Holidays are associated with relaxing at home or going on a vacation, but, they hold much more than that and offer a myriad of opportunities. It can be the perfect time for you to explore, experiment, and work on yourself. Being a high schooler, there is a lot on your plate already and one can only ask for a break to relax, reflect, and balance everything.
Though relaxing and enjoying some time is important, it is equally crucial to devote this time to personal and academic development. From reading a number of books to building on your passion to working on your physical and emotional health, there are endless possibilities. Taking this into consideration, this post will take you through a set of creative and valuable activities to create a memorable and fulfilling holiday experience.
Unique and captivating activities for a thrilling holiday experience
As the holidays approach, we all start planning and exploring unique activities to make the holidays exciting and memorable without compromising on the learning factor. Well, your search may end here as we have got you covered. Listed below are some enriching activities that can help you unlock your full potential and make this break truly unforgettable.
1. Community Service
What’s the best time other than holidays to volunteer for community service? High school is a crucial time and indulging in community service can be of immense use for college applications as well as building moral values. There are many options for volunteer hours as well as ideas for community service for high school students, one can engage in.
Community service not only helps develop skills like teamwork, empathy, and patience but also allows you to meet people from diverse backgrounds, make friends and build new connections. You can also add volunteering hours to your resume which will highlight your sense of responsibility and dedication towards your community enhancing your profile and setting it apart from other candidates. Make the most of your holiday time by serving your community and making a difference in the lives of others.
2. Conduct a summer camp/workshop
Summer camp has been the favorite pass time activity of vacation for most of us. Now, it’s time to make those memories again but with a twist of being the instructor and not the student. Gather your friends and conduct a summer camp for the students of your society or underprivileged students. Think about your unique talents that you can teach students about.
It is said that you learn better when you teach, so by doing this, you’re not only teaching kids but also working & reflecting on your own skills. Additionally, this activity will expose you to new experiences wherein you’ll get to exercise your planning, organizing, and executing skills fostering teamwork, leadership, communication, and problem-solving.
Have you ever wondered how much hard work & time it takes from growing a plant to getting well-processed food on our plates? Well, let’s indulge in the process and know by yourself. Look for a place where you can grow and nurture your plants. Decide on which fruit or vegetable or flowering plant you want to grow. Take help from guardians or watch videos on how to use basic gardening tools.
From digging to sowing seeds to caring for and growing a plant, this activity will expose you to a whole new different experience. A meta-analysis has found that gardening has a positive effect on mental health by reducing stress, depression, and anxiety while improving life satisfaction, quality of life, and sense of community. Besides, gardening is a physical activity that requires your body to move and engage in exercising improving overall physical well-being.
4. Reading Books Challenge
You must have got an idea about this activity from the name itself. It is understandable that high school already requires you to read and study more but not underestimating the significance of reading books other than academic ones, we all struggle to maintain the balance. So this activity comes to your rescue.
In this activity, invite your friends and take a challenge to read a set number of books in a set period of time. Decide on a number of books, keeping in mind the pace of every reader and the number of days you have. Read and enjoy your time reading books and you can also share books with each other once you’re done reading them.
Once you’re back from holidays, set a time and discuss the books you read, and share the learnings or the interesting parts to make the conversation more lively and captivating. Readers who’ve read the same book can share their thoughts and insights for the same.
5. Anybody Can Draw
Yes, you guessed it right! This activity is going to be related to drawing and painting and you don’t need to be perfect or good at drawing as no one is going to judge you and you don’t have to show it to anyone unless you want it to. So, this activity is not only about art but it helps you to know yourself and your mental health.
Holidays are a good time to observe and reflect on ourselves. So, let’s use it and record our observations. To start, get yourself a drawing notebook and whatever drawing essentials you want to use. Draw anything that comes to your mind at the moment you’re starting to draw.
Your thoughts determine your mood and here, if you’re in a happy mood then probably you’ll be drawing something cool like a garden with the sun shining brightly and if you’re not in a good mood, then maybe you’ll draw the same garden but with everything quiet and calm.
Do this activity for a set number of days (probably the number of holidays), and then observe your drawings for every day. This is the same as journaling but with a twist of expressing your thoughts through visuals. This will help you know about your thoughts and how the perception of the same things changes according to how our emotional state wants it to perceive.
6. Brighten up someone’s day
Let’s admit this when you’re the reason behind someone’s smile, the inner satisfaction you get is what matters the most. This activity will help you with the same. Arrange for your craft essentials including colors, sketch pens, glue, scissors, etc.
Now, make random greeting cards. Now these greeting cards do not have to be based on some special day or something but anything good that can lighten up one’s day. It can be related to hard work, self-love, beauty, motivation, etc.
Make enough cards and decide for any day but check for the time of the day when you can meet the most number of people (probably evening). Give the cards randomly to people. You can combine this with a flower or chocolate to add more value to it. Also, you can give these cards in your neighborhood as well.
This simple activity of love and kindness can make someone’s day. This activity will introduce you to many people and help you develop your communication skills and confidence and provides inner satisfaction and peace.
7. Make the best out of waste
Sometimes, some things turn out to be more useful when utilized in other ways. In this activity, you need to think critically and creatively to make something useful out of the waste products, for instance, making flower pots out of waste plastic bottles and bowls. To start, first think of what waste objects are readily available at your home. Gather them and the essential craft supplies.
Accordingly, search and explore what can be made out of something that is no more useful. Think about the daily problems that can be solved by making something useful from waste and then start working and get your creative juices flowing.
While preparing, you can try making a video showcasing the full process or make a written report including all the details from the materials used to the process of making it. Share it with your friends and the teacher once you’re back to school. This activity is all about enjoying the process while working on creativity, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving skills.
8. Make your personal newsletters
Before this digital era, newspapers were an inevitable part of our lives. Now every news is on the tips of our hands. Amidst these, companies and experts use email marketing and share newsletters to keep their audience hooked to them and as clear from the name itself, this activity is going to be all about creating our own newsletters. For the set number of holidays, get yourself a challenge to make your own newsletters.
Share what you did in a day, what you learned, or any unusual experience you had which might be useful for other people to know about it. Think creatively and critically about the information to include and how to present it. Now the question arises, with whom you should share?
Well, it can be anyone, from your best friend to your family members or even neighbors and teachers, you can share it with anyone. Also, you can share it online through emails or on platforms like LinkedIn which will also help you in your future with building your online presence and personal brand.
How to make the most of your holidays
Well, we already make our plans ready for the holidays, but sometimes it is always good to have other options as well to make the best use of the time, especially during high school. So given below are some effective strategies as well as valuable options for your vacation time.
- Learn a skill – Holidays are the perfect time to invest in learning a new skill and adding it to your arsenal. Sit, relax, and make a list of skills that you want to try your hands on. It can be something related to your career path or anything random that you wish to work on. Explore online, scroll webpages, and note down various options available for you. There are many platforms like Udemy that provide many free courses, you can check and take advantage of it. Select the most appropriate one and start learning.
- Enroll for summer programs – From architecture summer programs to summer programs for high school freshmen and seniors, there are many options to explore and learn. Summer programs are the perfect opportunity to learn from experts, collaborate with like-minded people and have a hands-on experience in the field of your dreams. So, according to your requirements and availability, search and explore the options available, shortlist the ones that can work for you, and start learning.
- Work on fitness – High school is the crucial time with lots of subjects to study, preparing for college and career, maintaining a balance between academics and extracurricular activities, working on skill development, and a lot more and among all these, we tend to forget about taking care for our physical and mental health. So, make the best use of holidays by indulging yourself in one or the other physical activity of your choice and work on your health both mentally and physically.
- Plan for your future – Amidst the pressure of academics, sometimes we’re not able to think about what we actually want to do in our future. In this case, holidays can be the perfect time to spend with yourself and discover what is that something that you are passionate about. Accordingly, search for colleges and the courses, gauge out the map including everything from skills required, to internship and job opportunities to short-term and long-term goals. Setting goals and making a plan can help you stay motivated and focused.
- Spend time with yourself – Among other plans for holidays, make sure you also include spending time with yourself as a priority in order to discover yourself and know about yourself. Sit, relax, and do whatever makes you happy. Allow yourself some time to recharge and rejuvenate. Think about yourself, and what makes you happy, reflect on your experiences, pursue your hobbies, and let yourself enjoy and relax. Make sure this time is solely for yourself only.
Holidays are not only the time to relax and rejuvenate but also can prove to be the most crucial time to work on yourself. It is important to find a balance between both and make the most of the vacation time. The activities given above are carefully designed keeping in mind the essential requirements for a high schooler. From working on yourself to maintaining mental and physical health, these activities address all the factors. So, immerse yourself in any of the activities you find fascinating and enjoy.
- Soga, M., Gaston, K. J., & Yamaura, Y. (2017). Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis. Preventive Medicine Reports, 5, 92-99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.11.007