Four non-obvious things to do on summer break

June 29, 2015
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You’re lying on the couch, reciting lines from Friends back to your TV set in between mouthfuls of popcorn. You know every line by heart, because you’re already on your second loop of the series since you went on uni break – and you’re only four days in.

You laugh pathetically as you recall your far-gone plans to get your life together these holidays. Who were you kidding? Joining the gym requires a little thing called an income, and what’s the point in getting eight hours of sleep when you’re only going to transition from your bed back to the couch the next morning?

Two days ago, this seemed like a pretty darn nice start to the holidays. But now the days are melting into a vague blur, and the dimming light outside is the only hint that it might be time to start “cooking up” some mi goreng for tea.

Sure, rolling around like a vegetable was a nice change from the stresses of final exams, but – call the doctor – you now find yourself craving some fresh air and brain activity.

Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling.

Learn a new party trick

Ease yourself out of your vegetable state by learning a cool new skill that’ll pull crowds at your next social event. Always dreamt of being able to crack out a few magic tricks? Now’s the time to learn.

As a kid I was desperate to be able to wolf whistle. The best and finest in the field tutored me patiently with all their expert techniques, but to no avail. I simply never got it. Years on and all it took was a bout of intense boredom and a couple of DIY YouTube vids for me to crack it. Moral of the story: with enough spare hours and a bored mind, you can achieve anything!


All that crap that’s been piling up in your life – get rid of it. Uni break is the best time to kill bad habits, as you’re no longer stuck in your old study/work routine and can distract yourself with other activities. Not having the dosh for a gym membership doesn’t mean that you can’t commit to the 30-day Squat Challenge

Your detox could be as simple as cleaning all the junk out of your room, or as challenging as quitting smoking – and these can all be done from the comfort of home without emptying your pockets.

Get smart

Just because you're not at uni, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn new things. Use your time to obtain qualifications that will increase your employability; think personal training courses, bar courses and First Aid courses. You can even undertake accredited diplomas online in fields such as hospitality, business management, childcare and marketing. Certifications look great on your resume and will put you ahead of other competition in the job market.


If you’ve been interested in getting involved with some community work but are short on hours during semester, now’s the time to ask around. Volunteering doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment; you can do as little or as much as you’d like. Your help will be greatly appreciated and makes a bigger difference than you’d imagine, and it allows full-time volunteers to take some time off.

Hannah Hughes

Hannah is passionate about lime milkshakes. She also enjoys befriending ducks at the University of Wollongong, where she studies law and journalism.

Image: Chris Hsia, Flickr Creative Commons license