Let me just put this out there—not everyone has a car. With gas prices skyrocketing, insurance isn't getting any cheaper, and teen employment rates at an all-time low (speaking of which, anybody want to hire me? Please?), the routine of watching reruns of daytime television starts to get a little stale around week two for everyone stuck at home (unless you're watching "Gilmore Girls" because that never gets old).
If, like me, you're a recent high school graduate (kudos to you!), the summer gets a bit more agonizing than usual. By Day 8, you've realized all of your summer plans of reuniting with your German pen pal and finishing the entire series of "Scrubs" is completely unrealistic. By Day 13, you've ignored your Twitter and Facebook accounts because you're tired of reading about your friends' summer jobs/overseas trips/paid internships/full-ride scholarships. By Day 17, you, a poor fun-deprived puppy, start writing a truly awful Harry Potter fanfiction about how Ginny the lamp falls into a coma, and Harry begins to fall in love you, Dr. ShapelyPearMuffin, the head physician at St. Mungo's instead. By Day 21, you realize that your day counting is two days off. Ugh, talk about major revision in your diary.
Here are seven (productive) ways to keep your precious little brain from going insane while waiting for the next step in your life.
- Get A Job! Or at least try to. It's no easy feat, but you have to at least try. Many fast-food places and supermarkets will let people apply online nowadays. Also, make the most of any time spent outside of your house! If you're friendly with neighbors, offer to cut their lawn or baby-sit. When you're in the car ordering your Whopper with cheese, don't be afraid to ask if they can put a side of "Can I get a job with that shake?" It also doesn't hurt to have a resume (which you can always make at home, without even moving from the couch).
- Three Words: Forms, Forms, and oh yeah um, Forms Just because you're done applying for [enter post-secondary plan here] doesn't mean you're done preparing for it. Going to take a year off? Make sure your school knows you're postponing/ preparations are made for what you're going to do (be productive!) Going out of the country soon? Make sure you have all of your shots, lodging arrangements, and passport. Going into Armed Services? Triple-check when you're supposed to leave and any other information you're supposed to give. Going to College? Make sure your family information, financial aid documents, housing application, health forms, and placement tests (if you need them) are taken care of.
- Three More Words: Words With Friends For some odd reason, even friends with jobs won't hesitate to play this very addictive game. Sure, this activity won't thrill others in the horribly cliche ice-breaker games we all have to play this fall, but it's bound to increase your vocabulary...and your headaches. Seriously how is "ex" a word but "aide" isn't?!
- Please and Thank You Remember how happy you were when you received money in mail, and you thought, "All this for graduating high school? Yahoo!" Well, as happy as you were to receive the gifts I'm sure the people who gave it to you would be just as happy to receive some gratitude for it. Pick up some forever stamps, envelopes, and small blank thank you cards. Hand-write each one (here's a website for some tips if you don't know how to get started), and you'll feel like the hundred bucks you received from Aunt Judy once you're finished.
- Help Someone Okay, so you live in a place that's only drive-accessible? You can still get human-interaction. If you have younger siblings, baby-sit to give your parents a break, and instead of watching their brains turn to mush from all the Dora "And what was your favorite part?" Explorer reruns, take them outside for a walk, hide-in-seek, or even cloud watching. If your parents work during the day, clean the kitchen, the living room, clean the whole house, if it behooves you! I have yet to meet one adult who HATES coming home to a clean house, so it's worth a shot.
- Make A Plan and Stick To It It's so easy to procrastinate during the summer because the days are so long, and it's so easy to sleep and...zzzzz Oh! Sorry about that. See how easy it is? But don't give in! If you make a plan to re-claim your nerd card by having a Star Wars/Harry Potter/LOTR/Marvel vs. DC movie marathon, then don't forget the popcorn and Every Flavor Jelly beans! Stick to the plan, but don't make too many. Your brain may get overwhelmed, disappointed, lazy, and just..zzzzzzz.
- Daydream then Do Something About It As much I'd love for the six hundred dollars I need for orientation to just fall out of the sky and Fred Weasley to not die and suddenly decide to marry me and make all my financial aid worries disappear, I know that won't happen. Heck, I'd settle for being able to come up with orientation money by being able to write from home, but I know how unlikely that it is, too. So I try to be a bit more realistic, hopefully submitting posts to SparkLife, shamelessly plugging my blog (*cough* Monty's Mayhem *cough*) every moment I get, and saying again, please hire me! I'm a prize, even Fred Weasley knows it!
Post by MontyMayhem
Are you desperately in need of something to do this summer?