Breaking down summer break


By Katherine Emmanuel, Co-Staff Development Coordinator

The term “summer vacation” inherently suggests a time of leisure and relaxation. However, in today’s competitive academic environment, students frequently view this period as an opportunity to bolster their resumes instead. With the availability of jobs, internships and summer programs, it has become crucial for us, as students, to strike a balance and find a healthier approach to utilizing our vacation time.

By taking time to rest and recharge, students can enhance their overall productivity and performance in the academic sphere and can minimize the risk of burning out. The National Institutes of Health reports that nearly 20% of children and young people aged 3-17 in the United States have a mental, emotional, developmental or behavioral disorder, and suicidal tendencies among high school students increased more than 40% in the decade before 2019. By shifting our perspective and utilizing the summer as a true break rather than solely focusing on extracurricular achievements, we can foster a healthier approach to self-care. Summer break offers a valuable opportunity to address and improve our mental health, which in turn has a positive impact on our overall well-being and academic performance for the coming school year.

Additionally, the summer vacation presents an excellent occasion to strengthen family bonds and create lasting memories. Amidst the rigor of academic life, it is easy to overlook the significance of quality time with family members. During the school year, I often find my schedule directly conflicting with that of my younger sister. Because of this, I am especially mindful to find time during the summer to spend quality time with her. By prioritizing family interactions during this break, students can forge deeper connections, share experiences and create lasting memories with their families.

Summertime also provides a unique chance to explore personal interests and passions. Engaging in hobbies, creative pursuits or sports activities can be incredibly fulfilling. Scheduling time into my summer schedule to play tennis with friends is one way I unwind during the summertime. The camaraderie and connections formed through tennis are immeasurable, creating a supportive community united by a shared passion. Ultimately, incorporating tennis into my summer routine allows me to find joy, nurture friendships and cultivate valuable life skills, contributing to a well-rounded summer break experience.

While the desire to enhance resumes and gain professional experiences is common, it is vital that students find a healthy balance during the summer break. Instead of succumbing to the pressure of constant productivity, students can use the summer break to explore their interests, pursue hobbies or engage in meaningful social connections. This could involve spending quality time with friends and family, participating in outdoor activities, reading for pleasure or even taking up new creative pursuits. By valuing self-care, relaxation and personal growth, students can make the most of their summer break and set themselves up for long-term success in both their academic and personal lives.

Katherine Emmanuel can be reached at [email protected].