by Shirley Donlon
For most of us, the college year has come to an end which means one thing – summer has arrived! After weeks of stressing, studying and cramming I’m sure that everyone is now looking forward to a well deserved break but with so much spare time it can be hard to know what to do first. With the help of this ready-made summer bucket list you can prepare to have an unforgettable summer.
Travelling is by far one of the best ways to spend your summer. I mean, how often are we going to have over three months completely free from responsibility? We need to make the most of our summers as students by travelling. Whether you wish to enjoy a relaxing two week break in the sun with a couple of your best friends or go crazy and enjoy a holiday of partying there are many choices of different places to go.
Another amazing option for getting the travelling bug out of your system is to have the experience of a lifetime and go on a three month J1 working trip. This is a great way to experience a different culture, become more independent and also get some work experience on your CV.
If flying isn’t your thing, don’t worry, our own little island has so many hidden treasures and wonderful places to explore during the summer. From a surfing trip on the West coast to a hike up the mountains of Glendalough, Ireland will certainly keep you busy during the summer months.
- Summer Barbecue
A summer barbecue is a great way to catch up with friends who you don’t see as often as you’d like and with the expense of student life it’s safe to say money can be a bit tight after a year of paying for campus accommodation and going on endless nights out to Diceys. Save your money by whipping up some home-made burgers and catching up with friends in the evening instead of going to a restaurant.
The summertime is the perfect time to go to a music festival and with so many to choose from you’re sure to find one that will appeal to you. Festivals have become increasingly popular in recent years and some of the world’s best singers, DJ’s and musicians are getting more and more involved each year. All we’ve been seeing for the past couple of weeks is photos of Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Vanessa Hudgens, Cara Delevingne and lots more celebs as they enjoyed the renowned music festival that is Coachella. And while most of us will never be so lucky to make it to Coachella (sigh) it’s okay because Ireland hosts many of the best Summer music festivals around – Longtitude, Electric Picnic, Forbidden Fruit. Tickets can be pricey and sell out really fast so make sure to grab yours before it is too late!
- Exercise Outside
Okay, I know this isn’t as exciting as the others mentioned above but summer is the perfect opportunity to swap the gym for a nice long run on the beach or through the park. It isn’t often that we get nice weather so exercise outside this summer and make the most of the sunshine! Plus, exercising outside will help you get that summer glow J
Whether it’s in the woods, on the beach or in your own back garden, camping is such a fun thing to do in the summer. All you need is a tent, some warm pyjamas, a group of friends and obviously some marshmallows for toasting. Just remember, it is always a good idea to use the toilet BEFORE getting set up for camping – there is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night, in a tent, needing to go to the toilet!
- Cocktail Party
What better way to celebrate the end of exams and the stress of the college year than with a cocktail party? Whether you’re getting ready to go out afterwards or simply having a chill night in with the girls, a cocktail party is the perfect chance to catch up, have fun and relax with friends. Here are two simple recipes for your own home-made cocktails. Enjoy! (Feel free to leave out the alcohol for a yummy non-alcoholic drink.)
Sea Breeze Cocktail
1 Part Vodka
1 Part Grapefruit/Pineapple Juice
3 Parts Cranberry Juice
1 Part Vodka
1 Part Peach Schnapps
4 Parts Cranberry Juice
- Spice up your look!
It is always tempting to change up your look during the year but sometimes the fear of it turning out badly and having to go into work or college to showcase your new look can be enough to stop you doing it. The summer is the perfect time to be adventurous and try out that style that you’ve always wanted to. Use the three months to experiment with different looks and have fun with it. Whether you feel like dying your hair a new colour, wearing something you’ve never worn before or doing something you have always wanted to there is no better time to do so than during the summer months. If hair is your thing, follow in the footsteps of Kylie Jenner by adding a pop of colour to the tips of your hair using hair chalk or hair dye. If you’re not feeling that daring, try spicing up your style by buying something you’ve always wanted to wear.
- Go on an Adventure
Ireland has so many great attractions. For those of us who are staying home for the summer this is a great opportunity to explore the great hidden treasures that Ireland has to offer. Go on a group surfing trip in Lahinch, Co.Clare or take a visit to Carlingford Adventure Centre in Co. Louth for a weekend filled with activities such as rock climbing, kayaking, zip-lining and more. If you and your friends are the spontaneous type (and are lucky enough to own a car) go on a road trip and see where it takes you!
- Charity Work
During the summer there are lots of options to get involved in raising some money for a great cause. In Ireland there are many different organisations that encourage students to get involved and volunteer to do some charity work. There is a variety of marathons and races that raise money for charity running through the summer months. Gather a group of friends and take part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon on June 1st and run, walk or jog for a great cause.
Finally, if you’re feeling exhausted after a year of doing assignments and exams it is important to relax and enjoy your well deserved break from college. Don’t feel like you have to keep busy every single day. Sometimes all you need is a good rest.
Enjoy your summer!