Many of us struggle to find the balance between work and play. I know that when I’m on vacation, it’s hard for me to focus on doing anything I’m not interested it in at that very second. Especially, during the summer between high school and college, students are left with almost no responsibilities and three months to ponder.
As a recent high school graduate, I thought I’d set some goals to accomplish during my vacation. I know it may seem silly to plan ‘serious’ things during a vacation, but I think that a little bit of planning can go a long way. My goals are two, they can be achieved anywhere, and they are a perfect way to maintain some of the structure students are used to have every day:
1. Read one book a week
As someone who struggles to just sit down and crack a book open, I have found that by setting myself this goal ahead of time, I can actually make myself enjoy reading. Studies have shown that students lose a tremendous amount of what they learned from the previous year during the summer because they don’t work their brain.
Reading will not only help ‘upkeep’ but it will also open up your world to the infinite others lying hidden in books. Before I begin each book, I see how many pages there are and divide that by the number of days I want to finish it in. Thanks to this goal, I’ve started to notice huge changes in my reading habits, and my diction has grown greatly.
2. Exercise 30 minutes a day
As a disclaimer, I think this mainly applies to extended vacations. It’s so easy to forget about the health of your body when you’re lying on the beach in the Caribbean or enjoying rich fare in France. Exercising every day allows me to stay healthy even during a very delicious trip.
I have two exercises that don’t require any equipment. The first one is just to jog for thirty minutes, for me that is about 1.5-2 miles. You might think that jogging would take away time from a trip, but it’s actually an awesome way to get to know your destination. The second exercise that I do is 10 push-ups, 30 sit-ups, and 15 squats. I will repeat this rotation for 30 minutes, usually with an episode of “Friends” or “That 70’s Show” to keep me entertained.
What I recommend, and keep in mind that while I have experience in this exercise, I’m not a trained professional, is to raise each exercise by five every time you feel it’s becoming a bit easy. Exercising every day during vacation has actually made me more energized and ready to explore my location, while at the same time making sure that my body is healthy and in shape.
These two goals are a perfect way to enjoy summer while making sure that you keep some structure and don’t lose what you’ve gained through the school year. Enjoy your summer!
This is a guest post by Noa Livneh, a high school graduate in the San Francisco Bay Area.