Introduction Whether you are a student in the eighth standard in school or a first-year student of physics in some college or a student who has just completed the tenth standard examination, all that you need to understand is that your holidays are not meant to watch television endlessly or spend too much time watching movies. You can enjoy your holidays, but there is more to it. You also need to constructively use it. By doing so, you can very well build your personality and go far beyond your curriculum and your syllabus. It is to be noted that you have to do this and you do not have a choice. In particular, you should a) Go back to nature to the extent possible b) Learn a new skill compulsorily c) Do some constructive social work d) Jell well with people in the lower economic classes and e) Discuss every new development with knowledgeable people.
Go back to nature to the extent possible Irrespective of whatever you are studying, you need to impress your parents to take you to some good hill station. This is not just to cool your body, but also your mind. There is research that indicates that only very cool people who think, plan and execute succeed very well in life. This is exactly what we need in life, at least as a break. If your native place is a village and it is also a relatively fertile place, go there, enjoy the abundance of nature. Enjoy the pump set water that would rush out in a stream, even in the month of May. In particular, places like Pollachi, Tenkasi in South Tamil Nadu and the entire Tanjore belt in Tamil Nadu, has an abundance of nature with thousands of trees all around. You can find such greenery in most parts of Kerala as well. Though the summer would be quite severe during the day, at night, the temperatures fall at least three degrees lesser than the other places in the towns and cities. You should go to the terrace, pour some water on it and pull out a cot. This is exactly the way to sleep, in natural air-conditioned environments. The villages have their own methods to chase away all insects and the mosquitoes. Such nature will rejuvenate you and keep your mind and body in very good shape. You can positively cool down a lot.
Learn a new skill compulsorily If you are entering the ninth standard, no issues. Learn Ms-word, Ms-Excel, and powerpoint from any friendly neighborhood institute. These have mushroomed in the smallest of towns too. All you need is the skill. The certificate would not normally carry any weight but the skill is very handy when it comes to your career development later. Pick up C++ or even the basics of SAP when you enter the plus two stage. Please do note that you do not have a choice. You can become outdated if you do not know how to operate with these basic IT skills. The more you know, the better for you. So, your spending the vital thirty days in learning this skill might come in very handy too. You could learn to play the guitar or drums or whatever. If your talent is very good at singing, take it very seriously and train under some Carnatic music or Hindustani music expert. Never ever give up on such natural skills. If you are good at cricket, convince your father that you need a big break by going to the nearest big city where you can learn far better cricketing skills and then go on to represent your State in the Ranji trophy. This could open the bigger doors as well. If you are a girl, pick up some bakery skill. Or even some skills in cooking a variety of dishes. These are becoming commercial propositions today. These skills might even make you an entrepreneur on a later date.
Do some constructive social work How about collecting just Rs.300 from your parents, asking five other classmates to get similar amounts, buy some essential groceries that will help the inmates in one way or the other, and then spend quality time of three hours in a good and reputed old age home? After all, you can rest assured that the groceries will never be misused in such places and will be used to feed the inmates within the next few days. All you need to do is to pick up this vital act of caring and sharing. Even without your knowledge, you would be developing empathy of the tallest order. You will become a far better human being and you will be appreciated by one and all. A few photographs and selfies with the inmates will enable you to relate these experiences with your teachers. Yes, you can expect them to appreciate you for your good deed. You can also motivate your friends to do so. Remember, old people always want others to just talk to them. They tend to feel that others care for them. They tend to count their last days. Interacting with them would give them happiness. This is exactly what you should do.
Jell well with people in the lower economic classes Servant maids who all do all the household work in at least four houses during the day, double up as flower sellers, vegetable sellers or even bangle sellers in smaller towns to earn that little extra money. This money only goes to finance the education of their school or college going children and save their future. This often happens because their husbands take to the bottle as if there is no tomorrow on most of the days in a month. They would even beat up their wives and children. This happens as a routine and the wives suffer so much.
Personally interact with such people. You can easily understand that life would be far better if people are educated. There are engineers and MBAs from such families too. The stories of endurance and hard work would motivate you to do even better. The stories of hope will keep you so happy. You will also start counting your blessings. This is exactly what you should do. If your parents are very rich people, so be it. This does not stop you from interacting with and understanding life from a bigger perspective than what you know. Do it and you can feel the difference.
Discuss every new development with knowledgeable people Apart from operating the computers and smartphones, as a student you also need to know everything about the world. You need to know why the South of India is now far better developed than the North. More so, the core Hindi belt. You need to understand why so many hundreds of thousands of Hindiwallahs who are untrained and uneducated as well, are taking up all sorts of jobs everywhere in the small and medium hotels, hospitals, schools, colleges, private bus companies, beauty parlors and what have you. All the small subcontract companies have these Hindiwallahs who are exploited for lower wages. They are often given some free rations procured through the Public Distribution System and some free accommodation that is very basic. Yet, these poor souls survive. Ask and find out from them if you know Hindi. Otherwise, ask employers and others. Keep on asking questions. If you are in the tenth standard, you need to know how many IITs are there in India. How many NITs and the IIMs. These are the best for engineering and Management education. You must know what the CAT examination is all about. You must know what the CA or ICWA or ACS or CIMA or CMA or CFA qualifications are all about. Once you know these basics, you can jolly well understand what your basic interests are and what comes to you naturally. In fact, if you are good at economics and can understand all economic happenings, fantastic. Do the BA (Economics) course from the best of Indian colleges like the Loyola College, Chennai, Christ University, Bangalore and the St.Stephen's, New Delhi. And then follow it up with a very good post-graduate qualification from the likes of Delhi School of Economics, or the Madras School of Economics and so on. And then a doctorate as well. Remember, economics opens the best of doors worldwide. Trained economists make huge money and are famous, worldwide. You need to become very much aware of everything like Artificial Intelligence, robotics, data analytics and what not.
Conclusion Apart from the fact that you can enjoy your holidays, spending constructive time on some activities might help you a great deal in your career. You are also likely to become a good and better human being. You can become a person with empathy and a deeper understanding of human nature and all that it takes to understand people. All the very best.
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A very good write up from the author regarding the better utilisation of long vacation. He has highlighted many options which are very useful and beneficial.
When we are continuously working and getting busy we feel like taking a break. But when the vacation is too much and you have no activity to do you will feel very much bored.
The vacation can best be used for socialisation. If you are in your 50s and when you have seen your life to a large extent you may feel that socialisation is also a routine. But for young people, it will be a very good activity.
The time available can be used to see some new places with your family and you can enjoy some time with family.
A lovely article that can help youngsters/students to achieve something during the holidays. Glad that the author has mentioned about a nature trip. This is essential to learn more about mother nature and instil the thoughts of nature conservation and do something positive at an individual level. Many popular national parks offer naturalist camps and basic courses wherein children (and parents) can spend time amidst nature and also learn about bird watching, animal spotting and census etc.
Learning a new skill or exploring the creative side always is a useful investment in the long run. A youngster can learn swimming or martial arts, a new language or even a short hands-on internship in the sector related to their education.
Helping out the underprivileged in whatever means one can, would help in developing a positive outlook towards basic human rights, leadership qualities and to mature into a responsible teenager.
I would like to add a note about hobbies. These days children are so focused on studies and tuition that they are stressed out and often do not enjoy what they do. Developing a hobby during the holidays is a good option. Be it collecting stamps, learning photography etc. One can explore, learn something useful that would help them in the future years and also have an avenue to de-stress during the next academic year.
Children whose parents struggle to make ends meet can help out the family during their holiday time, look at avenues of home-based work etc to contribute to the family's earnings.