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Summer days

How to have a productive summer

Austin%27s+Ice+Cream+Festival+will+run+for+its+eleventh+consecutive+year+this+summer.+Contests+will+include+ice+cream+eating+and+popsicle+stick+sculptures.
Austin's Ice Cream Festival will run for its eleventh consecutive year this summer. Contests will include ice cream eating and popsicle stick sculptures.

Austin's Ice Cream Festival will run for its eleventh consecutive year this summer. Contests will include ice cream eating and popsicle stick sculptures.

Learning Lark via Flickr CC

Learning Lark via Flickr CC

Austin's Ice Cream Festival will run for its eleventh consecutive year this summer. Contests will include ice cream eating and popsicle stick sculptures.

by Michelle Parker, Staff Writer

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A constructive summer can set the foundation for a rewarding school year. Summer brings longer days, warmer temperatures, and more time for fun; utilizing time wisely can combine festivities with fruitfulness. Stave off boredom and idleness with these suggestions.

1. Learn something

To some, summer school might sound worse than pulling teeth. The fluorescent lighting of an unknown school while taking a prosaic class is painstakingly boring. Independently taking a summer course, which offers more flexibility, variety, and leisure than normal school-year classes, can be fun. Courses are available for credit through the district’s summer school program and Austin Community College’s dual credit program. Free, online courses, though not for credit, are widely available and may offer some certification. Many top colleges offer similar programs, such as Harvard and Stanford’s online learning.

2. Do summer assignments

If you’re looking for something to do, might as well do something that’s due. Summer assignments allow students to have an insight on their classes and be prepared to start school. Curbing that dreaded rush to finish work the night before will set up a habit of completing school work punctually. Courses without summer assignments may have study information available that allows for a prepared advantage.

3. Work

Keeping the structure of a regular school day helps when transitioning back to waking up early. Working can occupy idle time and earn money for fun summer adventures. The tactical advantages aren’t to be missed either; a job boosts resumes and gives valuable experience.

4. Find a hobby

Summer break is for relaxation and leisure, practically the definition of hobbies. Almost anything is considered a hobby, like learning another language, drawing, or watching documentaries. Enjoy watching canals? Try gongoozling, the hobby of watching canal activity. Collecting stamps interests you? Take a course on philately, the study of stamps and postal history. Try something new or take a class. Hobbies complement the day in their own creative way.

5. Check out local events

Texas summers are known for their heat. Leaving the cool confines of the air conditioner has to be reserved for only the best events. Summer will bring festivities and events for everyone, like the Ice Cream Festival or Bat Fest; most museums have a free day monthly. Visit touristy landmarks, like Franklin’s Barbeque or the Barton Springs Pool.

6. Volunteer

Make a difference and give back to your community this summer by volunteering. Volunteering not only helps others but gives experience and skills for the future. Austin is home to numerous charities and causes that are in need of assistance, such as the local pet shelter or soup kitchen.

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Leander High School's online student-run newspaper
Summer days