For most university students, gone are the days of responsibility-free summers.
But just because you have to dedicate 40-plus hours of your week to school and/or work, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! It’s important to find a balance that works for you between school, work and personal time.
Being able to manage your time and have fun will contribute to good physical and mental health. Education and career are very important, and if you’re on the right path you should get some enjoyment out of them.
But you will find that, when you strike a good balance between summer fun and your everyday commitments, you will enjoy life and feel more whole.
Here are some tips to enjoy summer in St. John’s to the fullest when you’re working or in class full time.
Be a tourist at home
When you have commitments all week long, it’s hard to find time to travel somewhere out of province or even out of the city.
It’s a good thing that St. John’s and the surrounding area has so much to offer! The Rooms has cool exhibits and with the weather in Newfoundland and Labrador, sometimes you need to have indoor plans.
On that note, the Johnson GEO Centre is also fun to explore on a rainy day. If you have access to a car and some sunshine, a day trip down the Southern Shore is a lot of fun — my friends and I did it last year and it was a fun mini-adventure.
The East Coast Trail spans over 300 kilometres of our beautiful province. There are many trails around St. John’s that have some of the most beautiful views in the province. My personal favourites are Sugarloaf and Cape Spear to Maddox Cove.
You can also go ziplining in Petty Harbour. It’s far enough away from the city that you feel like you’re on a getaway, but close enough that you don’t have to block a lot of time out of your busy schedule (oh, and it’s super fun).
If you don’t have a lot of time to gear up and go for a long hike or adventure, there are other ways to get outside, such as mini-golfing, walking around Quidi Vidi or spending some time on one of the nearby beaches. Even eating a meal or studying outside can give you a summertime feel.
Here are my personal favourite things to do on my days off:
- Go to the St. John’s farmers’ market. There are so many different vendors, I could spend hours looking around. The farmers’ market happens every Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Lion’s Club Chalet (follow @sjfmnl on Instagram for updates).
- Try a new restaurant. The food scene in this city is fantastic. There are so many different restaurants to try and many restaurants have summer deals.
- Check out some live music. Listening to live music on a nice evening is the best way to relax after a long day or week.
- Follow the Instagram account @intheknowsj (In The Know St. John’s). Every day they provide a list of events happening around the city. I usually check their page daily to see if anything is happening that I want to check out.
- Be a host! Planning to get all of your friends together on the weekend can really give you something to look forward to when it seems like Friday will never come. It doesn’t have to be a big bash, but knowing you’ll be able to see your favourite people can really help give the week meaning.
- Try something new! For example, buy a pass to one of the local yoga studios and breathe and stretch away the stress of school and work.
I hope these ideas will inspire you to find a healthy balance between school, work and summer activities. It’s important to be able to work hard and have fun, and will leave you feeling more fulfilled.