4 Quick Tips for Keeping Your Brain Active Over Summer
Most college students take a break from their studies during the summer. This can be a useful time for you to re-focus and re-charge your brain. But how exactly do you do that? (Especially when it's oh-so-tempting to binge watch seasons of Game of Thrones on Netflix.) Not that you shouldn't allow yourself some downtime, but keep in mind that you've been hitting the books hard all year, and to cut off your brain from facts cold turkey may do more harm than good.
Here are some simple and affordable ways to keep your brain active over summer breaks.
One of the most straightforward ways to keep your mental cylinders firing is to pick up a book or two over the summer. Make a reading list and cross the works off when you finish, giving you a sense of accomplishment. Read what you enjoy. If you loved the movie Gone Girl, why not pick up Gillian Flynn's book of the same name? Even reading articles out of magazines can help keep you sharp. If you don't have the money to afford several new paperbacks, get a library card and go to town.
It still seems taboo to recommend video games to students over summer break, but recent studies indicate that playing certain games can help boost brain activity. A few language-learning apps, like Duolingo, function like a video game, making learning new information fun. Why not pick up a little Spanish in your downtime this summer? Knowing another language is a useful skill to have and one that you carry with you wherever you go.
To keep yourself from feeling totally disconnected to academia during your summer off, get out there and stay informed. The easiest way is to hit up a few academic talks or events. Many colleges and universities host free guest lectures on various topics, many of which you may find of interest or relevance to your field of study. Scheduling information is usually listed on the college's website.
Viewing art not only enhances your perspective of the world, but it can also fire up brain activity. Check to see if any local museums or galleries are showing work during your summer off. If you don't live in a city boasting a major art museum, see if there's one within driving distance. If you feel uncomfortable going alone, ask a friend to join you. After viewing the works, try discussing your initial reactions, making your visit even more memorable.
If you still feel at a loss about how to spend your summer break, there is always volunteer work. Myriad organisations are more than willing to accept help from young adults. Why not pass out food at a local homeless shelter, or sign up to tutor children at the Boys & Girls Club? Do something you're passionate about. Wherever you choose to put your energies, stay busy. It'll keep both your brain and your resume full of good things.