COURTESY OF UNSPLASH
Summer vacation can be long and brutal. Time away from friends and hours of lounging around the house doing nothing can become tiring.
Many students waste their vacation by simply binge-watching several Netflix originals on the couch rather than truly enjoying themselves.
To me, summer is more than just not having school and spending entire days catching up on all the television shows and movies you’ve missed out on over the course of your life. It is about spending all that free time bettering yourself in whatever ways you can. This can range from cooking to self-care.
I’ve spent the first part of my summer learning to cook for the first time in my life. I still burn most of my dishes and under-season some things, but the attempt is what’s important.
Elissa Crebbin, a chef at Ampersand Oil and Vinegar Tap House, teaches cooking classes on a variety of topics and believes learning to cook is a crucial life skill.
“Cooking brings people together,” Crebbin said. “You can enjoy the cooking process with your friends, and also then reap the benefits of the delicious food afterward.”
Ampersand holds regular cooking classes at both their Moscow and Lewiston locations, but for broke college students who can’t afford the $35 price tag, Crebbin gave a few tips on simple things she said can help make any meal better.
Crebbin said it’s important to season every aspect of a meal with salt and pepper, even if the dish has a sauce because salting the meat or the veggies will bring out the natural flavors of the ingredients.
Crebbin also said knowing exactly where the food your using comes from. Using natural foods rather than ingredients full of preservatives is important and will enhance the taste, she said.
With grilling season upon us, Crebbin stressed the importance of adding marinades and rubs to vegetables and meats to get flavor into the food before cooking it.
But if you’re not into cooking, bettering yourself over the summer not only involves learning something new, but also includes focusing on self-care.
Self-care comes in thousands of forms. During the busy school year, taking care of ourselves can fall through the cracks. Over the summer, it’s easier to find the time to pamper yourself and do exactly what you want to do.
Establishing a self-care routine during the summer will help make it a priority during the grueling school year as well.
Some great ways to incorporate self-care into your everyday life can be as simple as scheduling some relaxation into a busy day. A few minutes of enjoying the outdoors or talking to friends can help increase productivity during work, according to Psychology Today.
Self-care also includes carving out time to do something you love. Over the summer, time with friends and family can be forgotten, but by scheduling a weekly movie night or regular lunch with friends, the routine will likely continue for the rest of the year as well.
So don’t waste the three months away from the stressful school schedule; make the most of it.