Tea Time: What to Do with Summer?


Earl Grey

Dear Earl,

It’s me again. You don’t know who I am, so I now realize that that sentence is kind of pointless. Futility aside for a moment, I have a problem. It’s very serious. Here it is: I’m bored. The vast, endless, barren hellscape that is the month of July stretches out before me like the very reaches of time itself.

This is just a fun little letter, so I realize that that sentence is kind of overkill. Overkill aside, HELP ME. What should I do with my summer?

I have no plans. I have no future. But my lack of a future is really not the point. The point is I need something to do this summer — let me be more clear, I need something to do besides eat bagel chips in the tepid darkness of my downstairs pantry. What should I do?




Hi Yours,

I agree summer can feel barren and punishing. But there’s a ton you can do to keep yourself entertained.

Try getting a job. A lot of kids work as a counselor for a camp or work in a local business. The staff in the Guidance Office at RHS can help you with working papers.

You could also attend a camp or summer program.  By the time you’re reading this it might seem too late, but there are always cancellations and a spot might open just for you.  There are also a few FREE teen programs at the Starr Library in Rhinebeck you should definitely check out. You can even get community service credit there.

You can garden, start a compost bin, ride your bike, jog, play sports, walk your dogs (or start a dog walking business), or swim. The summer is the perfect time for exploring the outdoors.

If you can’t get out of the house or if you’re just an indoor kind of cat, there is still a lot that can be done. I know you don’t want to hear this but you can get a head start on your school work for next year. Keep your brain in shape so when fall comes, you are not traumatized.  Or, you can clean your room (which always feels very satisfying when finished), practice your cooking skills, read a few books, make some art, have a spa day.

You could always hang out with your friends, but I know it can be hard because many of them are away or working. What about a Pen Pal? Try this site and you might meet a new friend from another part of the world.

Really just do anything you enjoy that’s not watching Phineas and Ferb until your eyes bleed (like I did between 6th and 7th grade). Just keep yourself engaged and try not to sleep too much. If you’ve been sleeping twelve hours a day for three months it can feel like a real shock when school rolls around again.  But with the extra sleep we know we’re getting this summer, it’s fun to keep a dream journal (check out this app!).  Then turn your crazy reveries into something creative at the Rhinebeck Young Writers Workshop (this summer at Starr Library July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 & August 5 ).

Have a great summer!


Earl Grey