Summer Break: A Treasured Waste of Time, Or Is It?

The title for this post may seem a bit bold, as many do enjoy their summer vacations and take great pride in them. Let me assure you that I am no exception, even though my usual summer day consists largely of spending several hours reading and even more watching the telly. (Please excuse my brief use of a foreign vernacular as I have been watching a lot of British television recently). Regardless, I try to do what I enjoy during this limited time of leisure; don’t we all? This year, it is largely the same case, but I have changes in mind.

Yesterday, I was reading a poem that Richard X. Thripp had authored and posted to his blog. I do not want it to frequently appear as if most of my motivations are the indirect result of actions and choices made by my cousin, but as no one is entirely independent in how he or she form ideas, and as it supports my point in this case, I will again concede to receiving some inspiration that resulted from reading this poem of his. What I gleamed was the thought that perhaps I could be utilizing my free time in much more productive, exercising and yet, satisfying way.

I thought that instead of re-watching the BBC’s Sherlock, as well as the entire original Indiana Jones film trilogy, I might be able to shift my priorities to any number of productive goals. For example, I could work towards a fitness goal, I could try to master a few more piano pieces that have piqued my interest, (a work in progress), or I could simply focus on attempting to reawaken my writing desire. I do enjoy the feeling that comes with getting a good idea and figuratively “penning” it, an old time expression that regretfully fades dramatically in its past ability to elicit interest when in the face of the modern world’s technology. And as Jack London, author of The Call of the Wild (1903) once famously stated, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

Yes, the possibilities are many, and the time is limited. The purpose of this post is not for me to imitate your boring Science teacher who encourages you on the last day of school to achieve some seemingly tedious and time-consuming educational goals for yourself over the summer. Rather, my intention is to try and motivate you to make a personal decision to spend your time wisely. And while you may be surprised at how much joy you can find in voluntarily subjecting yourself to a learning experience, simple goals unrelated to your academic pursuits can ultimately be just as satisfying and helpful to you in the coming school year.

To elaborate, I say that by striving to meet what may even seem to you as a interesting but miniscule or irrelevant goal over the summer, you are setting yourself up for a positive emotional outcome. Assuming that you effectivly meet your goal without procrastinating, you will strengthen your work ethic and this may positively affect your study habits in the coming school term. If you choose to simply “relax” away the free time that you have, as was previously my resolve, you will likely find it very hard to adjust when you resume your work, as you will be moving immediately from a schedule in which you had no priorities into one that will require you to have many.

In summary, you are faced with a decision in regard to your summer break: you can abide by set goals of your choice, which can only have a positive effect on your education and your outlook on life, or you can risk a potential slump in your good study habits by not evaluating the time you have and how you should use it; putting yourself in quite a difficult rut to bounce back from, as I know from past experience. However you weigh your options, remember some of your larger, future goals. Once you see that life is a figurative road-map, you will realize that smaller decisions along the way become easier to make when you know where you’re going; when you plan for the future.

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