17 June 2016

How to Seize Your Summer

You need to know something about me...I've never had a summer vacation. It's not because I'm some sort of deprived child, I just live in South Africa where our schooling system is a bit different to the European or American system. Instead of three consecutive months off from school, we have one full month off in April, another full month in August and another in December. So, I guess we get our three months off but it's just not three months off in a row.

However, I thought it would be fun to 'plan my (would-be) summer'. I can never execute all of these in three months, due to the nature of my school, but maybe you can. If it were currently my summer, this is what I would do...queue the Phineas and Ferb intro!

1. Conduct a social experiment
Your experiment should aim to reveal something about human nature or how a societal body thinks or acts. Your experiment could include one question that you ask several people in order to reveal something about a generalized group of people. 


2. Visit location in your town/city which aren't popular Tourist destinations...but should be
You know your city better than anyone. Go around documenting (possibly in the form of photos) sites that make your city unique.This could include a beautiful graffiti wall, a mural by a local artist or your favourite hipster cafe and maybe start a blog or a page on Facebook promoting the city you know best.

3.Find make-up tutorials, plaster yourself up and then have a photo shoot
If you're into experimenting with make-up then find and watch some tutorials on YouTube. Then, invite a friend over and go to a park (or even in your back yard) and have a photo shoot. If make-up isn't your thing; invite a friend over and have a photo shoot showing off that beautiful, all natural skin of yours.


4. Plan a surprise party for a friend
If you're feeling kind or generous then this is a great idea! Plan a party (...who says it has to be a birthday party?) for a friend of yours. You need to pull out all the stops- get in touch with your inner artisan and make the invitations by hand; Don't just send out a Whatsapp broadcast! Have fun here and let your creativity shine!

5. Vlog one week of your summer
In case you're unfamiliar with the term 'vlog', it basically means a video blog. Pull out a camera ( it doesn't have to be a fancy one) and document your days away. Record funny moments with your friends or any other events which you'd like to look back on in a couple of years. Maybe you should vlog yourself conducting a social experiment or planning your friend's surprise party...but that's just an idea. When you're done, upload your vlog to YouTube or Facebook and if the response is good, or you enjoyed the process, keep vloggin'!


6. Rise before the sun
In true nature of 'seizing the day', you must rise before the sun. You'll have a full day to conquer! Put on those jogging shoes, grab a friend and run to the nearest hill to watch the sunrise! And, as tempting as it may be...DON'T HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON!

7. Build a fortress
This one's at your full interpretation; It's at your discretion whether it's a blanket fortress, or a fortress where you dismantle your mom's couch (with her permission) or build a massive palm tree castle. Get creative and build a shelter to seek refuge from the heat this summer. Add fairy lights and a mini-fridge and you're all good to go. 

8. Have a garage sale
If you live in a safe area and have things that you want to get rid of then this is perfect for you! Get permission from your guardian to host your own garage sale. This is a nice double-wami- make cash for your summer whilst getting rid of clutter. You can also get creative making signage to place along your road or around the corner to let people know about it.


9. Grow your own vegetable garden
This is an ideal way to get in touch with your inner 'green thumb'. Go to your local nursery and buy seeds of your choice. Set up an irrigation system or take care to water your young leafy offspring as needed and soon you'll have veggies to eat that are all home grown!

10. Make your own kite
When was the last time that you took flight and flew in the wind? If the local weather station says to expect wind then this is your perfect opportunity. If you're into making 3D objects then gather up some materials and design your own kite, alternatively, borrow a friend's or buy one at your local store. I know what you're thinking... "Aren't I a little bit old to be playing with kites?" and my answer to you is "No, you are never too old to go to your local park or lake and take flight. Never."

11. Write a letter to your future self
I did this about two years ago; 15 year old Steph wrote a letter to 30 year old me. Your letter can take on any form and be as long as you want it to be. Just remember to keep it in a safe place so that when you reach the day to open it, you remember where you put it. Your letter can contain absolutely anything. It may be a good idea to write how you're feeling now and what your lie is like currently to reflect on how much you change when you next meet with the letter- reveal some of your hopes,fears and expectation for the person who opens that letter.

12. Make your own sugar scrub
I've personally never tried this but next holiday I will be sure to do so. Go forth and be creative with this one! Here's a step-by-step video on how to do it:

13.  DIY tin can lanterns
This is perfect decor for ...let's say a surprise birthday party for a friend, the entrance to your outside fortress or maybe the pathway leading up to your veggie garden. These easy to make lanterns are ideal to add some hand-crafted design to your garden. You can also be very creative with the design of your lanterns. Feel free to poke, prod and paint them as you'd like.

14. Collect shells on the beach and frame them
If you live near the ocean or are going on holiday to the ocean, collect shells or stones which you think are beautiful.  Create your own frame of whatever shape or size and gently glue the shells and stones inside. Add some varnish to the frame and taa-daaa you can  hang it in your room as a reminder of your 2016 summer vacation.

15. 'Flip-the-coin' road trip 
Go on a road trip or even a hike with a coin. Use 'heads' as left and 'tails' as right. Let the coin lead you on your journey. This is a nice way of relinquishing control to chance, just like the Dadaists of the 20th century.

16. Host a bake sale
If you have some serious skills in the kitchen... or want to develop some serious skills in the kitchen then this is a great way to do it. Scour the internet for recipes or bring out those ol' family recipes we all know we have hidden somewhere. Make sure you have the correct ingredients before you begin and then get bakin'. Maybe you could even make the cupcakes for your friend's surprise party...but that's just an idea.

17. Make your summer 'tagline'
I've saved the best for last. This is probably the most important item on the list. Come up with a short sentence or a few string of words to live by this summer.Mine would probably be Sun is spectacular.
Make your tagline something creative (I just wanted an alliteration in mine) so you can go around shouting it all summer long. You should also aim to align it with what you want to do. Mine shows that I want to spend my summer in the sun (look at me and all these alliterations).

I hope you have a blast of a summer! Be sure to document your activities if you do decide to do any on the list above! I'd love to see the ideas in action. If you have any activities that you really enjoyed from past summer's, please let me know.

Till next time-


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