Dilemma of long holidays: Get busy or rest, recharge?

Society believes at any given time, we must be doing something productive

In Summary

• On election-induced long break, must all activities be geared towards improving CV?

Intern at work
Intern at work

General elections in Kenya tend to bring everything else to a standstill. Many things in the country do not proceed until elections are held. Often, this stems from the fear that things could go haywire, which makes many prefer to halt their plans and proceed once elections are done with.

The academia has not been spared by this. This year, many institutions of higher learning went on long holidays. While for some the holidays were scheduled, for others, starting a new semester would mean the term would run through, August which is election season. Consequently, many preferred going on holiday until September. With so much time on one's hands, how should students spend it?

One popular way is to get internships. Many students find this an opportune time to look for places where they can work and put their knowledge into practice. Besides giving one practical experience, internships may also be a source of income as many of the employers may give the interns a stipend.

For others, it provides an opportunity to learn new or supplementary courses. This is particularly true for students doing accounting. Being on holiday means they can focus all their attention on the other course they are doing.

Learning a new skill may also be possible then. Take, for instance, learning to play a music instrument. It is a process that needs consistent practice, and having much time in one's hands provides a perfect chance for such activities.

All these activities are constructive. They add value to the one doing them. But what if one seems to be doing nothing at all? Just resting and going about their daily home routine?

From where I sit, there's nothing wrong with that. The present-day culture tends to make us believe that at any given time, we must be doing something that adds value to us. That we shouldn't just be merely existing.

This thinking fails to recognise that, for one to be given a break, they were actively engaged in something that might have been draining. For instance, before the long holidays, students were at school for many months. Thus, they do need time to rest and recharge.

If one is able to find something to keep them busy over the holiday, that's great. But it's also an option to just take that break and relax. The perception of seeing rest as a waste of time leads to overworking, which can sometimes cause death.

Relaxing doesn't necessarily mean staying idle. You could travel, visit your loved ones, help around the farm if you have one, be engaged in community activities, read new books, watch movies, to mention but a few.

The activities may not necessarily be geared towards improving your CV, but they let you calm your mind and may still help you learn something new. When you take such breaks, your mind will probably be more receptive to grasping new content once you get back to school.

Holidays are a great time to relax. There's no shame in doing so.

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