Not Another List Of Ways To Have The Perfect Summer
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Not Another List Of Ways To Have The Perfect Summer

Now that I’ve unpacked my clothes it’s time to unpack the break part of summer break.

Not Another List Of Ways To Have The Perfect Summer

Summer break has just begun, and after hard spring semesters, with looming hard fall semesters, students everywhere feel the pressure to have the perfect summer break. According to the American calendar, I think everyone has the summer part on lock, but everyone takes a different approach to the "break" part of summer break, and I find myself pondering what the most effective way of taking a break is.

As a collegiate runner, I took a two-week rest from running after outdoor track ended and just began summer cross country training. Since I run three seasons a year without a substantial hiatus, those two weeks are a big deal and have shaped the way I look at the concept of taking a break. To me, taking a break is to go cold turkey. A break from running means no running. A break from school means nothing intellectually rigorous. Yes, most students are about to start summer jobs and internships and are no strangers to working through the summer, which could be its own article, but for the sake of this article, I’m considering how students fill their free time in the summer.

I’ve always marveled at those people who read in the summer. I have always loved to read, but have consciously postponed my reading for pleasure until I’m done with school. During the school year, I have too much required reading to read for fun. Then, during the summer, I adhere to my definition of taking a break and refuse to do any reading whatsoever, operating under the assumption that when it comes time for the fall semester and all the reading it throws my way, I’ll be fresh and ready to go.

However, I’m not sure if this is truly the best assumption or method. For example, on my first run back, I was nervous that something would go wrong. My form felt weird, as though I’d forgotten how to run. I felt some odd aches and pains as if my body were in shock from being asked to run the short distance I asked it to. While after long seasons I realize the importance of a physical break to allow for recuperation, that doesn’t take away from the fact that returning is hard. One reason my return was especially hard this summer is that I just got my wisdom teeth out so not only have I not been running but I haven’t been doing much of anything except sit on the couch and watch TV. Perhaps had I been semi-active over the past two weeks, it’d be easier to resume running. Perhaps the concept of a total break isn’t the most effective way to recharge and then resume an activity.

Similarly, with reading, I remember last fall readings took me much longer than they would have in the spring, and my note-taking was much less efficient. Just like I felt rusty on my first run back, I felt rusty at the start of last fall semester. While with running the need for a physical recess justifies the consequence of feeling a little rusty, it may be irresponsible to assume the need for a break from reading is comparable to that needed from running.

Maybe those people who read in the summer are onto something. Maybe instead of taking a total break from those activities that become work during the school year, we should instead opt to participate in those activities but make them fun again during the summer. Maybe the concept of a summer fling can apply to falling in love with all our favorite pastimes all over again instead of solely referring to hot and heavy romance that aspires to an ending like "Grease" or "The Notebook."

The debate over how to spend summers properly is not new, and if the musical "Hamilton" can be considered a source, and I say it can because I’m not about to do actual research in the summer, then even Eliza and Alexander Hamilton debated the proper way to “Take A Break. As a similar debate rages inside my head, I must admit that old habits die hard so I’ll probably stick to binge-watching TV instead of binge-reading all those books I’ve always meant to read. I guess that means my inner Eliza Hamilton is currently winning. However, I wrote this article, thought it was pretty fun, and writing is intellectual right? I think Alexander Hamilton would be proud.

Have a great summer!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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