While the weather has not allowed us feel the season’s change into summer, we all know it’s approaching, and we all have plans and ideas for what to do during the break.
Whether you’re heading out on vacation, attending summer classes, trying to make a few extra bucks, or just plan on lounging around the whole time, come fall semester, the worst feeling one can have is that the break was wasted, and that there was still plenty on the table to do.
If you don’t have major plans, than usually the first objective that comes to mind when school let’s out for summer is to simply relax and go into full-fledged vegetative mode.
And this is easy to acomplish: sleep in too late, turn on the TV, and try as best you can at keeping only your underwear on.
It’s understandable considering many have not had a break of any length of time since last fall semester started.
But as the days slip by, an overwhelming feeling begins to creep in: it’s becoming a waste of time, and something needs to be done to rectify one’s slothness, as tempting as it may be to keep that up.
So here are some ideas to consider as the summer heat beckons you to finally roll off the bed or couch.
After the kind of winter we had, many have been irking to actually enjoy being outside to enjoy the fresh air, reconnect with nature, and in the process, color in that now-pale complexion with a tan without the help of a UV-ray coffin.
Camping is a good option, especially when you can afford to tune-out your cellphones, and the Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram obligations that accompany it. Because as much as we love them, most can agree that spending some time off the grid helps us to unwind with a clear head.
Kankakee River State Park is an excellent option for potential campers. The park covers a large area and offers ample oppourtunities to go hiking, canoeing or kayaking, and go fishing.
Starved Rock offers a unique blend of natural scenery and historical sub-context with the park’s infamous story of Native American settlement and conflict.
Everything is great downtown
When you live near the third largest city in the country and one of the great cultural centers in the world, grabbing a group of friends and heading to downtown Chicago is never a poor choice.
While food and parking is always expensive, the city does offer free admission for a number of museums and institutions.
While in Chicago, you should visit the Federal Reserve Bank museum which is always free, and learn how money is printed, how it’s destroyed, and how it is circulated into the financial system and the effects that these decisions and actions have.
Speaking of museums, Art Institute of Chicago has free admission on Thursday nights after 5 p.m. If art bores you, then keep looking and something will eventually strike your eye.
And you don’t need to be an expert to appreciate great works of art; part of the beauty of art is that it grants you the license to appreciate anything of your choice.
It is perfectly fine if work by Picasso strikes you as garbage, but find street graffiti appealing, it’s your opinion and your preference.
True, Picasso might have disagreed with that assertion, but he would certainly endorse and defend your ability to make that choice.
Then there is always the Museum of Science And Industry which has free admission days which are listed on the museum’s website.
Visiting the zoo with friends can also be a lot of fun. Lincoln Park Zoo is a free zoo located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.
Also located in Lincoln Park is North Avenue Beach which a public beach, so after you spend time looking at all the animals, hit the beach for some afternoon fun.
School and work
For those with summer classes or part-time jobs on the docket, it can be a little demoralizing when half of your daytime hours are spent indoors.
The good news is that it let’s you get ahead on your academic calendar, and if you have a job, to finally earn some well needed spendin’ cash.
It’s also a great oppourtunity to solidify your plans to transfer out of JJC by visiting colleges, talking to counselors, and working out things financially.
Whatever you do, above all, stay smart, and stay safe. No one wants to be that idiot that has to explain to your classmates that the cast on your arm is because you drunkenly tried riding on a Rip-Stick for the first time.
CorrectionIn the April 16 edition of the Blazer, we misreported the opening of a Harris Bank on campus. The bank is actually U.S. Bank.