3 Basic Recipes Every Student Needs To Know

by Madeleine Brown

“Students cannot live on dried noodles alone.” Or something like that, right?

However, unless you’re enrolled in a culinary arts program, you needn’t move into your kitchen. Stick to basic recipes, building in complexity only as time and motivation allow. Often when stressed, I’ll gravitate towards a dripping fried egg sandwich any day over some finicky sous-vide chicken nonsense. When lacking sleep and overwhelmed with deadlines, don’t make rash decisions and don’t prepare a three-course meal. Even if cooking serves as a form of relaxation, basic recipes still require enough cooking to calm you, but not so much as to set you over the edge. Nestle my favourite basic recipes in your brain next to the secret campus shortcuts and life-saving pre-order apps. You’ll have all three to thank come convocation.

Fried Egg Sandwich

Breakfast - sandwich with fried egg

1 whole wheat roll, if desired, toasted

dollop of peanut or other nut- or seed-based spread

squirt of Sriracha

2 eggs

salt and pepper, to taste

fresh coriander, if desired, chopped and to taste

  1. Slice roll in half and spread nut-based spread—say “spread” one more time, why don’t you?—and Sriracha on bottom half.
  2. Preheat a frying pan (if necessary with a splash of vegetable oil) over medium heat.
  3. Crack eggs into pan and allow to cook until whites turn opaque.
  4. Flip eggs and cook thirty seconds more or longer depending on how runny you prefer your yolks.
  5. Gently slide eggs into roll and season with salt, pepper and, if you’re a fan, coriander.

Anyway Dip and Pita Chips

homemade pita chips with dipping sauce

2 cloves of garlic, grated

1 can beans or legumes (i.e. kidney, white, red, chickpeas, lentils, etc.)

1 tbsp tahini or other nut- or seed-based spread

1 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper, to taste

1 tsp cumin, paprika, both or other spice of choice

olive oil

2 whole wheat pitas, quartered

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Combine first six ingredients in a food processor or high-rimmed bowl. Blitz, using a handheld blender in the latter case, pouring in olive oil until smooth and desired texture is reached.
  3. Toss pitas onto a baking sheet and bake until crispy and browned, approximately six minutes.
  4. Serve pitas alongside dip.

Baked Potato with Greek Yogurt, Chives and Bacon

Baked Potato

1 potato, sweet or russet

olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

2 strips bacon, variety or substitute of choice

dollop of Greek yogurt

fresh chives, chopped and to taste

fresh ground pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. (Yes, you can cook potatoes in the microwave. I do not.)
  2. Prick potato with fork and rub with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven on a baking sheet or on rack and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until fork easily pierces skin.
  3. Meanwhile preheat a frying pan over medium heat. Fry bacon on each side until cooked through and desired level of crispness is reached. Let cool on a plate covered in paper towels and dice into small pieces.
  4. Slit potato halfway down the middle. Fill with Greek yogurt and garnish with bacon, chives and pepper.


How To Manage Back To School Stress

Despite the hours you’ve clocked in front of your laptop, television or cellphone this summer—the hours of welcome mind-numbing—September’s imminent approach mitigates their effect. Suddenly you wake from a blissful summer daze, which likely came over you about halfway through binging Netflix’s Glow, and are reminded of course selection, tuition fees and textbook rentals.

Worry not. It’s a normal part of academic life. In fact I often wonder why colleges and universities don’t schedule its approximate arrival in their respective academic calendars. Here’s my advice for harnessing-in back-to-school stress.

Back view portrait of a female student walking

Tackle back-to-school preparation in stages

Unlike assignments, you can’t start and finish back-to-school preparation in a single night. Even if you’re an online shopping whizz, who wants to pay for overnight delivery? Accept you can’t roll out of bed on the first day and walk into the lecture hall completely prepared. School supplies aside, there’s basic administrative deadlines for consideration. The Office of the Registrar is likely the only contact filling your school e-mail address’ inbox this summer. (So, yes, do check it.) Remain aware and, institutional deadlines aside, roughly schedule what, how and when you’ll prepare for the new semester the two weeks before the start of term. Do you new to load up on pens? Will you order your textbooks through Amazon instead of the bookstore this year? What about a tune-up on the bike you ride to and from campus each day?

Review your intended schedule and set goals

Like bad relationships of both the romantic and platonic varieties, it’s usually not until you’re in too deep, you realize the harmful nature of the commitment. Don’t let poor judgment lead to burnout halfway through the approaching term. Sure, sure, you’re organized, you’re hardworking, but, given the choice, do you really want a twelve-hour day every Monday and Wednesday? Depending on how much responsibility you have over your schedule, consider how manageable it is in real life versus on paper. And if the nature of your program offers less flexibility, don’t pile up on unnecessary outside commitments. As someone famous once said, “We fear the unknown.” When you have an understanding of your new term, you’re less likely to stress over it.

Give yourself over to the final days of freedom

After you’ve mulled over the impending term, let yourself return to summer. There’s no point filling the last weeks of August with induced stress. Leave that for the exam period. Stay up late, or go to bed early. Socialize as much as possible or hide in your bedroom and avoid humankind altogether. Such freedom is rarely available when class is back in session. Now while back-to-school stress is expected, it shouldn’t come in extreme doses. And, yes, given the right distractions, you should have the ability to still relax in your final weeks of summer. Manageable back-to-school stress is the price paid for the benefits post-secondary education gifts you: friendships, personal development and academic fulfillment. Should you question the existence of such gifts—or your justification for pursuing a diploma or degree in general—my snappy advice for stress management won’t suffice. Pose these questions to trustworthy family members, friends or a counselor. Nobody deserves to live under constant stress outside of or during the school year.

How To Survive A New Roommate

by Madeleine Brown

It can end friendships, start floods, or worse, deplete liquor stocks: a new roommate. They take sibling squabbles to a new level. And mom is no longer around to play referee. Yet the induction of a roommate is as much a required young adult growing pain as failed papers, burnt casseroles and awkward dates. (Hopefully you never experience all three in a single evening.) Whether your roommate turns into your best friend, worse enemy, or—often best of all—the one that’s never home, you needn’t allow them to decimate your daily routine. Here are my tips to survive not only their arrival, but moreover the duration of their stay.

Moving boxes in new apartment


As the experts say, it’s the key to any successful relationship. Establish lines of communication early. Create a Facebook page for your household to post bills, share holiday plans and “book” the living room for your Wednesday night group study sessions. Likewise ensure you have your new roommate’s e-mail address and phone number. You never know when an issue may require the formality of an e-mail or urgency of a phone call. However, don’t omit the best (yet most dreaded) form of communication: in-person conversation. In an ideal world, every set of roommates could dissect household matters in weekly meetings. You needn’t run your house like some government council though, just make the effort to bring up conflicts or needs in person as often as possible. Although it’s easy to throw down dirt via Facebook, remember your roommates know where you live.


Hopefully you’ve spent some time with your new roommate in advance of their move-in date. Whether you have or haven’t, socialize with them on a regular basis. Now your definition of “regular” can vary immensely. I’ve lived with roommates with whom our socializing amounted to shared a meal (and maybe a movie) at the end of each term. Conversely I’ve socialized with roommates on an almost daily basis in the form of bedroom floor lamentations. (I highly recommend during period of high stress.) However regular, let the “fun” aspect of your relationship develop naturally. Don’t draw up an over-packed social calendar or gift them endless friendship bracelets. Like most relationships, it’ll deepen on its own terms. So never force it. And who really wants to end up living with their best friend? …that’s an entire blog post in itself.


Routines established in September can change come December. Don’t lock yourself into duties or policies. If you’d prefer to take on all the household cleaning rather than divide-up the load, do it. (What?! I like to clean.) If your roommate’s new boyfriend’s elongated stays challenge your initially flexible visitation policy, adjust it. And should such changes present further problems, change them again. Consider your own family. Your role likely shifted in nature over the course of your childhood and adolescence. And it’s likely only to shift more as you progress further into adulthood. The most successful communities acknowledge change as an opportunity for growth and development. And maybe you just don’t want to share milk anymore. So don’t!

4 Weird Fair Foods Of Summer 2017

by Madeleine Brown

Like awkward family reunions, the weirdest food trends gather at fairs across the continent over the summer before they die off never to be eaten again. (Hopefully your family reunions don’t always conclude in death[s]).

There are the fair classics from funnel cakes and cotton candy to ribs and burgers. However, fairs like Toronto’s CNE (the Canadian National Exhibition), North America’s fifth largest, have embraced the event’s natural breeding ground for bizarre eats and now draw crowds for food alone. From August 18 through Labour Day weekend, you can find all your deep-fried favourites alongside appearances by celebrity chefs like Vancouver restaurateur, Vikram Vij and Chopped judge favourite, John Higgins as well as features on craft beer, east coast cuisine and another beloved trend, food trucks. While the newest food offerings are still under wraps, let’s meet a selection of this year’s participants and their specialties.  

The newest cone in town

Who eats ice cream for the ice cream any more? It’s all in the cone. Open your Instagrams, people! According to Eva of Eva’s Original Chimneys, chimneys or kurtoskalacs are a Hungarian specialty eaten like you would any respectable cinnamon roll: a slow unspiralling of that perfect bread-like pastry. Eva fills hers with soft-serve ice cream and toppings described with every food buzzword out there like “homemade”, “organic” and “local”. Given the headlines and features, this lady’s on to something smoking.

Did you say bacon?

Canada’s Bacon Nation understands humankind’s primitive attraction to beloved bacon. What brings anyone to the kitchen quicker than a whiff of spitting pork fat as strips sizzle in the frying pan? Stronger in numbers, Bacon Nation united two food trends to much delight at last year’s CNE with the Bacon Taco. It has all the usual fixings of a taco along with a heap of crispy, dripping bacon. Leave your vegetarian friends at home; this one’s for the most carnivorous members of your circle.  

Don’t cry over it

Who wants an onion ring, when you can have a whole flower? Available in food truck form since last summer, the folks at the Colossal Onion cut their big white, beauties from the top down in the shape of a blossoming water lily. From there it’s doused in batter, deep-fried and served alongside dippable chipotle mayo. This onion won’t lead to any tears—except perhaps of joy.

How Philthy

Philthy Phillys’s brings the magic of the Philly cheesesteak north. Traditionally, the sandwich is served in a hoagie roll, stuffed with thin-sliced beefsteak and drowned in melted cheese. Phil follows tradition (alongside a chicken option) and goes against it with other variations that feature the additions of coleslaw and fries in the sandwich known as Phat Phil and hash browns, sautéed onions and eggs, or #Philthy. Best of all, add Cheese Whiz to any sandwich for no extra charge. Bonus points to you if you manage to share a ‘wich with Phil himself.

Don’t Forget To Pack These 5 College Necessities

When it comes to moving into residence for the first time, ruminate on the following mantra: the first time is always the worse. Having lived it, I can attest to the truth behind that statement. In addition to the emotional nature of the situation (on both yours and likely your family’s parts), the practicality of separating a newly formed single household from an established one is complicated. Suddenly the shared hair dryer and mysteriously self-replacing supply of toilet paper must be considered. Here’s my list of often under-appreciated (and as a result often forgotten) college necessities. And, yes, don’t forget the toilet paper.

pack these 5 college necessities

Laundry supplies

75.4% of young adults attend college and university in order to learn how to do laundry. Okay, I quite possibly made up the percentage, but speaking from my own experience, I like to believe the cliché is true. Coming from a chore-less childhood, I moved away from home, completed my first load and packed my own lunch all for the first times in the span of a week. Along with a choice detergent, dryer sheets, laundry bag, hardcore stain remover and extra coat hangers to air-dry delicates, request basic laundry pointers from a parental unit prior to the big move.

Electronic device wipes

If you didn’t through high school, your life will now officially revolve around your laptop and cellphone. From entertainment to social life and the odd assignment, your devices serve as your home television, office and even personal chef.  So, take my advice and invest in a package of wipes specifically for devices. When your life goes up flames, a clean screen can ease the stress.

Portable drink containers

You’re likely to receive your share of free condoms, pamphlets, barbecues and, yes, water bottles over the course of frosh week. However, now a young adult, you’ll soon learn just because it’s free, don’t mean it’s good. Purchase a quality water bottle and thermos before the move. Most campuses are outfitted with fancy-smancy water fountains and most mornings you won’t wake early enough to finish your coffee at home.

Printer and ink

Don’t pretend you’ve outwitted “the man” by printing your assignments off of the library or student centre printers. It’s never—ever—worth it. Come 4 am, tired, alone and twenty words away from the assigned word count, you do not want to interact with the shared copy machine only to discover it won’t print your half-assed essay. Spend the money and buy a printer. While you’re still on mommy and daddy’s dime, also stock up on ink. Forget learning Santa Claus’ legitimacy, the actual cost of printer ink is the greatest disappointment of adult life.

Alarm clock

I know, you have a cellphone, I know. But let me ask you this: how charged is it right now? It’s probably dead, right? An alarm clock is an ultimately inexpensive investment that’ll save you charging anxiety down the road. It’s the magic of electricity, folks. Set your typical wake-up time—don’t forget to select AM instead of PM—and with the simple flick of a switch, you’ll never worry about making class again. Now whether or not you chose to hit the snooze button one time too many is on you.

What Are Pre & Probiotics And Why Should I Care?

On the days when you wish to send your landlord or residence adviser a very firmly worded e-mail, or—even more daring—publicly confront them remember you too are host to your own residences. Okay, the connection is somewhat forced—but metaphors are helpful, right?

You see right now there are beneficial bacteria who live, work—but probably not play—in your body. Their ultimate purpose is to assist in such bodily functions as nutrient production and digestion. On the other hand, like your lousy upstairs neighbour who listens to Lorde’s latest album at top volume, there are also potentially harmful bacteria who call your body home. In both cases, the beneficial and the harmful bacteria, the good and the bad residences, you are (metaphorically-speaking) their landlord. As much as we tire of that nasty neighbour’s love of Lorde, it’s essential we maintain a balance between both groups for the health of our building, our body. (I promise I’ll quit with the metaphors soon.) However, rather than issue a complaint or file a report on either residence’s behaviour in order to maintain order in our homes, our bodies have pre- and probiotics.

what are pre and probiotics and why should I care

The good bacteria in our digestive system (to use another metaphor) “eat” prebiotics to fuel their development and work. Meanwhile, probiotics are themselves live microorganisms, which enter our bodies through the food we eat, adding to the population of good bacteria already present in our bodies. Prebiotics are found in garlic, onions, asparagus, greens, berries as well as whole grains and oats. Likely if the marketing campaigns behind major yogurt brands have made any impact on you, you’re already aware that probiotics are found in cultured dairy including, yes, yogurt and kefir. However, they’re also contained in fermented foods (and flavor-boosters) like kimchi, sauerkraut and miso.

Science has yet to uncover the full extent of the benefits incurred by regular consumption of pre- and probiotics. However, aside from maintaining our overall health, prebiotics help control our insulin and blood sugar levels after eating and allow us to feel full faster. A balanced microbiome, the environment in your gut where the bacteria live, reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease as well as inflammation and improves nutrient absorption.

While I am always one to encourage smart confrontations à la disagreements between landlords and residences, consider how you manage your own body’s and its bacteria’s health.

Do both a favour by incorporating foods rich in pre- and probiotics into your diet:

  • Insert a popsicle stick into individually-portioned yogurt cups and freeze for homemade frozen yogurt pops.
  • Blend cultured dairy into smoothies alongside prebiotic-rich veggies.
  • Try oatmeal for breakfast on occasion.
  • Prepare lunches and dinners such as stir-frys or soups at home and you’ll likely regularly eat more onions and garlic (the flavor base of both dishes).

By making thoughtful choices about your diet, you’ll save disputes to the life outside your body—not in it.

Advice For Incoming Freshmen

by Madeleine Brown

Not to add to the pressure on incoming first-years, but I have yet to do anything as important in my life as starting university. Truly. However, I am not saying that either college or university are important. They’re not. It’s the circumstances that surround this moment in your life that hold importance. Whether you move onto residence or commute to campus from home, you’re about to embark on the first stage in your life where you have the opportunity to claim full ownership. 

To add to the abundance of advice you’re likely drowning in, here are three pieces of my own. Consider them, but understand I didn’t develop them (or at least become aware of my development of them) until the end of my university career. Who knows what advice you may doll out to someone in your position in three or four year’s time?

advice for incoming freshman

Expect nothing

Expectations are the bane of my existence. They overshadow experiences. It’s not until some time after the fact—usually when I’m organizing receipts during tax season—when I realize the importance of an experience and how it turned out nothing like my expectations. And thankfully so. (Sadly receipts are my form of adult scrapbooking.) Don’t expect a high grade on your first test, but likewise don’t expect a low one. Don’t expect to meet your best friend or soulmate, but don’t expect not to. You likely have a delightful imagination, but when it comes to real life let’s leave its course up to the world’s greatest creative genius, fate.

Establish routine

Unless you had an nontraditional upbringing, chances are your routine has remained unchanged for eighteen odd years. It’s about to explode into one thousand-some pieces. Some weekdays you won’t have classes, some you may only have one starting at 2 pm and others you may have an overwhelming amount. You may adopt an unbearable two-hour commute to and from school or you may have to schedule dinner yourself at your cafeteria. Whether you thrive on a routine or not, at least reflect on the basic parameters of your new one. Perhaps write it out in diagram form, color-coding based on the nature of the obligation, or speak it out with friends or family. And returning to controlling expectations: don’t expect to master your schedule during your first month.

Enjoy independence

Or if you prefer more banal forms of advice: have fun(!!!). And, no, I don’t mean out-drink your roommate or hook-up with your neighbor across the hall. Enjoy the freedom (in whatever degree) you’ve been gifted. College and universities are worlds onto themselves, aiming to make their resources as accessible as possible. So attend office hours—even just to attest to their existence to your peers—lose your breath at a spin class at the campus gym or sign-up for a questionable, poorly organized club. Like the independence you honed in order to make those decisions, you can just as easily choose to never make the same ones again.

How To Build A Better: Burger

by David Kitai

There is little in the world as innately satisfying as a good hamburger. When the bun, meat and toppings are perfectly balanced, a burger can deliver a pure shot of pleasure. However, while it might be the quickest way to instant stomach satisfaction, when made wrong it has the potential to yield truly disappointing results. Follow my tips and find yourself eating the perfect burgers all-year round (on your cheat days of course).

how to build a better burger

A burger is nothing without the right bun

The right bun could mean a two slices of fluffy white Wonder Bread, but as charming as they are, I think we can do better. (The bun should actually taste like something.) If you like a rich burger, consider brioche. My personal preference is a variety made with a mixture of white and whole-wheat flour and sourdough starter. Sourdough-driven bakeries often carry several great bun options. When the bun is fresh with a lightly crispy crust and soft, flavourful crumb, you know you’re in for a good burger.

Don’t oversauce

Too many burgers—otherwise perfect—suffer from an anxious cook laying down four or five different sauces. I don’t care how much you love your dill aioli, it’s doesn’t pair with banana ketchup and peach chutney. Pick one or two sauces for your burger, matching flavours you know work well together. Sauce should be applied conservatively with wetter sauces, like ketchup and mustard, applied to the bottom bun where they will touch the patty. Mayonnaise-based sauces can be spread on the base of the top bun since they won’t soak veggie toppings like their wetter counterparts.

Keep your veggies seasonal

A sandy, watery, out-of-season tomato wrecks a burger. Come wintertime, why not replace them with a few slices of pickled beetroot? You’ll be surprised by how beautifully they fit in your burger. Wintergreens like kale, chard and collards can serve as cold-weather substitutes for lettuce (especially if you give them a quick wilt in a pan). Onions and mushrooms are best when cooked and, if desirable, with a bit of bacon.

Meat isn’t all about fat

But it’s a little bit about fat. The best way to guarantee a better burger is to make your own patty from ground beef. I aim for approximately 15 to 20 percent fat seasoned only with salt and pepper. If you like the fast food-style burger, make a few small ¼ lb-patties pounded thin. If you want something medium-rare, shape a thick ⅓ lb-patty per serving. Most importantly—and perhaps controversially—don’t cook your burger on a grill. Use a cast-iron pan or flattop. The juicy fat will refract back up to the burger, multiplying the flavour and tenderness, rather than dripping off to burn away between the grill slats.

Toast your buns and assemble with care

You might do everything right only to have your burger fall apart en route to your mouth. It’s likely attributed to over stacking and a cold, untoasted bun. Consider too your plate as a whole. Classic as fries may be on a hot summer’s day a juicy burger needs a refreshing side. Opt for grilled asparagus and zucchini topped with a little lemon juice and zest and melted butter, or a green salad with roast corn.

What Every Foodie Needs In Their First Apartment

After weeks of searching PadMapper, questioning your future roommates’ intelligence and eventually losing yourself under piles of cardboard boxes, moving day arrives. Your first apartment is a young adult milestone like your first time booking a doctor’s appointment by yourself or discovering binge drinking isn’t worth the hangover. Yet amongst the thrill of independence, you’re likely to forget something. Let me ease your mind and provide you a list of your basic kitchen needs. You can survive on these few items until your next pay cheque arrives or you choose to delay paying off your credit card for another month—whichever comes first. For more indulgent (and fun) food apartment purchases, check out Danielle’s countdown of graduation-worthy kitchen gadgets.

what every foodie needs in their first apartment

Pasta pot and strainer

I am not accusing North American college and university students of a limited culinary imagination. However, they do eat a lot of spaghetti. And, honestly, after a move, who wants to cook anything more complicated? When you do return to or start exploring more demanding recipes a large pot covers most of the bases: boiling, frying and sautéing.


The spatula is another catch-all kitchen utensil. Purchase a sturdy, high-quality one though. Unlike a wooden spoon, you can stir, wipe down, spread and sauté with a spatula. It’s ideal for cooking as well as baking. Once you adopt a regular cooking routine, you’ll see what other utensils your needs require.

Can opener

It’s not until you unpack a can of chickpeas from your first grocery shop that you realize you have absolutely no means to access the legume inside of it. And no app, Google search or bout of tears can help you. Too often forgotten, can openers hold this odd power over us simple humans. So let me remind you again, before you go forgetting it again: buy a can opener. Now.

The trio: fork, spoon and knife

Sure, you can eat with your hands or lick your dinner clean off the plate, but the classic trio serve other purposes in the kitchen. Ketchup stuck in the bottle? Knife. Soup require taste test? Spoon. Toast stuck in the toaster? Fork. (JUST UNPLUG THE TOASTER FIRST THOUGH, DUDE.) Aim to purchase two sets per person in the apartment. It’ll save you eating off of dirty cutlery and endless washing-up as well as allowing for dinner parties down the road.

A proper knife

It makes both Danielle’s and my list for a reason: any cook (first-time or pro) needs a solid cutting knife. Like the can opener, it’s too often forgotten until the worse time. It slices open everything from onions, stubborn bags of potato chips and sometimes even fingers. If you have to skimp on any of the above items—even the spatula—at the very least invest in the knife. If you buy sensibly, it’ll last you numerous apartments. (Yes, you will likely have to move several more times in your life). Sensibility is key. Don’t choose anything, you’re too scared to touch let alone cut with.

3 Things You Need To Do Before The End Of Summer

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.

things you must do this summer

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.