This chap might be pondering his reading list for Michaelmas Maria Geller from Pexels:

It’s definitely more than a little jarring making the transition from fully fledged Cambridge student, fresh out of the haze of exams and May Week, to hometown citizen once again. A couple of days spent in your childhood bedroom is enough to send you into a boredom-induced tailspin that may convince you that you are genuinely fourteen again, complete with the emotional instability of your early teenage years. Even if, like myself, you get on well with your parents, adapting to their living habits can make even a more grating university living situation feel like a peace and love commune. For instance, me and my own father’s inability to exist in a very normal-sized kitchen at the same time without a family row has put strain on our quality time.

While I do respect his latest project, saving the caps of sriracha bottles just in case a future one breaks, these quirky family habits mean that a lifestyle of merely pottering around the house is sadly untenable. Fortunately, for those in the same predicament, I have learnt a variety of coping strategies to fight a groundhog day-esque summer of scrolling on TikTok and bickering with various family members. Below are some activities that can be done to keep you busy enough to keep those sad summer feelings away.

Purge your belongings

Marie Kondo is nowhere to be seen because she is afraid of you and your abilities to declutter. Maybe this makes me look very lame, but getting rid of stuff I don’t use brings me a deep visceral joy. Plus, you can sell your eclectic mix of purged items on eBay. Faux eucalyptus hanging vines? Gone. Juicy Couture rhinestone backpack? Gone. Maybe it’s the retired Depop girlie in me, but decluttering and selling your belongings brings a great sense of inner peace and tranquility that keeps the sad feelings at bay for that little bit longer. This can also be a good group activity, with a friend to hold you accountable and tell you that you really can just let go of your school leavers’ hoodie and that while 2014 fashion might be on its way back, it doesn’t mean that this extends to your primary school’s ‘Class of 2014’ pullover.

Discover your inner Nigella

“Georgie Atkinson relies on a pain aux raisin a day to wash the pain away”

This is a foolproof one, honestly. Speaking like a true Londoner, my fellow Lifestyle editor and baked goods expert, Georgie Atkinson relies on a “pain aux raisin a day to wash the pain away”. A great way to eat your feelings but have it feel like an activity is to spend many hours elaborately cooking things from scratch. While making pasta from scratch is possibly more cost-efficient, that is where things end on the practicality front. But what could be better than wasting away your prime years painstakingly rolling and cutting some ultimately disappointing linguine? I can think of very few things. Joshua Weissman on YouTube can provide some inspiration for unnecessarily elaborate meals that kill both your time and your sad feelings.

Work for an agency or a festival

Maybe counting this as an activity is a push, but if you’re strapped for cash, working for an agency is a pretty decent summer option. I myself have dabbled in some of the less glamorous roles, including being a dinner lady for some Spanish exchange students who were reluctantly given a baptism of fire into English school dinner cuisine. However, working at large events can actually be fairly interesting or even fun. For example, festivals are often looking for workers, and you can either be paid or work a few hours in exchange for free tickets.

Write an article for Varsity

Some shameless self-promotion here. If you have a spare few hours and approximately 800 words you can write about a given topic then send in your ideas to the relevant section editor (preferably Lifestyle please and thank you). Writing an article is not only good experience but a prime opportunity to be even more unbearable on Linkedin, something all Cambridge students have a deep natural urge to be.

Release your inner middle aged alter ego


Mountain View

Time to say goodbye

A podcast and a stroll is a surefire way to embrace your inner 50-something-year-old as you potter around your hometown. Bonus points if you walk with your hands behind your back to really slip into the role. Georgie has leant in completely by favoring the Ashes as her listening of choice with Alex Hartley and Phil Tufnell on the Test Match Special. However, the beauty of headphones is that you can embody the middle-aged aesthetic while listening to the Call Her Daddy podcast and passers-by are none the wiser.

Embrace the great outdoors

If you’re willing to embrace leaving the house in an even more committal way, then it’s time to dust off your Duke of Edinburgh kit from the attic and grab your friends (or victims), embarking on a delightful camping adventure together. I will admit that I only did Duke of Edinburgh bronze in year nine, and never actually received my award, but one thing I do have to show for it is the camping gear. You can wild camp if you’re feeling brave, or live in Scotland where it’s actually allowed (currently). If not, basic campsites can be fairly affordable, especially when split with friends. As the rain is beating down outside your tent, you’re onto your seventh round of Irish Snap, and you’re convinced the sheep outside is an axe-murderer, you can warmly reflect on how glad you are that you didn’t just stay at home in a dry house.