As the sun begins to shine, so does the stress of getting those exams and last-minute assignments out of the way. However, the good news is that for most of us, summer will offer some respite and a well-deserved chance to catch up with friends, family and other activities. As the academic year ends, it can be hard to know how to begin to fill the summer months. Here, we offer some inspiration about how to get the most out of your precious time off!

Staycations

It is essential to have something to look forward to, especially after hours in the library, daydreaming about the end of exams. Spending a few nights away on our precious emerald isle will still give the buzz of a holiday without breaking the bank. One way to do it is by getting some friends and family together and choosing a spot where no one has been, or somewhere where you want to learn more about. For example, have you ever wanted to surf on Donegal’s famous beaches, or do the wild Atlantic way? Pack up the car or create the perfect playlist for a long train journey and take a long weekend to immerse yourself in our country’s beauty and history. 

Take A Dip 

Speaking of beaches and the wild Atlantic way, a great thing to do over the summer is to set yourself a goal or a new challenge. What better way to literally dive right into summer than attempting a few sea swims. Ireland’s water is famous for being bitterly cold, but sea swims have incredible health benefits – and you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment afterwards. 

Online Language Classes

The last thing you might want to do after a tough semester is more studying, but the summer months can offer the perfect opportunity to improve on or learn a new skill. Have you ever regretted not learning a second language, or perhaps neglecting the one you studied for the leaving certificate? Many places such as Alliance Française Dublin, Atlas Language School or Gael Linn offer summer classes and courses, and doing this could offer the excuse for a city break to practise your language skills! 

Create a Club

With people going abroad or working full time, it can be hard to keep up with friends and family all year round. However,  involving those close to you in a club can provide the perfect excuse to get them together. Why not set up a book or music club, where you set a certain amount of time aside every week or two to read a book or listen to a certain album and discuss?

Come Dine With Me 

Speaking of gaining new skills, cooking is one that is often overlooked. What better way to make it fun than by taking part in a come dine with me style evenings with friends or even neighbours. Each week you can take turns cooking a starter, main and dessert, and you can make it more exciting by picking a theme. Better yet, if Ireland decides to give us a decent amount of good weather this year, you can take it outside and make it a picnic or barbeque!

However you spend your summer, make sure to take a break as best as you can. You don’t have to be setting off to the South of France to have a good time, find what works for you and have some well-deserved fun!

Ruth Delaney- Arts & Lifestyle Correspondent

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