How to NOT Get Bored Over the Summer

It has been just a little more than a week since Summer 2017 started, and chances are, you’re already starting to feel slightly bored. “WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH ALL THIS FREE TIME? UGHHH!” might be something that’s going through yoor mind (or maybe not, but whatever, read this anyway). “OH PLEASE, SOMEONE SAVE ME FROM MY BOREDOM!!”

WELL, you’ve come to the right place to prevent yourself from staring at a wall all day, and maybe even becoming a wall. Here are some steps to take to NOT get bored over this summer:

Set Goals for Yourself!

Y’all ever finish finals and say to yourself, “Man, I really deserve this three-month break from life!” And then after the first week, “Man, I really am not doing anything in my life right now,” until it gets to, “Man, I’ve literally been like Patrick under his rock all summer.” Folks, you do NOT want to feel like Patrick by the time September rolls around (sadness). To combat that, you need to come up with goals that you’d like to work on over these three months. Personally, I’ve come up with around nine goals for the summer. But goal-setting doesn’t end there. Nope. Next, you must plan HOW you want to go about achieving those goals. This means coming up with sub-goals, schedules, dates and times, and even deadlines. Yes, I know, this sounds tedious, but trust me, it’s the only way to actually be productive. Once you give yourself a timeline or schedule to work with, you’ll feel motivated to go ahead and stick to it as you will feel driven to fulfill that goal. And then, when September does roll around (sadness), you’ll feel proud of yourself for achieving your goals, regardless of how many you set up for yourself!

So…What Goals?

You might be thinking, “I have no life; therefore, I have no goals.” Guess what, Descartes will tell you otherwise: “I think, therefore I am.” YOU think, therefore you ARE, and therefore, you are also very capable of setting goals for yourself. These can be small goals and do not have to be numerous: you can even set just one or two goals for yourself. Or, they can be long-term goals that you want to begin working on over the summer and can be nine (like mine) or ten or more! The amount and type does not really matter, as long as you think you can handle what you are planning for. For example, one of my goals for Summer 2017 is to write. I’ve come up with sub-goals: What do I want to write? Next, I’ve scheduled time for these writing projects. Finally, I’m in the process of rationalizing just how many of these projects I would ideally like to complete by September. For instance, if we’re talking about the fantasy fiction novel I want to write, then I’m allotting six hours per week towards that and aiming to finish 10-14 chapters of it!

JUST DO IT!

Listen to the words of Shia: JUST DO IT! Why would you not do the goals, which should be meaningful and purposeful, that you’ve planned to do? Aim for better. Strive for the stars. But most importantly, feel proud of yourself, and use the above GIF of Shia as motivation!

So set some goals for yourself; plan them out; and start working on them for a better, not boring, and productive Summer 2017! 🙂 

Being a Peer Mentor for the Honors Program

JUST DO IT.

This year was my first time as a Peer Mentor, through SASHP, for a first-year student, who I was paired up with based on similar academic studies and interests. We first met each other at the Peer Mentor/Mentee Summer Kick-Off event last June, which was really just the very beginning of our adventure together. As a Peer Mentor, I received the opportunity to guide my mentee through her first year here at Rutgers, helping her adjust to the transition from high school to a large university and to the many changes. We met at least once a month, and soon enough, we were friends! Here are my top three moments with my mentee, who we’ll call Melodia for this post:

3. The Awkward First Meeting

It’s always super awkward when you meet someone for the first time, isn’t it? Same case for when I had my first, official meeting of the year with Melodia! We met at Busch Campus Center, and even our initial greeting was awkward:

“Hiii!”

“Hiii!”

We walked to some couches in silence and then marched towards Moe’s to get Melodia some food. After we overcame the initial awkwardness, we proceeded to Phase 2: More Awkwardness. Most of this phase consisted of silence…awkward silence, during which we smiled at each other while carefully chewing on food. Phase 3: Some Conversation, began when we both realized that “people usually talk”; therefore, we…TALKED. We conversed about the first week of classes, our already busy schedules, the different classes we were registered for, and how we were liking them and our professors. It was clear that Melodia was sharp, excellent at time management, and adjusting well to the Rutgers environment. Our meeting ended with, “See you soon!” Overall, it wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be–not too much blood, sweat, or tears at all! Folks, here’s a lesson I learned from this first meeting: AWKWARD is NORMAL.

2. Session of Connection

For probably our second or third meeting, we decided to talk with each other at the new Starbucks at the Yard across from Scott Hall. This, my friends, was when we truly CONNECTED. By this time, the awkwardness had vanished, and we were already talking to each other with ease. That day, we were discussing how Melodia’s classes were coming along and any challenges she was facing. Somehow, we switched to the wonderful world of art and passionately lectured each other on literature, films, and creativity. Interesting lectures from both sides, I must say. Melodia exclaimed, “We have so much in common!” To that, I responded, “Can you believe that a whole hour has passed by?!” After some more chatting, I finished sipping my cappuccino (with three sugars) and we said, “See you soon!” I made my way to the train station, thinking to myself how awesome the day turned out to be. 

1. Never Say Goodbye

All stories come to an end. All things have an end. But still, “Never Say Goodbye,” as a Hayley Westenra (one of my most favorite singers in this world) song title indicates. Although that song describes a romantic relationship, I can say that it applies to friendships as well. Just last week, I had my last, official meeting with Melodia, this time in three places–we were moving around a lot–including the Livingston Student Center, the Livingston Starbucks, and Sixteen Handles. I congratulated her on finishing an entire year at Rutgers. Freshman year: done. In this meeting, we talked about how Melodia had grown and changed for the better. I told her how I was proud of her for beginning to overcome her fear of sharing her work with others, specifically in a Creative Writing class workshop, during which she bravely listened to her classmates’ critiques and constructive feedback. I also congratulated her on something else…

SHE GOT ACCEPTED TO BE A PEER MENTOR FOR THE HONORS PROGRAM FOR NEXT YEAR!

I was thrilled and so very proud that she chose to apply. It warmed my heart when she said she gave it a shot because I was an inspiration for her, and that she also wanted to help an incoming first-year just as I had helped her. After about an hour, before I hurried off to Tillett to tutor and Melodia crossed the street to the Plaza bus stop, we, of course, agreed to definitely meet up throughout next year, because the end of my official role as a mentor for Melodia didn’t mean the end of my friendship with her. We told each other, “See you soon!”

So folks, if you’re looking for a rewarding experience, choosing to be an Honors Peer Mentor is absolutely the way to go!

Motivation GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

–The Doctor

 

When You’re Bored

Who lives to breathe with no activity? AYE, AYE, CAPTAIN!

This spring break, I am Spongebob: singing “indoors” without the enthusiasm that our favorite yellow sponge has when he belts it.

Stella the Winter Storm, why did you have to ruin my plans of holding a get together/party before my birthday? That’s what I’m repeating like a mantra as I write this post, wishing very much that I were with friends right now, not that I’m not having a lot of fun writing this. 😉 But come on, I was so excited! Now I’m stuck indoors, sitting with an Abe coin, a Lays sour cream and onion chip, and a sad-looking piece of tissue paper. (Not really.)

But hey, all you people, there’s still a lot to do when you’re inside, and instead of wishing you could celebrate your birthday with your friends, you could do any or all of the following:

Idea #1: PLAN A DIFFERENT WAY TO CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY OR HANG OUT WITH FRIENDS

I’m very lucky and grateful that I have so many caring friends. My best friend, alias Krabby Patty, or Patty for short, is calling me over for a sleepover instead! She realizes my pain and empathizes with my frustration over Mother Nature. We’ve planned to bake cake, cupcakes (NUTELLA STUFFED ONES), and cookies; watch films (I’m trying to persuade her to watch Imitation Game together, even though I’ve watched it at least five times…I’ve lost count); engage in conversations (so many people now forget that that’s a source of entertainment, besides technology); and sleep (barely). The morning when we wake up will be my birthday! Patty has already caused me to cry tears of gratitude when she proposed that we make pancakes in the morning. I simply love Krabby Patty, and I can’t wait to have the evening, night, and morning of my life with her!

Idea #2: DO YOUR HOMEWORK, FOR PETE’S SAKE!

I actually don’t know who Pete is, sorry, but I do know that I have an avalanche load of homework. I wish I were a witch and could make my stress, homework, problems, homework, grades, and more homework disappear with a simple, Evanesco! spell, but unfortunately, I haven’t gone to Hogwarts. Yet. I am a mere Muggle who looks like the flattering picture of Squidward (above) when I finish my 20-pg single-spaced research paper at 5 a.m. (true story). THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD START all the other assignments you may have for this week, so that on the last day of break, you can just enjoy it and not worry about looking like Squidward.

Idea #3: Write!

My Creative Writing Fiction professor believes that writer’s block is a bunch of blarney. “Why isn’t there anything called a doctor’s block or a lawyer’s block?!” he said to me once. So I’m going to use being snowed in to my advantage: I’m going to start writing poetry and short stories! In a perfect world, I’d be writing a little every day, but it’s hard to make time and to manage my time effectively. But here’s a tip for you writers out there: If you’re finding it difficult to sit down and write every day, then just set out FIFTEEN minutes of your time, and start that pen/pencil/keyboard/typewriter going! Warning: Don’t be surprised if you only come up with an extravagantly decorated “THE”.

So, all of the residents of Bikini Bottom–I MEANT RUTGERS–it’s okay if you’re stuck inside seemingly with nothing to do, because there’s always something to do! Of course, there’s a lot more than the above three ideas, but hope those three get the creative juices flowing! 🙂