Guest Editorials

Free days are money in the bank. Spend them wisely.

So, what are YOU going to do with all that glorious free time during your summer vacation? Use it wisely? Or just squander it. Be determined to make every day count? Or look back at yet another opportunity that has been frittered away because you did not plan.

Trust me when I say, I have been there, done that, mostly in the frittered away and squandered category. Suddenly the summer is upon you, the last day of school is over, the future stretches ahead of you, wonderful, “pressureless’, unmapped and unplanned. Nothing is demanded of you and you demand nothing of anyone else. Bliss!

Or is it? After the first three days of determinedly doing nothing, reality catches up. YOU may be on holiday, but are your parents as free as you? Chances are, if they are working, a vacation means two weeks of packing up the family and spending oodles of money just to get everyone out of the city, no matter how much it costs. Great for you, hard for them.

Then, what about your domestic help? Does your vacation mean more work for her because you have decided that you have earned all that free time, can sleep as late as you want and can generally be a nuisance. All because you have been (hopefully) doing what is your duty, including studying, passing exams and getting decent grades.

Believe me when I say that after three days of lolling around, you will begin to miss a structure to your day, even if the structure is formed around giving yourself a break and enjoying yourself. For then, you will realize that even enjoyment has many meanings, not all of them self-indulgent.

In the pages to come, we have a host of suggestions on what you could do during your vacation so that you look back upon them and say,” Hey, I was pretty good all round”. Sherene Aftab’s piece on 12 things to do to ensure you treat your free time wisely is a must read. And by the way, reading is one of them, besides practicing public speaking in front of a mirror, playing board games (definitely trendy), learning leisure time cooking, doing a bit of holiday homework and generally value-adding to your surroundings.

Pearl Mathias has an article on how important it is to reach out to each other, because loneliness is a real social disease and how much does it cost to be nice to someone! And Nidhika Bhal continues a long-running discussion on what it takes to be a leader.

I know the feeling – your summer holiday stretches ahead, every free minute a gold coin deposited in the Bank of Forever Freedom. You are determined to spend frugally, horde as much as you can for the future. But Time and Tide wait for no-one and the days don’t stand still while you make up your mind about what to do. So plan ahead.

Else you will be looking at a past holiday during which you don’t remember a single worthwhile thing you did!

Dean at St Pauls Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai >> More articles

Carol Andrade is a journalist and a former Chief Editor of The Afternoon daily. She is the Dean of St Pauls Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai.

Carol Andrade

Carol Andrade is a journalist and a former Chief Editor of The Afternoon daily. She is the Dean of St Pauls Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai.