When everyone you know is having the best summer of their lives travelling across the world, it can be difficult to figure out a plan to do everything you want to do in order to make your summer extraordinary. This article will not tell you how to do that because, fortunately, we are sailing in the same boat, loaded with the fear of missing out and the guilt of being unproductive. So, here’s what we are going to do: make this summer totally unconventional and challenge the stereotypes of summer activities. Leave college and societal expectations aside as you follow this ten-pointer anti-summer bucket list devised especially for people like you and me.
1. Eat without counting calories.
There is nothing that a hearty meal cannot fix. Eat a lot of ice cream because getting high on sugar and beating the scorching sun is a win-win situation. In fact, drop your gym subscription. Sit in bed, put on your favourite show, and devour a pizza.
2. Binge-watch Christmas movies.
Rom-coms and classic Christmas miracle movies feel like comfort and peace. You don’t have to wait until the end of the year to rewatch your favourites. Some movies that I really enjoy, no matter how many times I have watched them, are Love Actually, The Holiday, and, obviously, Home Alone (also, it is totally acceptable to binge-watch your favourite show for the hundredth time).
3. Read anything (or everything) that is not part of your coursework.
While some might find reading a tiresome chore, it is an extremely important activity that will help you increase your focus and attention span. But do not read something you will be tested for; instead, read something you find interesting or fun. Reading will aid you in creating a small world of your own as you wander along with your imagination.
“Let this summer be a detox where you stop thinking about how well others are doing and focus on yourself.”
4. Uninstall LinkedIn.
You don’t need to know if someone is getting a new job or internship every day. Competition can be a big cause of mental stress. Let this summer be a detox where you stop thinking about how well others are doing and focus on yourself. Enjoy your vacation without comparing your abilities with those of your peers.
5. Avoid the beach.
We know it’s going to be crowded, messy, and way too hot. A better idea would be to go to the park, the terrace, or your balcony for some fresh air and come back quickly to the comfort of your bed.
6. Adventures need a break.
This is not the summer for trekking or hiking. It’s the summer for cancelling and hiding. Why would you want to suffer a heat stroke near poison ivy, especially in the middle of nowhere? Completely exhausting yourself on an adventure is a physical toll that you can choose to avoid paying this summer. Instead, build a blanket fort and camp inside.
7. Reconnect with yourself.
Disconnect from social media by staying away from your phone. Stop checking your mail and stop posting daily life updates. Constantly feeling the need to get dopamine from your online activities can prove toxic. Reconnect with yourself by spending time doing things that make you genuinely happy, such as baking, crocheting, or playing basketball.
8. Enjoy some hot chocolate or soup.
This is going to be very counterintuitive (much like all the other things). You need the relaxation a hot drink can provide. Plus, who made it a social norm anyway that we can only have hot drinks in winter? This will feel like a warm hug with nutritional value and relieve all your stress.
“Be mindful of your tiny presence in the infinite universe.”
9. Go stargazing.
Amid the day’s chaos, people often forget that it’s a different vibe when the city sleeps, the temperature drops and the streets are not crowded. Take a walk, sit down at a random stop, and look up at the sky full of magic. Be mindful of your tiny presence in the infinite universe.
10. Learn an unusual skill.
Everyone wants to learn a new language, code, or do an online course, but you need to stop overthinking. Master a skill that does not make any sense. It could be a magic trick, some juggling, moonwalking, hula hooping, etc. (plus points to you if you know how to do any one of these already). Even if you don’t master the skill, I am pretty sure you will end up having a lot of fun in the process.
Remind yourself: creativity is naturally unleashed when one chooses the forbidden path. Let this summer be the opportunity to pull the lever, set your life in first gear, and experience a smooth ride for a couple of months. There are a lot of things that can induce anxiety, eventually making summer futile. So, before that happens, approach this period a little differently to avoid burnout. Prepare yourself for what is ahead by taking a step back. Let this be “the summer you turned petty”.