Summer activities make return to school easier


Christopher Denkovich/FHS Press

Students who don’t stimulate their brains over the summer can fall behind their peers that do. On the contrary, students who feel like they are behind their peers can use this as an opportunity to catch up.

As soon as the school year starts, students rush to their calendars to look for days off, and they start counting down the days until summer. Many students wait to do nothing more than relax on warm, sunny, summer days. However, putting no strain on a developing mind through the course of a long period of time can lead to “brain rot” and restrict growth. Many children throughout their childhood have been told that brains could rot when they are left unchallenged and left to mindlessly watch television or scroll through social media. Though brains cannot literally rot, something similar can happen if left unstimulated for long periods, like summer break.

“Your brain has neural networks. The more you learn, the more you add to them. The less you use them, the more they go away. If you don’t stimulate your brain over summer, you’ll lose all of those connections and have to rebuild them all over again,” Ms. Maria Porter said.

The loss of neural network connections can leave many students in a back-to-school slump, making the transition back to school much harder. This slump wastes time for both students and teachers as many valuable class periods are wasted at the beginning of the year. The time that could be spent on learning new information is delayed, so students can review forgotten knowledge and relearn how to function and thrive in a school setting.

However, hope is not lost for students; activities to keep student brains stimulated can be much more enjoyable than doing worksheets all summer long. 

“Students can do all kinds of things over the summer like reading, crossword puzzles, playing board games, talking to friends about current events, learning about topics they are interested in and even social media can help, if used the right way,” Porter said.

Any activity that keeps students’ minds engaged and critically thinking will crucially benefit them as they move throughout high school. It is up to students to seize any opportunity that makes learning easier and more enjoyable. Spending time over the summer doing small and fun activities, even just when bored, will make a huge impact on student life. Summer learning can be much more enjoyable when students branch out and try new things to find something they enjoy doing. Hobbies are an incredible way for students to do something they love while keeping a healthy mind. Some interesting hobbies include trying a new sport, learning a foreign language, learning CPR or other survival skills, taking a self-defense class or even sensations of meditation. 

Any activity that students enjoy that keeps their brains thinking will make the return to school a smoother transition that helps flourish their ability to learn and make their time at school more beneficial and enjoyable.