Summer vacations seem like a lot of fun, but sometimes during your fifth Netflix marathon, or after the longest sleeping competition, you may feel a little bit bored. Are you always tired? Is your favourite season of Game of Thrones over? Now is the perfect time to start a new hobby!
“Well, yes… but how do I start?”, I hear you ask. Let me be your guide!
1. Take matters into your own hands… and create something from scratch!
It may sound weird, I know, but trust me - you won’t be disappointed. Why pottery? Firstly, the process of creating something on your own can help develop your brain. Using your creativity in an utterly new way and making something from scratch opens endless possibilities. Secondly, working with clay will relax your muscles and clear your mind. After the first pottery session, you’ll be really surprised how productive you can be in other areas.
Now you have some time to experiment and become the MasterChef. Try to make foreign recipes. Have you been on Erasmus? Great! I bet you tried something new. Aren’t you tempted to learn how to cook it? Invite your friends and get started!
Painting and drawing
Something avant-garde again, I know… But give it a try! Take a notebook or a piece of paper, your favourite pencil, and go somewhere. You should try to find a peaceful place like a botanical garden or a park. You don’t have to start straight away, just sit there and enjoy the nature. Can you hear those birds singing on a tree and wind wandering through the leaves? Good, now relax and listen to your mind. Close your eyes. What do you see? Open your eyes and draw it. Take your time, you can use any technique and just enjoy it.
Have you ever tried to find a certain piece of clothing and after five hours of shop hunting, you came back home with nothing? Seems familiar? Well, maybe it is time to try to make your own clothes. It’s not so hard, you don’t have to own a sewing machine (although it may help). You can find a multitude of DIY videos on YouTube. You just need to start!
2. Learn a new language
Nowadays, communication skills are extremely important, so why not try to polish them during your free time? Try to find something that you have always wanted to try. You can join organised classes, e-learning, or talk to a native speaker. There are many possibilities you can start with and during the learning process you will explore a whole different culture and maybe even make new friends!
3. Alors on danse… start a new dance
Popping, Locking, Hip-hop, Jazz, Ballet, Salsa, Latin ballroom, or even Krump, everyone can find something special. Dancing will encourage you to start new things, you’ll feel more confident, peaceful, and concentrated. Additionally, your body will become healthier and you will see some improvement in your mobility. You can also join summer dance camps around Europe (which are very popular nowadays). Workshops during the day and partying at night… you could take part in dance battles just like in the “Step UP” movie! So why not?
4. Create a herbarium
This is an old-fashioned one. Have you ever tried it? Go to the park and try looking for some mesmerising flowers or herbs. You will learn some useful things here. With that kind of knowledge you can even survive a zombie apocalypse…
That’s a tough one, but you can start anywhere. You don’t need special equipment, just your body and a pair of comfortable shoes. It will increase your stamina and determination. Your muscles will get stronger and you will run faster. Try to exercise in different places, gather your friends and make a group training. It could be a beginning of a new journey.
6. Bookworm session
And by that, I mean making a list of books (let’s say 10) you want to read and start ticking them off once you’ve read them. If you’re not sure what you want to read, try to find some lists on the internet or ask your friends and family. You can build stronger relations with other people, just ask them for their favourite book and later you can discuss it. Maybe you will get to know them better!
7. Visit new places around your hometown
Go exploring, find new cafes, interesting graffiti, monuments, and parks. We tend to travel a lot, but it’s quite common to not know our own cities. Why is that? Later, if one of your friends visits you, you can show them the best places around! You can also attend cultural events in your hometown.
Get know your local community! There are many interesting things to do!
8. Take care of your relatives and friends
It’s easy to meet new people, but there’s the real art to maintain those contacts. Talk to your friends, see if they are okay, simply listen to them. Finally, you have free time to give them your full attention. Your relationships will benefit from the time spent together.
Get to know your relatives better - go hiking with your brother or make a girls night with your sister. Maybe a family dinner with your parents? But no laziness, you need to prepare it together from the scratch. Another way to keep strong ties with your Erasmus friends, pals from your country, or even your relatives, could be writing hand-written letters to them. Later you can take out your secret box of letters and take a walk down memory lane.
Sharing is caring! Share your love and free time. You can help in the shelter, hospital, or with local activities. Join students’ organisations and be involved! Meet new people, help others, become a part of something bigger than yourself, and learn new things!
But be careful! Charity work can cause constant smiling and significant raise in good energy!
10. Adventure time… travelling around the world!
You can find cheap flights (soon it will be even easier with the help of your ESNcard and Ryanair), pack your suitcase, book a hotel (or sleep at your friend’s house), and go! The world is your oyster! Set a challenge for yourself. Plan a hiking trip in the Alps, go biking from the West to the East of Europe, go hitch hiking, or cross some rivers with friends. Start your own travel blog….
As you see, there are endless possibilities! The list is not over, please don’t hesitate to come up with other ideas to do during your summer and try them with your friends. You won’t be disappointed. Have an enjoyable, relaxing holiday, and remember to use sunscreen.