for a quick-read, Submarine by Joe Dunthorne is quirky, and excellent.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hello friends.

This summer has been a pretty mild one, to say the least.

For starters, I didn't get a job (which I am still bitter about, but I'll save you the ranting), I haven't seen very much of my friends (until recently), and a lot of the plans I've been making keep getting canceled or postponed (which kind of goes with the last point).

All in all, I haven't done much with my summer. I go for runs, I eat, I watch TV, I sit outside and read, I do yard work..

As I started thinking about it, I wondered, is it my fault that I'm not doing anything?

In most respects, yes. I'll admit, I haven't been as aggressive about solidifying plans with people, or when plans are made, I don't always put forth the effort to be a part of them.

What I've found is that for as much as I think I've changed in college, I revert back to my high school ways when I'm back at home.

I revert to being a homebody. I don't see what my friends are up to because I'd rather be reading the book I'm about to finish. I don't go to the bonfire because I'd rather sit in my room and play my uke. I don't try to make plans with the friends I haven't seen in months because I'm used to the idea of being able to see them whenever, since being at home makes it feel like things are the way they were.

In my own defense, being on a campus does make it easier to do spontaneous things with friends.

The reality is that we're not in high school anymore. Everyone's life is filling up with obligations and fulfillment of responsibilities. People are going to start occupying their breaks with trips, work, taking extra classes, internships.. 

Sooner or later, the windows of opportunity to see certain friends are going to close. Some might be unexpected, even. That doesn't bother me, or scare me, or make me sad. For some friends, that's just the way it goes. But this made me realize how much keeping in touch takes an effort. And I know I'm not the best at it, because I get caught up in everything else. 

I'm going to try and make a better effort, from now on. I love my friends, and there are some that I'd like to keep seeing from time to time, until it becomes inconvenient.