It’s a mad whirl; a rush of exciting things happening; a lingering anxiety of not enough time spent finishing off work; then a grand tidying up and a recovery of items not seen since mid-September; a kissing and hugging and back slapping; and the term has ended and the summer holidays have begun.
Especially for the public exam years’ students, there’s a real need to stop and take some time to sleep, and sleep… Adolescents tend not to sleep enough (though it can often not appear that way) and so a bit of catch up is important.
People have different rituals at the beginning of the big holiday – I know some burn all their notes (incidentally this can be ill-advised since if you don’t get the grades you needed and have to re-sit you will have to re-visit those notes). It’s quite a good moment to dye your hair, or maybe experiment with a radical cut, or even get your ears pierced. Many go away on family holiday – or head off to somewhere in the Mediterranean with friends to cause untold anxiety for parents.
At some point the summer blues can appear – after all the build up it’s not surprising. While the freedom of no timetable is wonderful, the absence of schedule – whether it is normally embraced or challenged – can leave one with a sense of loss and lack of control, then the complaints start: “I’m bored”.
Being bored is wonderful – it means that there is a surfeit of energy seeking an outlet. It also means that your brain is as an empty cavern, a void, a vacuum – and nature abhors a vacuum. Being bored in the summer holidays can propel you into a whole world of discovery, experiment and adventure. This energy can of course be a negative force (that ole devil making work for idle hands type thing), but, with a small amount of benign supervision, it can be a force for development. Many of the world’s best inventions came about from someone lying flat on their backs, watching the clouds scud by and wondering “What shall I do today?”