Survive the summer

Illustration by Elizabeth Bridges

The end is nigh. The semester is slipping away through our fingers like salty tears shed after getting back your mid-sems. You know what that means? Four mercilessly long months of holidays, bookended by the twin dreads of results release and O-Week. It’s a black hole at the end of a car crash of a year. But don’t fear, I’m here to fill that hole. Wait, no not like that.

1. Find A Job
Finding a job is certainly the most ‘productive’ way to waste four months. You could be a Christmas Casual, except that most places have hired theirs by now (but really, you wouldn’t be reading this if you had your life sorted, would you?) Or you could be an intern: get paid to feel inadequate when normally you’d be doing that all day, every day, for free. Or you could also sell yourself – that’s right, your skills. Tutor, paint, mow lawns, walk dogs, or whatever else people are willing to burn money for. Here’s the thing though: it’s a giant scam. Most jobs require you to show up. Some are even full time. Yeah you’re a ‘full-time’ student, or whatever, but a job is literally full time. You can’t watch that shit online, alright. You have to leave your room, you have to shower. I mean, the obvious upside is money, career development, building networks, and office gossip, and maybe even some office hookups. But is it really worth it? Is your dignity already that far gone? Is it?

2. Work On Your Personal Brand

So maybe you don’t have a job, or suck too much to find one (i.e. the truth). Well now is the time to work on your Personal BrandTM. Get a LinkedIn, spend hours on your profile, and get those sweet, sweet connections. What happens next? Who knows? You have to let that LinkedIn page marinate, alright, for at least twelve hours. Once it’s done who knows what will come out? Maybe a job offer, maybe new connections, or more likely, random spam and nothing else. Is you profile pathetic and pitifully short? Upskill! Learn to code, all the cool kids are doing it. Get a CodeAcademy account and spend two hours making a text-based adventure game in Java. What? What do you mean you aren’t suddenly earning buckets of dosh in your own version of Sillicon Valley? Are you even trying? No wonder you’re unemployed.

3. Go Outdoors
It’s literally summer. You can’t complain about shitty Melbourne weather, you can’t moan about having assignments due, you can’t even say you don’t have enough money because most things that are outside are free. Parks are free, beaches are free, even some food is free. In fact, most things are free if you don’t get caught*. Alternatively, just mooch off your friends. If you have a mate with a pool, have a pool party. If you have a mate with a pool but he doesn’t like you that much and would hesitate to call you a ‘mate’, just don’t tell him about the party (pro tip: don’t have the party when he’s home). C’mon, we’re all students here. If you can’t think of innovative ways to do things on the cheap, what are you really doing at university?

4. Watch TV

There is also the option to not go outdoors and instead watch TV shows about people who do. I don’t need to explain this; Australians are literally the most prolific pirates in the world. Four months is probably enough time to watch the entire Australian Netflix library, or the entire American library if you have a sneaky VPN. Yes, that is a challenge.

5. Existential Crisis

Am I doing the right course? Should I study more? My GPA is fine right? Am I going to find a good job? Get a good house? Do I even want a house? Will I ever find the one? Will I ever find ‘the one’? Do I actually like my uni friends or do we only hang out because failing any real conversation we can just moan ‘OMG Uniiiii’ at each other repeatedly? Should I drink less? Should I eat better? Am I OK looking? I’d be fine with OK but am I even OK? Am I a good person? Does anyone like me, really? (Repeat ad infinitum.)

6. Literally nothing
This is what you will do anyway. This is what we will all do. Embrace it. Lazy isn’t a personality flaw; it’s a lifestyle. So now you have six activities to fill the void: work, upskill, mooch, binge, weep, exist. Now you can make the most of your summer. Now you can grow as a person, as an adult, in the ever changing journey of the ‘best years of your life’. Or you know, you can not do that. Which do you think is more likely?

*I don’t actually advocate stealing, alright. It’s just an option. This is all about options.

Rachael Welling

The author Rachael Welling

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