Summertime blues: what to do?

Student Summer Plans

By Lindsay Liu, Staff Writer

When I was in elementary school, I always dreaded having to tell other people what I did over the summer. Many things have changed since then, but the feeling of not having done much over the summer compared to my peers remains to this day. But, while my boredom and blues were admittedly childish and self-centred back then, my feelings today have evolved into a desire to contribute something meaningful with my time this summer, whether that be to myself or making a positive contribution to something bigger than just me.

I think this sense of restlessness or wanting to get ahead in various ways during the summer or do something meaningful pervades most academic settings like universities, and as such, I decided to compile a list of various activities and summer plans Trinity College students have this summer. Outdoor athletic activities, arts and culture, and academic pursuits make up some of the several activities Trinity students plan to engage in.

1. Outdoor/Athletic activities

Considering many students’ busy schedules during the academic year, the summer breaks provide an excellent opportunity paired with great weather to pursue summer sports that may have been left on the back burner during the winter. Many students hope to use these months to focus on sports abandoned because of the pandemic, such as swimming, track, martial arts, cycling, and many more.

In fact, a number of students stated that getting in shape and becoming athletic over the summer was one of their main goals. Many Trin students enjoy the outdoors in general, with camping or going to the beach as popular destinations. Summer is also a great time to pick up a new hobby. Some personal goals from Trinity College students that may inspire you include learning to ride a motorcycle, obtaining a driver’s license, or attempting to run a half-marathon. In particular, if you enjoy running or walking and would like to do so for a cause, there are various fundraising marathons and sports opportunities, including the Toronto SickKids Marathon.

2. Arts and culture

Immersing yourself in the arts and cultural activities of the area, whether in Canada or abroad, is a surefire way to enjoy and learn about the area. Trinity students in Toronto have a long list of immersive, entertaining, and meaningful events to attend on their bucket lists. For instance, the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival is a free-to-watch heritage race where you can also support local artists and cultural performers. Some students also expressed their interest in attending and participating in Toronto’s annual Pride Parade which takes place in June, providing an amazing opportunity for allies as well as 2SLGBTQI+ communities to celebrate love and diversity, reflect, and advocate for inclusion and equality. Lastly, concerts, live music events, and “street fests” seem to be on the to-do lists of several students. The TD Toronto Jazz Fest was also mentioned for those in Toronto who are interested in music. The festival, which is free to attend, is a great opportunity to go out and support talented artists of various backgrounds, cultures, and generations. The festival includes both high-profile and lesser-known artists with a focus on supporting local and diverse acts.

3. Academic/job/volunteer pursuits

Lastly, an overwhelming number of Trinity College students have plans to pursue academic goals, jobs, or volunteering. Many students either have internships lined up or plan on securing one. For instance, maybe by coincidence, numerous students I spoke with had plans to work with the Government of Ontario. Some students also plan on living in residence over the summer to work in Toronto, but also to study in ROPs and take classes over the summer. Whether it’s trying to get ahead, catching up on some credits, or just experiencing something new, the learning never stops for some! I can especially relate to those who have a fear of disrupting their learning habits over the summer or feeling left behind while others push ahead. However, in addition to taking courses and working, as I’ve already mentioned, there are numerous other ways to pursue something meaningful. Another way, as mentioned by some students, is through volunteering and advocacy. Not just in Toronto, but wherever you are in the world this summer: fundraising, volunteering, and advocating for issues you feel passionate about are great ways to allot your time. Some plans of Trinity College students include fundraising for earthquake relief in Turkey, volunteering at food banks, and joining advocacy organizations.

For those students who have plans that I didn’t mention, including traveling, spending time with friends, or simply taking the time to recharge from exams, you’re among many. Many students I spoke with had no plans yet or just planned on sleeping. If you were dissatisfied with your current plans, I hope hearing about the plans of other students gave you ideas for making your summer more meaningful. Also, taking time to relax and unwind is meaningful in its own regard! Regardless of how you choose to spend your summer, I hope it is meaningful and productive to you.