Or, 10 things you should do before the
zombies take over before
the summer is over.
Alright, I know what some of you are thinking. August is at our doorstep and that means that its brother September isn’t far behind. Time may be running short for the warm months of the year but here is a list of things you might want to consider doing before you find yourself back in a classroom.
1. Watch a movie outside.
This is one of those recipes where you can substitute your milk with water. If you don’t have the luxury of having a drive in theatre/event near your location that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good piece of cinematography in your own backyard. Grab an old bed sheet and projector, lawn chair and couch and set up your own Cineplex experience before the snow shows up. Remember bug spray!
2. Go for a run: outside.
Yep. Take one foot, put it in front of the other and repeat. Gradually accelerate until jogging pace has been reached then maintain speed. The summer time may be your busiest period of the year or it could be the time where you have the least to do. In either case, it will undoubtedly be the warmest time of the year and that means that there is a whole world out there for you to stretch your legs in.
3. Go for a swim.
Whether it’s a lake or an outdoor pool, water does eventually freeze here in Canada. “But I don’t know how to swim”: consider signing up for swimming lessons at your local swimming pool. Besides being one of the best workouts you can get, swimming could one day prove essential to saving your life. That being said, no one expects you to be Michael Phelps right off the bat (I myself do not float very well) but like anything, practise will help you improve. Who knows, you might discover that you’ve been a fish out of water this whole time.
4. Read a book.
School is approaching and so are textbooks. Why not pick up a book because you want to and not because it is “required.” Any book at all, whether it’s corny romance, sci-fi, a biography, etc. You might not find a book you really like on the first try but keep trying until you find a book that you just can’t put down. (If you need a few ideas, check out these top 10 books every student should read.) A book found only on one syllabus: your own.
5. Eat some ice-cream.
Nothing is stopping you from grabbing a tub of cookies and cream (my favourite flavor) and destroying it with your spoon during the winter. However, let’s be honest, a nice ice-cream cone during a scalding 30+ degree day is pretty satisfying. You know what else is good? Frozen yogurt, and there are plenty of places to get some good quality frozen yogurt around campus… or maybe there are only two, either way, frozen treats are a great way to keep your brain from melting on warm days.
6. Take a trip.
Now I don’t mean get a plane ticket and fly away. Those tickets can get quite expensive after all and if you’re planning on attending post-secondary studies, then a plane ticket might be a budgetary stress that you don’t need right now. I'm suggesting that you google your surroundings, find a place that you have yet to go to and go do the interesting things that can be done there. Pick a weekend, pick a spot, pick some friends and go. Roadtrip! Festival! Music Festival! Get a change of scenery. Even if the place you visit isn’t all that exciting, you’ll be able to use that information for future reference and you’re bound to have some conversation worthy stories that come out of it. Which brings me to my next point.
7. Spend some time with friends.
This may seem obvious but sometimes it’s easier said than done. We can get so busy with work, school preparations and just “life” in general that sometimes it can be hard to find the time to just “hang out” with friends. Sometimes all it takes is a phone call (not a text) to find an hour or two to spend with your buds. Thankfully, you also have a nice list of things (see above) that you can do together.
8. Spend time with your family.
Family: you know, the ones you love and who love you back? Those people. Sometimes we forget they’re there because they’ve always been there for us. And while you might be thinking “but I see them all. The. Time.” You might even be moving away from home this year to start a new chapter at the University of Alberta you’ll get caught in the endless cycle of midterms/finals cycle and won’t get to spend as much time with your parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, etc. So make some time in your summer schedule for the people you love.
Sleep. Need I say more? There is not enough coffee on planet earth to make up for the loss of sleep. You need it to function properly. You need it to dream. Sure, some people need less sleep than others; however, it’s important for you to find out how much sleep you really need. Doing so will allow you to build a personal sleeping ritual that reflects your needs. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. That also means turning off Netflix and putting down your cell phone. This may prove difficult, but you’re future you will thank you.
10. Do nothing.
Now, I don’t mean actually do “nothing”. I mean make sure to make time for yourself and just yourself. Pick a day where you book nothing, after you’ve already done all your chores and have no appointments and just do something that makes you happy. This could mean painting, playing an instrument, sculpting, dancing, singing, working out, taking a nap, watching the six Star Wars movies before the seventh comes out in December, cooking, learning to cook, baking some cookies, taking a bath, doing every side quest in Dragon Age Inquisition, etc.
----About the Author
This is Colin Champagne. Yes. Like the drink. Classy, yet bubbly. No, he’s not crazy but he is nuts about this university and its people. Colin is franco-albertan, hailing from the rural town of Saint-Paul where they have a landing pad to welcome any potential alien life forms. Weird? Maybe, but what's really weird is how many awesome people there are in that town. He loves sports, books and movies and he might love Lego a little too much.
Colin is currently taking a victory lap with a political science major and economics minor over at Campus Saint-Jean, and he wants you to know that if you haven't had the chance to go there yet, you're missing out. He hopes to bring YOU some of the great things happening at our university and maybe even add a little twist of humor now and then.