ESN Summer Boredom Survival Guide
If you’ve found yourself stuck in a rut this summer, look no further! Our survival guide is here to save you.
You know what we all find funny about summer? Time! There are days when you simply don’t have enough time to do all the things you want to do and days when time passes so agonisingly slow it feels like forever. We haven’t found an effective way to add more hours to the day (yet), but as far as the second case goes, we’ve put together a list to help you make the most out of your summer holidays. Read it carefully and make sure to have nothing to regret on those cold winter days when you’re drowning under a wave of assignments (sorry for that but winter is coming).
Before you give up on this article, allow us to say this is not what you think it is. Travelling alone might seem like a bold move, but maybe all you need is a different perspective. There is this (uncredited) quote on social media saying: “You can do things alone, you don't have to depend on other people's social calendar. That's giving away the power over your own joy. Experience it on your own terms. Waiting for everyone else, just so that you can live and enjoy your own life, is a dead end road.” Travelling alone has so many benefits, but most importantly it’s a testament of faith in yourself. Do things while you can! There are plenty of services and apps out there for lone travellers on a budget, like Couchsurfing and VizEat (an ‘eat with a local’ app). In a way, using them equals more opportunities to meet new people and make some amazing memories.
Try a new hobby
Now let’s be honest: how many times have you looked at someone and thought “Wow, I wish I could do that!” but never even bothered trying? Or picked up a hobby you genuinely enjoyed but given up thinking you were not good enough? This does not sound like a mentality of champions, does it? Getting out of the rut requires breaking the circle of bad habits. So, all excuses aside: go to that cooking class, pick up your dad’s old guitar from the 80’s, write that poem that’s been in your head for a while... It might not go as well as you planned at first, but we promise you’ll feel great afterwards.
Take advantage of your skills
With or without a summer job, you probably wouldn’t mind earning a little extra cash. Why not take what you know best or even that new hobby of yours that we have mentioned above, and utilise them a little bit? You could teach kids how to play your favourite musical instrument, sell printed versions of your best scenery captures, or whatever else fills your time and fits your interests. It’s worth a shot!
Create a new tradition with your friends
If your budget is currently tight, or you are not able to travel for some other reasons, it’s really easy to feel trapped, especially if you live in a small town. You start feeling sick of the same old places, and barely anything seems exciting anymore. Here’s our suggestion: gather your friends and come up with a new tradition. It could be anything your heart desires: from nights out to camping in someone’s garden, from a mission to find the best burger place in town to playing games related to your childhood. No matter what your choice may be, killing the summer boredom is up to you!
Redecorate your room or apartment
This is another highly effective suggestion. If you are dwelling on the same unproductive energy, then upgrading your living space could be super energising! Rearrange your furniture, add a couple of pillows in cheerful colours or frame your favourite pictures. There are plenty of fun, budget-friendly, and easy ideas online if you need some inspiration. Also, try doing research in your area: there must be either vintage markets with hidden gems or new companies with low prices that might suit your vision. Living in a space that you find pleasing and calming is likely to become a major boost to your productivity!
Join a youth exchange programme
Youth exchange programmes allow young people to meet, live, and work together on a certain project, based on the principles of informal education. They are usually managed by youth organisations and funded by the EU. This is a perfect opportunity for low-budget travelling, as the participation fee is minimal, and your travelling expenses are refundable. In return you meet so many new people from all over Europe, not to mention all the new places you’ll get to see. Each country has different regulations, but there are plenty of websites and Facebook groups that publish youth exchange opportunities. If you would like to learn more about youth exchanges, this might be a good place to start! Don’t forget: #MobilityIsALifestyle.
Each of us has inner values we genuinely care about. Volunteering is a great way to act on those values; and it is vital for the smooth operation of communities, too. There is nothing more rewarding than contributing to something that’s close to your heart; the pride is truly indescribable. Take a little time to find out what makes you tick. Would you like to take part in organizing a local festival in your hometown? Or are you more into helping stray animals? How about contributing to the preservation of the marine environment? There are so many organisations that could use some help of a passionate volunteer like you!
Lastly, we would like to point out that what really matters is not a momentary change of a few parts of your life, but a general change of your attitude towards things that make you unhappy. We hope these suggestions will act like a catapult that will motivate you to tackle things on a bigger scale and maybe remind you that situations are what we make of them, no matter the season. If it helps, we do believe in you!