As much as school does make me want to rip my own hair out at times, what with the stress, the constant assignments, the pressure — it really does provide me with structure. You see, it prevents me from my more dubious urges when boredom strikes. I can’t decide to make chicken nuggets at 2AM, or watch Netflix the entire day while in bed, or take 16 naps when there’s school the next day. Just a couple of hypothetical examples, of course.
During school, these things seem like a dream, but when you’re laying in bed over the summer, suddenly struck by the thought that you don’t really have any responsibilities, the line between relaxation and chronic boredom suddenly becomes very blurred. So what can you do about that?
1. Don’t Obsess Over the Next School/College Year
Seriously, you just came out of the clutches of your educational institution, and yes, important as it is for you to perfect your grades, (especially if you haven’t done as well as you thought), you really do deserve a break. Don’t burn yourself out! The future is important, but you also want to enjoy the present, and have a good past to look back on. Relax, and have faith in our Creator; everything will turn out alright.
2. Hang Out With Friends
This may seem like a very obvious solution, but it’s also very effective. You could plan all the things you’ve wanted to do before you got sucked into the vortex of exams, and now actually go out and do them. Go see that movie you’ve wanted to see for ages. Go on a hike. Go shopping. The possibilities are endless! It doesn’t have to be costly either. Some low cost/free ideas include; having a beach day, going to the park, a night in together etc.
3. Make New Friends
Stressful times often lead to people isolating themselves, and loneliness is an awful, horrible feeling. Reaching out to new people can be difficult, especially when you don’t have a lot of self-esteem, but building positive relationships is a key way to combat this. Joining sports teams, going to events, or reaching out to people from your past is a great way to do this.
4. Strengthen Your Faith
Sometimes, our feelings can take over and can lead us to abandon everything. And as much as we might hate to admit it, this includes our faith. It’s important to start small. Allah (SWT) is merciful, and will reward us for even “minor” acts. We can start with just reflecting and repenting, for Allah is forgiving. We can engage in dhikr, and try to remember Allah as much as possible. This is also a great time to make du’aa, especially when results day is looming.
Volunteering is a great way to help your community and to meet new people. It’s a great way to feel useful and needed, which are feelings you may lack during a holiday. This could even double as strengthening your faith by volunteering in a mosque. There are many placements available for everyone (even for those under 18)! It could be at a hospital, an animal shelter, or a library—there are even placements to cuddle newborn babies who don’t have a suitable mother figure in their lives.
6. Practice Self-Care
Self-care is incredibly important in your relationship with yourself. Everyone has their own way of doing self-care, and it doesn’t have to be a cookie cutter spa day or a bubble bath. It could be tidying up your room, or getting rid of clothes that don’t fit you anymore, or even working out. Anything that makes you feel good and will benefit you is an amazing solution.