Summer vacation ideas for non-vegetables
Congratulations, you’ve survived yet another school year! After months of seemingly endless math homework and cafeteria lunches, you now have two months of freedom to squander absolutely any way your heart desires. So, what’s your plan? There’s the obvious option: spend those lazy days motionless before the TV watching re-runs of Scooby Doo until your eyes begin to bleed, soaking up the air conditioning and occasionally walking in a daze to the kitchen to make yourself a sandwich. Ah, the bliss of total mental atrophy! This summer strategy is best if you want to return to school in the fall as a sort of slug creature with a mushy puddle of goo splashing around your skull in the place of a brain. Certainly I can understand the appeal. My brain is at least 65% goo at this point in my life, and I’m okay with that.
But maybe you’re not into having a goo-brain. Maybe you want to do something “productive” and “worthwhile” this summer.
But different strokes for different folks, I suppose! I’m a tolerant kind of girl. So, in the case that you’re not super committed to two months of brain rot, I’ve got a few ideas for how you can make it an amazing summer nonetheless, my overachieving friend!
1. Get to work!
It can be hard to find summer jobs these days, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try! Working over the summer is a super idea for so many reasons. You can start saving up some money for college, while gaining real world experience that will look great on those college applications and will help you get other jobs in the future. With a summer job, you’ll have the opportunity to begin familiarizing yourself with all those irritating “adult” things like “responsibility,” “accountability,” and “professionalism”–yuck. On the bright side, you might make a few new friends, too. To find a summer job, the best thing to do is to journey to every place you can think of that employs teenagers – stores in the mall, Dunkin Donuts, Dairy Queen, landscaping companies – and ask for an application, even if they don’t say they’re hiring. If you spread a wide net, you’re more likely to snag something, so I can’t stress this enough: APPLY EVERYWHERE. DO NOT GIVE UP! Filling out applications is annoying, but all that rewriting of your social security number will be worth it when you’re raking in the cash scooping ice cream or selling sneakers.
2. Service your community.
Volunteering is kind of like having a job, but you don’t make any money, and, instead of selling unhealthy food or unattractive clothing, you’re making a positive difference in the world around you. There are service opportunities everywhere. Soup kitchens, nursing homes, tutoring centers, community gardens, libraries, and hospitals are always looking for volunteers, or you could come up with your own project and take the initiative to better your community. In addition to the warm and cozy feeling that comes from being an upstanding citizen, community service has the extra benefit of looking really awesome on college applications.
3. Test the career waters aboard an internships.
Please excuse the lame joke; sometimes I can’t help myself. Anyway…
Another non-paying alternative to a summer job is a summer internship. Finding an internship is likely to be easier than finding a paying job in this economy, and internships provide an invaluable opportunity to explore career fields you’re thinking about pursuing. Interested in journalism? Try for an internship at a local newspaper, TV or radio station. Interested in law? Maybe there’s a law office in your town that could use some free labor! It’s true that you may spend a good deal of your time fetching coffee and shredding old paperwork, but at the very least you’ll be able to observe “from the inside” the work that goes into being a lawyer/newspaper reporter/veterinarian/etc. and get a feel for whether or not you’d like to do that type of work one day.
4. Summer school.
These days, going to summer school isn’t something you get punished with because you failed gym. No, now kids just like you are going to summer school because they want to, to improve themselves! I’m sure you’re thinking, “Doesn’t going to school in the summer kind of defeat the purpose? What sort of backwards universe are we living in??” I understand your concern, believe me, but packing in a little “educational overtime” during the summer is actually a perfect way to explore your interests while keeping some modicum of blood flowing to your brain. Many community colleges allow high school students to enroll in summer courses, so why not take advantage of this opportunity to learn something new that isn’t offered at your high school, like philosophy, microbiology, or archaeology? Not only will you get ahead academically by earning a few early college credits, you may just discover a new passion.
Meanwhile, while you’re off “improving yourselves,” “making a difference,” and “exploring your interests” this summer, I will be attending to the more serious matters of working on my base tan and catching up on Toddlers & Tiaras.
ENJOY YOUR VACATION!!!!
Aurora C., editor & summer slug