As a senior in high school, I spend a lot of my time on college applications, but more so doing anything I can to push them off a little bit longer. So, procrastinating just a little more, here's a list of things to do instead of writing college essays.
1. Read a book.
Not including summer reading, by this point in your school career you have read your fair share of required readings. Let's face it, when was the last time you read for your own enjoyment? Frankly, I'd almost forgotten that reading could be an enjoyable pastime. Visit your local library, pick up that book you've been eyeing, sit down and enjoy it. You might even get some great ideas for those college essays you aren't writing!
2. Take a shower.
Who hasn't heard the "I had the best idea in the shower this morning..." line? No one. It's true, many bright ideas come when we are relaxed and distracted. Take a shower and unwind from the stresses of filling in text boxes and staring at blank word documents, you'll be surprised by the inspirations you come upon. You might even remember that perfect story for that college essay you're not writing.
3. Learn to cook.
Think of it as a snack break, and a back up plan if the college thing doesn't work out - can never have too many housewives! Whether it's your favorite food you've made uncountable times or a new recipe, get to the kitchen and start fixing it. There's no deeper pleasure than making something you're your own hands. Don't be afraid to get dirty and experiment, you can never take too many tastes. Cooking is cool, and it can be relaxing. Just be sure you invite someone over to wash the dishes!
4. Downward, upward and sideways facing dog.
You don't have to be a suburban housewife or hipster to practice yoga, you don't even have to attend a class. Take ten minutes out of your day and get to the mat, or cold floor. Yoga practice has a long list of benefits: improved concentration, reaction time, memory, strength, lung function, circulation and, if you're serious enough about it, the opportunity to find inner peace. Try it out at home with a video, or take an introductory class. Namaste.
5. Explore the world.
Leave your comfort zone every chance you get. Seize the day. Take each and every opportunity to travel whether it be to a nearby town or a distant country: take the opportunity. Even if it means scrounging up every penny to go, just go. You may be surprised of how your perspective will change as you travel. You will make connections, learn new things, and become increasingly adaptable. Travel gives insight into the lives of others as well as our own. Pack your bags and head out of town.
6. Check out ThoughtCatalog and Upworthy.
These are my go to websites when I have a bit of time to spare. ThoughtCatalog is a collection of brutal honesty. It'll make you laugh, and possibly cry, no matter what it will reap emotion and leave you feeling enlightened with new knowledge. Upoworthy is a similar collection of media with thousands of uplifting, amazing stories. They are great places to find inspiration for telling your own stories.
7. Make an amazing playlists.
It's productive! Spend 80% of your time making a playlist for the 20% of time you'll actually be working. Have you ever wondered why runners listen to music, it's because it keeps them motivated and going. Curate a playlist of up-beat songs to keep you going. To keep yourself from singing along and distracting yourself more, pick out some instrumentals and foreign language songs.
Be different. Think Different. When you are writing your college essays think of the little things you've done that make you just a little bit different. Are you an avid yogi or amateur chef? Was your life changed when you visited Auschwitz? Or do you have eclectic music taste?
It's the little things that make us different. It's not the perfect GPA, great SAT score or clubs we've joined; It's what we did while no one was watching that makes us unique.
Everyone has a story. A unique series of events that has molded them into the person they are. Find your story and tell it.