Apr 302012
Authors: Bayley Enright and Emily Kribs

Bayley Enright:

The ladies are wearing their short shorts, the gents are walking around in their aviators, and I’m eating ice cream for every meal. Summer must be here. Are you excited? I am. Mostly.

To be honest, I’m not a huge summer fan. Summer means my library is overrun by summer reading program participants hoping for coupons or free toys. But summer has its perks. My summer plans consist of the “Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” possibly “Spiderman,” definitely “Brave,” and along the way picking up enough money to see “The Hobbit” every night after its release. Yes, that is right. I intend to spend my summer days in a large, dark room staring at a gigantic screen. Problem? …Maybe I’ll go hiking, too.

But I need a break. It’s been a long semester full of reading, writing, tests and a fair amount of emotional breakdowns. School does that to you sometimes. And then there’s you –– responsible for only a tiny percentage of said breakdowns. You’ve put up with arguments about Batman, off-color comments about Shakespeare and excessive fangirling over “Hunger Games,” and I can’t thank you enough for it.

I’d like to leave you all with a final thought: brains. And I don’t mean that in the zombie way (really, please don’t get me into my feelings about zombies. They are many and unpopular). No, I mean brains in the context of smarts and cleverness. I mean brains as in something we all have, even if we neglect them sometimes. And most of us tend to neglect our brains a bit more than usual in the summer months.

The reasons are obvious. No school. No papers. The societal imperative to bake ourselves in the sun and walk around wearing so little we might as well be naked. You know, summer. Not too many people think of “summer” and “brainy” as very compatible things, because if there’s any time of the year you can get away with not being brainy, summer is the time for it.

But don’t let that happen this summer: Don’t neglect your brain. Go read a book or two. Go see a play. Watch something that makes you think. Do crossword puzzles. Hold a “Harry Potter” movie marathon –– that alone should take up most of your summer. But use your brain!

Emily Kribs:

Summer vacation tends to sneak up on me. I mean, I’ll be aware of it, but when it actually rolls around, I’ll be left in the dust of everyone else’s hasty evacuation, trying to grasp what this means. No… classes? I don’t understand. What will I do with all that free time?

Usually this lasts until about the next day when I dive in full force and sleep in until 3 p.m.

But that’s no way to spend summer vacation. So here’s my plan, and my dark, dorky secret: I have a list — a long list — of things I intend to do this summer.

Sure, there’s space in there for more spontaneous fun, and none of it’s set in stone, but even with sleep and a job and friends, there’s room for things like getting better at guitar (I suck at it) and getting through the Assassin’s Creed games, ideally before No. 3 comes out.

Maybe I can learn to cook something besides grilled cheese and microwave popcorn before I have to start feeding myself with any consistency. Maybe, just maybe, I can discover a world out there that doesn’t consist exclusively of video games and food.

While summer is a great time for taking a break from school and obligation, it’s also a great time for getting things done you’re too busy for during the semester. Mainly the ones you want to do, when possible, but if you’ve been putting off like, um. Painting your… kitchen? I don’t know your life. But get on it!

And yeah, you probably don’t want to let your brain turn off for the summer. I’m not saying you have to do something as radical as remember the date or anything, but maybe you could eat at a restaurant and figure out a tip, or calculate out your sleep schedule so when classes roll around again, you’re so off-schedule you’re back on it.

Or you could go to museums, read some books, teach yourself to code (I hear HTML isn’t hard), watch a movie in a different language, make arts and crafts with pipe cleaners and sequins, write a bad screenplay, make a vinegar-and-baking-soda volcano, try to build a computer and, when that doesn’t work out, build a birdhouse… with friends.

Whatever you do, thanks for reading.

 Posted by at 2:20 pm

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