by Madeleine Brown
News flash: summer ends in approximately one month. I know, I know, I hate to be a nagging Nancy as much as anyone, but it had to be said. Use this alert to consider everything you have yet to accomplish—just this summer, don’t get into the unfulfilled life goals. (There’s never enough time for that.) As during the school year itself, it’s not until the end draw nears—or any deadline for that matter—that we realize our own negligence. Thankfully, a month in context to a deadline is a surprising amount of time. When do you ever start an assignment a month in advance? Even if you create a plan of action, you’ll have at least a few weeks worth of days to throw away and label as wasted. Ultimately, wasted summers are looked back upon fondly when we’re in the thick of midterms or finals. So I say, do or do not, either way you can call your summer successful. It’s all in your mindset.
Spark a friendship
Summer flings are never as exciting as the ones we imagine in our heads. And contrary to the word “fling”, they take a surprising amount of focus and determination to occur in the first place. Forget physical attraction and romance, aim for friendship. It sounds pathetic, but impromptu conversations with a stranger on a restaurant patio or at an outdoor movie screening can be equally thrilling. When do you ever have time to properly socialize during the year let alone with a random? And unlike the end of a summer fling, which leaves you questioning your worth, sudden conversations (as long as they don’t turn nasty and even then they sound fun) with strangers are enough in themselves. No one ever expects to talk to some unknown, let alone have the interaction develop further. Perhaps “friendship” is too much of a title; pleasantry is plenty.
Spend a day (or two) doing absolutely nothing
So you ask, “But how is doing nothing any different than those wasted summer days you cruelly accused me of in your opening paragraph?” It’s all in the intention. You never intend to waste a day you intend to do nothing. And that’s a beautiful, freeing sensation. It’s a giant dis to a world built on a foundation of overwhelming schedules and a constant loss of time. Wake up whenever, eat whatever and proceed to laze around however. My personal preference is in front of the television. In the case of an indulgent movie marathon, it’s the ideal opportunity to watch movies you’d otherwise deem too long yet classic like Pulp Fiction, The Godfather or Gone with the Wind. Other acceptable options for doing nothing include playing video games, sleeping or watching paint dry.
Learn a new skill
Hold your breath before you scoff at the word, “learn.” Unlike 100-level biology, there’s no exam or test to mark how well you mastered your new skill. So whether you spend a day throwing around some old tennis balls in your basement or attend circus camp and leave not only juggling, but also eating fire and jumping through hoops, you succeeded. And we all love to succeed, right? Don’t limit yourself to the obvious like juggling though. How about such skills as ironing shirts, hand washing delicates, canning preserves or organizing personal finances? There’s much fun to be had.