Teenage

5 Things to do this summer

by CHARLENE BUCHANAN

Monday, May 20, 2019

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You've been waiting for this since the end of Christmas break, and now it's almost here: summer vacation!

Whether you're going through it right now with CSEC or CAPE exams or you're awaiting end-of-year exams, summer break is nearer than you think, and there is a light (and lots of summer sunshine) at the end of the tunnel.

But before you break into a praise dance or start singing for joy, read below for some advice on how best to maximize your time this Summer.

Do something different

As a confirmed creature of habit, I'll be the first to do the same old same old. But even I know that can get boring really quickly. If you want this summer to be different (read: better) than the last one, be different! Do something different! Try a different genre of books or music or movies, try out a new haircut or hairstyle, go someplace you've never gone before.

But...

Budgetfor itand/plan ahead

One of my Brownie leaders always used to say, 'If you fail to plan you've planned to fail'. Instead of merely dreaming of all the fun you can have this summer, make some plans and commit to them. Your glorious three month long vacation can become a living nightmare if you have no money or means to do the fun things you want to do. Avoid being the one with no cash to flash by saving ahead (start now, if you haven't already) for the things you know you'll want to do. Resist the temptation to spend that extra $100, $500 or even $20 frivolously now, and you'll be glad you didn't when you're going to the movies with friends, hitting the beach in your new swimsuit, going out to eat or partying it up this summer.

Get a job

Maybe saving so far ahead isn't your thing, but gaining valuable work experience and some money this summer can be your thing. Click here for further advice on securing the bag by securing a job opportunity over the break.

Learn a new skill

Hey you, yes you! It's time for you to finally learn how to cook or dance, or how to sew or play an instrument. All across the island various organisations and schools will be hosting programmes and courses. Pick a thing you need to learn how to do, or one you need to improve on or have always wanted to try out, and do a little research. There will be courses of varying lengths, intensities and costs, so be sure to pick the one that's right for you (i.e. your attention span and your pocket). But if paying to learn or attending class of any form during the summer sounds ridiculous, you can always turn to YouTube for various tutorials.

Side note: Online businesses are booming. Learning a skill now, working towards mastering it, then starting a business online could be a great avenue for earning an income for you, even while you attend school or prepare to leave high school.

Revisit an old hobby

Rediscover the joy of whatever you used to love doing but didn't have time to do during the busy school year. For me that means reading Nancy Drew books and watching my old favourite cartoons and television series.

Look, CAPE is hard, CSEC is hard, school exams overall can be brutal, but resist the urge nevertheless to make summer plans as an attempt at escapism or merely as a way to distract yourself from school.

Whether it's as small as making a summer reading list or a movie/TV/Netflix watch list, have a plan of action this summer and make actual strides towards achieving your goal(s). Don't be the guy or girl that did absolutely nothing all summer, or the one that had the most plans in May and the least to show for them in September. Plan ahead to get ahead. Happy almost-Summer!

--Charlene Buchanan


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