College students these days want to study everything. I look around me and there are individuals ranging from getting dual degrees to having what seems 4 majors and 7 minors.
And to top it all off, students are attempting to achieve this all in 4 years. With aspirations this large, it is hard to avoid the necessary extra semesters to ensure that graduation occurs on time.
I have taken Maymester classes every single year in my time at JMU, and I would say although irritating at times, I would be a lot more stressed having to take these courses along with my other coursework and extracurriculars during the semester, rather than in May when I don't have much going on.
However, this final Maymester, the class I took was only four days long, which was a rarity for me. Having spare time is a gift that I don't get very often, so if you happen to have a little bit of extra "me-time" this month, here are a few things you can do to fill it.
1. Not panic over the fact that you actually have extra time to yourself.
I am so used to being so busy, that I tend to feel like there is something that I am missing when I have a few extra seconds of spare time. I find myself more stressed when I am free, then when I have heaps of work to do.
2. Read for pleasure.
An unheard-of concept as our lives are frequently consumed by school work. From having to read nine different novels for your humanities gen-ed, to simply not have time to eat let alone read a book that you want to enjoy, now you have the chance to devote at least a small portion of your day to losing yourself amongst characters and a story that has the ability to take you to a different world.
3. Catch up on that Netflix show everyone is raving about.
Another lost concept during the semester, Netflix rarely happens when a boat-load of papers and tests stand in the way. So while you have gone the entire semester hearing everyone else talk about how they stayed up way to late watching "Shameless", or that their guilty pleasure is "The Great British Bake Off," now is your chance to join the party and catch up on the first season of "Riverdale" before season two launches on Netflix this month!
4. Learn to cook. Something.
It could simply be learning how to correctly boil pasta or scramble an egg. We aren't looking for complicated, but part of being an adult is being able to feed yourself. And if you are riding the "broke college student" train like I am, you can only afford to buy yourself food for so long. So with the loss of a meal plan and $2 pizza for the next couple of months, at least be able to cook something basic without burning the house down.
5. Make some money.
While you could spend all of this free time sleeping (valid), earning a little extra cash doesn't hurt. So give yourself a little extra cushion to buy some gas and maybe an extra $2 slice (also alcohol money), and find yourself a part time job. Also every person should work a job in the customer service industry at some point in their life, working a job, it truly changes you as a person.
Why not fuel the impending boredom with an active lifestyle? Take up an exercise that you would have never tried, conquer your fear of attending a group fitness class, take up running. While it is important to relax, finding balance is always important. Even if you aren't a gym person, taking a walk outside or going hiking allows you to get exercise without even realizing it.
7. Go on an adventure.
You have all of this spare time to explore places that you have always wanted to go to, but never had the time to. Go for a drive and get lost, travel to a city that you have wanted to explore, find an overlook, go stargazing, take a little bit of a risk. Sometimes not having a destination can lead to some awesome discoveries, so try it.
8. Do absolutely nothing.
There is nothing wrong with this either. You have spent the last couple of months slaving over your school work and the stress of the semester, you deserve some time off! Sometimes doing absolutely nothing is the best reward, so feel free to revel in that for a bit as well.
As we get older, we only get so many more summer breaks before we enter into the professional world. So take this opportunity to catch up with people, try new things, and have fun. Be a kid again, explore, self-care, and enjoy these couple of months off. You worked hard, and you deserve it.