Jun 23, 2009

Stay Sharp During The Summer

Bountiful summer is upon us. For students, that means plenty of sun, heat, and free time now that the school year is gone. And even though the days are longer and the weather is warm, the extended vacation will inevitably draw us indoors. Television and videogames can sing a siren song to anyone without a whole lot to do and a whole bunch of time to do it. The key, of course, is to stay active! But if summer school and college prep classes aren’t exactly your cup of tea, here are a few summer activities that can be both engaging and beneficial.

Amusement parks are a real blast, but for something a little more cerebral, try a museum or science center. Few students visit these types of places outside of a school field trip, and it can be liberating to wander at your own will, as opposed to being stuck in the rigid “go there, look here” format of a class-time outing. Find something that interests you, like a painting gallery, observatory, or zoo, and then bring your friends.

Reading and writing ability can take a plunge during the summer months, so hit the local library or bookstore and pick out a few titles that peak your interest. If all you can think about is reaching for the X-Box controller, try some fiction from your favorite videogame. Journaling is another great way to keep these essential skills sharp. Make a commitment to sit down and write every day. Even if you just spend five or ten minutes scribbling down a couple lines, you’ll be exercising critical brain functions that would otherwise be shutdown until September.

Try to create as much as you can. Summer is the perfect time to try something new, like drawing or playing guitar. You could join an art class that is laid back and lets you go at your own pace, or you could start a band to rock out with your newfound musical talent. Remember to keep it as fun as possible- you’re supposed to enjoy yourself for these three months.

Don’t shy away from volunteering- there are plenty of opportunities to donate your time towards something you’d enjoy. If you like hiking, volunteer with the local parks service. If you like Basketball, try coaching a team at the local youth center. Not only will you be serving the community, you’ll be adding some extra spice to your college application.

At the very least, get out and do all those fun summer activities. Go to the beach, or have a water gun fight, or eat ice cream in the park. There will be plenty of time to play videogames when it’s below freezing and there’s a foot of snow on the ground!

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