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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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I don't know what I did this summer
delirium happy
My exams start in something like three and a half weeks time, and then finish something like a couple of weeks later, around the start of June. Then (providing I pass them, at least) that's it for university until October. By my reckoning that means that I have four free months over the summer, and not much idea what I'm going to do with them. So let's see what I can come up with in the way of ideas.

1. Do nothing. Sleep, play computer games and constantly refresh my friends page.

Advantages: Well, it's certainly the easy option, if nothing else. It requires approximately no effort and has very little that can go wrong with it. It also ensures that I'm certain to get enough rest time, and by the time the next academic year starts I'll be totally recharged, and probably eager to go back to classes, due to being bored out of my mind.

Disadvantages: Boring. Boring. Boring. Also, bad for me in the long run, as it reinforces the old "do nothing" habits of depression. At some point, I really need to start doing something slightly more interesting with my life.

2. Catch up on the little things. Make sure I'm really properly caught up on uni work. Finish furnishing and decorating my flat. Have those various niggling medical ailments seen to. And so on.

Advantages: The little things matter. If I could manage to get done all those things that are in my head as things to do "some day" but which I'm generally too exhausted for during term times, then it would notably improve my overall quality of life.

Disadvantages: Dull. I know that I'd have very little motivation to get this sort of thing done, so if I planned for a full summer of this it would probably turn into a full summer of doing nothing.

3. Get a job.

Advantages: Having extra money is generally useful. Having some sort of regular routine would probably also be good for me. Would be handy to put on a CV.

Disadvantages: I seriously doubt my ability to hold down a job without having a nervous breakdown at this point. Any employment over the summer would be temporary stuff, and would most probably be of the soul-destroying kind. I'd end up with no energy to do anything else at all, and would probably be completely drained throughout the next academic year.

4. Do some voluntary work somewhere.

Advantages: Routine is good. Would look good on a CV. Probably much more flexibility in terms of the amount of time I'd have to devote. The warm fuzzy feeling of Doing The Right Thing.

Disadvantages: I wouldn't have the slightest clue where to start looking. Still a risk of it doing something bad to my mental health and stability.

5. Do something somewhat akin to rhoisnuts once again.

Advantages: Any excuse to do stupid things and make a fool out of myself. Raise money for charity.

Disadvantages: Not many. Could be a pain to organise. Is hardly something that would take up all (or even a significant part of) the summer.

6. Take up a hobby, pursue other academic interests, or throw myself at a big project.

Advantages: There must be all sorts of different things that I could do or learn in four months. And a four month period like this is the perfect chance to do so. Could keep me busy without necessarily having to feel as if I'm really doing all that much.

Disadvantages: There's nothing that particularly fills me with enthusiasm, so I'd probably be half-hearted over anything I tried. Also a risk of turning into a summer of doing nothing.

7. Travel. Most probably either to Ireland, or to New England.

Advantages: Spend time with people who don't suck. See new places. Have people around to hit me with sticks and make me actually do things. If I go to New England then possibly manage to shut up jpallan and sarianna from constantly (and independantly) nagging me to go over there and visit.

Disadvantegs: Travel costs money. Alone time and safe space is generally harder to come by when away from home. If I go to the USA, then there are the various horror stories of what their airport sercurity is now like. Meeting me could scar Jess's kids for life.

8. Something else. I'm sure there must be several things I've forgotten, and many more I haven't even thought of.

Advantages: They are the coolest things ever that would completely transform my life for the better.

Disadvantages: I don't know what they are.

Any thoughts and suggestions? Which of these should I do? Which are monumentally bad ideas? Do you have any other ideas? And so on. In fact, let's put a poll here because polls are fun, but please comment anyway if you have any thoughts.

Poll #484202 summer

What should I do this summer?

1. Nothing
2. Catch up on the little things
3. Get a job
4. Voluntary work
5. Daft things in the name of charity fundraising
6. Some sort of hobby or project
7. Travel
8. I have some other brilliant idea which I'm going to tell you in a comment

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I say do any combination of the above that takes your fancy at the time. Just no actual work. Voluntary one day a week might help (pop into your local charity shops or whatever - maybe drop-in centres for the homeless or something) and see if they want people to help out. Just one day a week contact with people like that was kind of cool when I was helping out at the college. Any more, would have killed me. You don't want to be wiping yourself out before you even get back to uni.

Think of a project, and half-heart at it; when you get bored, do one of your list of Little Things; find a part-time job (probably volutnary) to get you up and out of the house once a week so that if you have lapsed you can have a fresh start; see if there's interest in sponsering you to do daft things and if so how much time the sponsorees want; plan one trip someone to people you know will respect your boundaries, quite early in the holiday, and then you'll know if you can cope with further travel.

I think you should do a combination of the above.

I think you should spent portions of your summer doing nothing, maybe a few hours each day and try to get enough sleep, but I think any more than a few hours each day or an entire day once a week or so can get you into the cycle of depression where you're depressed because you're bored and not doing anything and end up being too depressed to actually do anything, which just keeps getting worse. But doing nothing in small doses is healthy and if you don't spend some time doing nothing, you'll also go batshit from being overprogrammed.

I think you should devote some time to catching up on little things, but for Pete's sake, not the whole summer. The little things are important, but like you said, they are incredibly dull. Maybe "once a week, or once a fortnight I'll do one of the little things, and if I do one of those then I can reward myself with $something" I've find "you can play one level of an adom game" does wonders for getting me to do smaller little things around the house (pick up my socks, wash one dish) and "play a whole adom game" would work well for larger things. also "do $nifty-thing you've been wanting to do but never took the time out to do" as reward for getting a little thing done.

travelling for four months would be hella expensive but travelling for a short while would be less so and if the person you're staying with groks the "i need quiet time" aspect of things, you should be okay.


I'd say some sort of combination of all of the above - you should definitely do 2 while you've got some spare time - maybe devote a week to sorting out all those little things 'cos the chances are that if you don't spend some time sorting them out while you've got spare time, they'll come back to haunt you when you haven't got time to sort them out.

I'd also say you should consider looking for a job - you aren't going to know how you react to a job until you try it, and the longer you spend going 'I think I'll have a nervous breakdown if I get a job' the more likely it is that you will react that way. Look around your department at uni - is anyone looking for a research assistant? Look at your students' union - are they looking for people to do jobs over the summer? - getting advertising/looking after summer school students/freshers' fair organising. I think in your case it's more that you need to be careful in your selection of jobs than that you need to avoid paid work all together. You don't have to work full time if you don't want to and there should be no reason why work'll leave you feeling drained in October (IME, the first couple of weeks doing something new are always exhausting, but then everything calms down) and you can always stop working in the middle of September to give yourself a couple of weeks completely free before term starts.

Guess I'd better nag you to visit New England more often. ;)

I do like the "do several!" option. Its hard to say you should only do one thing... and maybe you can do some of them in New England.

If you do come to New England, you've got to visit Vermont/Maine at least for a day or two. They're purty.

oh, and RI, too. ;)

come see meeeee.

You will have an enormous advantage with my kids -- they're not prejudiced. They like odd people. They will undoubtedly question a few things, but without judging it.

The first time they saw black people:

"Mom, why is his skin that color?" "Well, your skin is a color like your mom's and your dad's, and his skin is a color like his mom's and his dad's." "OK."

This morning:

"Chris, why aren't you wearing nail polish?" "Well, Jules, men just don't tend to wear nail polish all that much." "But it's pretty!" "You're right, it is."

:) You wouldn't scar them for life, but they'd probably worship you for the duration of your visit.

And frankly, when will you have *time* to bum around in another country after you graduate?

I'd say a mix of doing a project, and getting out & travelling a bit.

While you've got lots of very good ideas, 2), 3), 4), 6), 7) are very good tho job with money is hard to find esp if you're only doing it for 3 months - volunary work would be better, look good on your CV and you'd get warm fuzzies....

But anyway my "not so brilliant" idea is why not prepare for your following year? Find out what's involved, and start on reading/working/whatever? That of course can be done in conjuction with any of the ideas you've mentioned.

Re 2, my suggestion:
Invite a friend over every now and again to either (a) help you with the "little things" amenable to teamwork or (b) entertain you with interesting conversation while you do solo "little things" suitable for doing in company.

Travel for a little while, catch up on stuff, and start a project but don't finish it without feeling guilty. Yes, I have an ulterior motive--but then, who doesn't want to see their friends? *hugs*

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