With nothing planned for the long summer, it can be easy to fall into a Netflix hole. Avoid the boredom with Eimear Kelly's top tips and activities for an unreal summer break.
For many people, summer is an exciting time full of exhilarating plans, adventures, travel etc.
 
However, for many others it can be a lengthy and rather boring few months. Summer jobs are dishearteningly hard to come by, money is often an issue for young people when it comes to socialising and the Irish weather is often a threat to our summers. It would be easy to fall head first into the wonderfully tempting world of Netflix, but there are more productive and enjoyable ways to spend the summer months.
 
In regards to staying occupied for the summer, it is easy to suggest festivals, travelling and nights out. Travelling can be made affordable, some festivals are actually inexpensive considering what they have to offer and nights out are an easy bet. However, these options aren’t so simple for everyone. Staying occupied during the summer can be a challenge and given that it is a break from assignments, presentations and exams, we would hope to enjoy it as much as we can.
 
For those of us who find it difficult to stay busy during the summer months, it is vital to be wary of the effects that boredom can have on our mental health. This means that it is crucial to do what you can to avoid a monotonous and mundane routine taking hold of you.
 
Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of student deals and offers. Places such as cinemas and gyms offer fantastic student rates. Many gyms offer 3 months of membership to students for reasonable prices and include a program to follow. Not only would gym membership give you a reason to be out and about, it would also encourage you to become more fit and healthy and provide you with something to work towards. Mentalhealth.ie says that ‘research has shown that exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good’. According to their website, some of the benefits include less stress and mental fatigue, a natural boost in energy levels, an improved sleeping pattern, a sense of achievement, motivation and a healthy appetite.
 
Visiting friends and family is a great way to spend time and socialise. Going for walks in the local park or at the beach is a favourable way to appreciate the fresh air, or by playing sports you enjoy. Reading books is a hugely beneficial pastime, and there truly is a book out there to suit every taste. Books are free to rent from the library so cost is not an issue. If you prefer to own books but are short of money to pay full price, remember that charity shops sell books for incredibly cheap prices.
 
The summer months provide the perfect opportunity to learn new skills you wish you had, or improve those which you already have. It’s also an ideal time to begin new hobbies you think you’d enjoy such as drawing, tennis, cycling, some form of art or music, darts; the list goes on. Why not brush up on your cooking or baking skills in preparation for next semester? Fun days out that are often affordable enough for students include pitch and putt or mini golf, a local swimming pool, or visiting the Cliffs of Moher or Irish landmarks that you may not have experienced before.
 
One reason why us students find it difficult to obtain jobs is purely due to a lack of experience or a rather plain looking CV. If you are unemployed for the summer months, volunteering is a wonderful plan. Again, all interests can be suited by the vast range of organisations all over the country. For those who adore animals, there are so many shelters with animals who need help and affection. If mental health interests you, enquire about volunteering for one of the many helpful organisations that desperately need assistance. Perhaps there is a certain illness close to your heart aided by an organisation which would appreciate all the support they can get. Whatever your appeal, there is a like-minded group of people out there. Not only will volunteering greatly boost your CV, knowing that you are investing time in helping those in need will have a beneficial effect on you.
 
So, there are plenty of ways to spend your summer holidays rather than binge-watching many, many series or being cooped up inside surrounded by technology. With these ideas amongst others, boredom will some become a thing of the past!