All year, throughout the assignments, exams, deadlines and early mornings, we long for that moment where we can finally say the academic year is over. For most of us, April/May time signals the beginning of around five glorious months of summer holidays; full of long, warm days and endless nights where memories you won’t remember are made with friends you won’t forget.
Except that’s the world’s most cringeworthy phrase, it’s Glasgow so a long warm day is about 13 degrees and those friends you won’t forget have all gone home for the Summer.
If you’re from the city originally, or if you’re staying here to work throughout the summer, it’s a painful time. Reminiscent of Recess: Schools Out when TJ’s pals all swan off to summer camp, leaving him alone (who can hear One is the Loneliest Number without thinking of poor old Detweiler?), you’re left with an amazing city full of fun things to do and, well… no one to do them with.
Yes, it’s nice that your friends get to spend time with their families. Yes, you want them to return to their hometown jobs so they can have the funds to drink away the struggles of term time. Yes, you’re absolutely loving all the videos they’re posting of their parents’ dog. But, if you’re struggling to cope without the squad, here’s a couple of things you can do solo. And no, none of them are “wallow in self-pity.”
- Start a new hobby
RIGHT, OK, before you start, yes, this is the world’s most frequently offered and rarely taken advice. No one over the age of eight has “hobbies” anymore. But, hear me out. A hobby doesn’t necessarily have to be the twee childhood pastime of your youth (although apparently hobby horsing is becoming a thing again?). As I write this, I’ve just sent away for 32 different colours of clay, inspired by falling down a YouTube hole and deciding I need to make my own baby Groot. So, even if you think what you like doing is obscure or pointless, it’s probably not as bad as that.
- Read a book
Make your high school English teacher proud. Whether it’s Twilight or Tolstoy, finishing a book is an impressive feat in today’s social media obsessed culture. Kim Kardashian’s selfie book doesn’t count though.
3. The Sims
Laugh all you want, but getting emotionally invested in the trials and tribulations of computer animated people whose lives you control is oddly comforting when you’ve reached rock bottom. Just don’t be that person who makes themselves and the person they fancy and makes them woohoo all the time – that’s just weird. Your friends won’t speak to you again if they find that out.
- Keep the group chat alive
A meme here, a heartfelt drunken message about how much you just “looooooveeeee them xXxXxX” there, thanks to the internet and the group chat, your friends are never more than a 3G signal away.
5. Binge watch a series
Ahh, the tried and tested method of procrastination. An ensemble cast will fill the void that your friends left and a cheesy teen drama will make up for the lack of embarrassing weekend stories whilst everyone’s off living the small town life. And if all else fails, there’s always Game of Thrones.
- Do a clear out
Without sounding like your mum, summer is the perfect time to get rid of some stuff. I bet throughout the year you’ve clocked up a fair amount of absolutely useless junk * cough * textbooks you bought once and didn’t read * cough *. You could donate it to a charity shop if you’re feeling like a friend of the Earth, or sell it if you’re getting so skint without SAAS that you’re surviving on Mr Pretzel free samples.
- Listen to podcasts
This is something I only recently got into, and I don’t know how it took me so long. There’s something out there for literally everyone. Whether you love sports, fashion, celebrity gossip, murderers (start with Serial and never look back), or really badly written erotica (My Dad Wrote a Porno is a CLASSIC), there’s a podcast out there that will give you something to look forward to with each passing week and new episode.
- Go see your granny
Or grandad. Or both. If you’re lucky enough to still have grandparents, go see them and let them tell you all their stories. Even if you’ve heard them before, listen to them ‘til you’re blue in the face. It’ll be a welcome change from hearing your mates telling you their escapades from Bamboo, and there’s bound to be biscuits. Who needs pals when you have papas.
9.Wallow in self pity
Okay, I lied. If all else fails, lying around all day looking out the window at the sunshine and wishing you were outside with your friends never really gets old. I guess you could also do the troubled art student thing and write a book about it. Maybe it’ll be a best seller. And if it is, your friends will feel the pain of being alone that they inflicted upon you when you jet off on your book tour.
Featured image credit – Lorna McKenzie