The long vacation can seem like a distant dream when you are struggling through your first fifth week blues or experiencing the vicious chill of your first February in Oxford, but once you’ve dropped your books back home it seems to whizz past like a freight train. As we approach the half-way point, OxStu provides a guide to making the most out of what’s left of your summer holiday.
Firstly, you should drink a lot. Unless of course, you don’t drink: it would be stupid to start now. Celebrate the fact that you have made it through the past year without any major essay disasters. Meet up with your home friends and visit those god-awful clubs of your teenage years. Go and visit friends from College in their home towns; you never know, there might be a great nightlife scene on the Shetland Islands. Then, stop drinking – for a short while at least. I know it sounds boring but your liver needs a rest. Plus if you take a break from drinking now then your tolerance will go down, making Michaelmas drinking a whole lot cheaper!
To accompany your temporarily alcohol free lifestyle, get as much sleep as you can. If you haven’t already, make sure you take a week or so to just be really lazy. No getting up before nine o’clock at the earliest and after that you should only leave the sofa for drinks, food and toilet trips. You should also indulge in reading celebrity magazines and watch hours of trashy TV. If catching up on reruns of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” or “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” is not your thing, then catch up on one of those series everyone tells you that you MUST watch, like “Game of Thrones” or “Luther.”
When you are done sleeping, do something that will reignite your passion for your subject. And of course do anything your tutors have told you to do. Read a book about something that interested you last year, or watch some subject related documentaries. Alternatively, if the idea of thinking about your subject still makes you nauseous, why not do something that will improve your CV, whilst still being fun? Take a play to the Fringe, write for a student newspaper (ahem) or do some cool work experience. If you can’t find anything interesting or relevant, then consider getting a part time job so you have more money to spend next year.
If you still have the money, travel. Go interrailing around Europe or explore parts of Asia. Have a “gap summer” and tour around South America or visit Indonesia, to get rid of that “I wish I’d gone on a gap year” feeling that mysteriously appears whenever you are handed a boring essay title. Whilst you’ll hopefully have more money when you are older, you’ll probably never have this much free time, so make the most of it by travelling to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.
Ultimately, the perfect long vac is a mixture between relaxation and adventure. Do whatever you want, just don’t waste the vac on too much further reading.