How to fill a plan-free summer

Four easy ways to bridge the gap between semesters 

Looking at an empty calendar on a summer day.

If the question, “So, what are you doing this summer?” fills you with dread, you’re not alone. In fact, plenty of Queen’s students find themselves with nothing to do between the winter and fall semesters. 

If you’re looking for a way to fill your calendar for the next few months, here are some suggestions of accessible summer plans.

Summer school 

While it might seem daunting to continue the grind of school past April, summer courses have their advantages. 

For starters, summer courses are more relaxed than their fall or winter counterparts. There are no 8:30 a.m. lectures and—typically—no expensive textbooks. With most being run through the web, you can sip a coffee in Starbucks or at home and watch your video lectures in style. 

Extra school work in the summer can also lead to a reduced course load come fall semester.

Even if Queen’s doesn’t offer any summer classes that interest you, an official Letter of Permission to the school can formally allow you to take courses at other universities.

Volunteer positions

Volunteering is a great summer option for those of us who aren’t working but still want to bolster our resumes. 

If you’re in Kingston this summer, a good place to look for volunteer listings is on the City of Kingston website. United Way also has an excellent searchable job site for budding volunteers. 

This kind of work gets you out in the world—and often in the sun. It’s a fun way to build your resume while making a difference in the community. 

Work on your health and wellness 

For people who put their health and wellness on the back burner during the school year, the summer months offer enough time to focus on yourself. 

With a four-month break, you can test out different kinds of mental or physical routines without stress—and by the time school rolls around,you’ll have found the right one for you.

Taking time each day to meditate, do yoga or engage in something more intense like running, will have serious health benefits in the long term. 

Wellness activities don’t have to be strictly physical. Reading, journaling or even scrapbooking could help relieve stress and get you prepped for the academic year. 

Become a tourist in your own town

Though most attractions in major cities appeal to tourists, you don’t have to be a visitor to enjoy the town. 

Visiting tourist attractions this summer can act as a fun way to grow more familiar with your surroundings. Take a guided tour or visit a museum, hike a local trail and see popular landmarks first-hand.

It might seem silly, but there’s a chance you’ll find a new appreciation for the places and people around you.



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