What to do with Summer 2021


Audrey Ruoff

The Severn Run NEA Trail in Spring 2021.

Katherine Iversen, Staff Writer

We are in the final week of this unique inaugural year at Crofton High School. After venturing through a pandemic and virtual learning this year, it may come as a relief for the year to be closing. However, it can be very beneficial to stay active over the summer and take part in some new hobbies! If you’re looking for something that might interest you, here are a few possibilities to get you started:

  • Go hiking
    • Time to get outside! This year may have been draining for some but, according to Mayo Clinic, exercising can improve your mood, boost your energy and improve your sleep. If you’re looking to improve your lifestyle, or are just trying to get out, hiking and other exercises can be a great way to do it!
    • You can find out some more information about some Anne Arundel County Trails here.
  • Learn a new language
    • Taking up a new language can seem daunting, but summertime is the perfect time to start! Roughly three months to be able to work at your own pace. If you’re looking for something to do with your time, learning a new language can actually offer a lot of opportunities. According to Lead With Languages, in recent years, the number of US jobs made for bilingual people. With 60 million US citizens speaking a language other than English at home, there are many situations in which another language can be helpful. Lastly, if you’re planning on traveling, either now or in the future, learning the language of where you’re going can help immerse you in the culture.
  • Read
    • There are a lot of benefits of reading regularly, so if you’re looking for something to do, books may be the way to go. As explained by the Midwest Institute, some benefits can include relaxation, improved memory, and a better vocabulary. Reading can relax you and even lower your blood pressure, possibly creating a sense of calm. Also, picking up a good book can force you to remember important details and information throughout the book, essentially working out your memory. It strengthens memory. Last, you are being exposed to new and possibly more complex vocabulary than you are used to. This can help you better understand new topics and help you become a better speaker and writer. 
  • Hang out with friends
    • We’ve spent the last year in a pandemic, with a majority of the school year online, isolated from friends and teachers. Now, with more people being vaccinated, there is an increased opportunity to hang out with friends. The benefits of building friendships can include relieving stress and boost your self-worth or happiness. If you don’t currently have anyone to hang out with, Mayo Clinic shares some places where you can meet new people, such as community events and volunteering. Find out more about the importance of friendship from Mayo Clinic here
  • Look for a job or volunteer option
    • If you’re looking to start making some money or gain experience, looking for a job, volunteer opportunity or internship may be the way to go. One way to start may be reviewing the resume you created (or can start creating) in Naviance. A job can offer an opportunity to earn your own wages and gain experience for the future. However, if you can’t find one or simply aren’t interested, getting involved with your community can be a great way to spend time! Volunteering can offer a unique opportunity to give back to our community and to make a difference. There are many volunteer opportunities around the local area, so looking into that may be worth the while. If you want to look further into how to start searching, check out this website: Finding a Summer Job or Internship (for Teens) – All Children’s Hospital (XML). It includes where to look and what to avoid. 
  • Go to the movies
    • The movie theater is back open! Regal Waugh Chapel reopened recently and is now back to movies that are brand new. Movie theaters offer a great opportunity to connect or reconnect with family and friends. It can allow you to get out of the house and make some memories. Even if you don’t go with friends, the movies can allow you to relax, unwind, and just take some time for number one. Alternatively, if you don’t want to spend the money or leave the house, maybe consider having a home movie night. Creating a simple backyard movie theater is a great way to safely connect with neighbors and friends. Even setting up on the couch, no matter who you are with, can be a good way to spend time.
  • Plant a garden
    • Gardening can be helpful to you long into the future. It’s good for exercise and one study found it lowers your risk for dementia, as stated by the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. Not to mention that gardening has been found to better your mood during stressful times of life! You can continue gardening throughout your life, making it a very long-lasting hobby. Not only are gardens good for your health, but they are also good for the environment! The Smithsonian Institute found in a study that native plants and native gardens are important for the health of birds, bees, and other insects.
  • Go bird watching
    • If you love being around nature and are looking for a fun summer activity out in the world, maybe consider bird watching! As Audubon Washington explains, it allows you to explore the outside world, find new places to go and find new places to watch birds. It gives you something to be involved in and to share with friends, something to talk about. Additionally, it gives you some time alone, to relax and be one with nature. Being out and about can also improve your mood, so make sure to open your mind and consider being outdoors and (hopefully) watching nature thrive.
  • Start painting/drawing
    • Similar to reading, art can overall help improve your quality of life, according to Art from the Streets. It can improve memory and problem-solving skills. It can also boost your self-esteem and self-image. Also, if you’re looking for a nice and easy stress reliever to follow this interesting year, art can offer a lot of relief to anxiety. Releasing tension or emotion through artistry can be a great hobby to dive into.

Other options:

  • Take a bike ride
  • Go on a photoshoot
  • Have a picnic!
  • Head to the beach
  • Start a collection