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5 ways to de-stress after exams

Diane Leow

Thu Nov 17 2011

Destress after exams

Photo by Keith Pomakis

SO another semester has passed and you’re nearing – or have reached – the end of your exams. With so much free time on the horizon, Meld throws out some suggestions for five great ways to de-stress these holidays.

You probably don’t need us to tell you, but it’s really important to wind down at the end of the school year. This is the time to look back on your achievements, as well as the not-so-glamourous moments, and reflect on what you’ve learned academically… or otherwise. It’s also vital that you rest up and get ready for a new year.

Melbourne is a great city to rest and relax in, especially in summer. Sure, you can go to the beach or go shopping, but that’s hardly new or exciting. Now that you’re free from the shackles of studying and university, try something different. So here it goes:

1. Explore a new suburb

It’s so easy to stay in your comfort zone and avoid venturing anywhere unfamiliar. Personally, the only Melbourne suburb I’d dare to say I know well is Carlton, and that’s only because I’ve lived there for five years.

In the last year though, I’ve been exploring new and different parts of Melbourne. Some suburb names get my tongue completely twisted (Elsternwick? Mordialloc?) while others are easy enough.

When I do get the chance to wander out of the city, I don’t even have to wander that far. Armadale and Malvern are only a short tram or train ride from the city and are great suburbs for Melbourne-exploring newbies. With a good sprinkling of 19th Century buildings around High St, they remind me of little European towns. It’s so easy to wander around their streets and forget you’re even in Melbourne.

2. Pack a picnic

Go ahead, take advantage of the great weather and pack a picnic. Picnics don’t have to take much preparation…I love to go to the market in the morning and grab a few of my favourite items like pesto, dips, crackers, ham, some fruit and a gorgeous loaf of bread.

With this ready-made picnic pack in hand, all you have to do is pick your spot. The Royal Botanic Gardens is an obvious choice, but for something more quiet, you can try the Fitzroy Gardens, or even St Kilda Beach. Don’t forget to bring something to drink – a nice white wine or apple cider is always nice.

Now all you need is great company and a camera to document the day!

3. Reorganise your room

Student apartments can get a little boring after you’ve lived in them for a while. Why not use your free time to pack up your things and change the layout of your room? Or to take a look at the growing photo collection on your Facebook page, print some out, and decorate your space?

Alternatively, you could clear up some room by collecting items you don’t use anymore and donating them to the less fortunate.

Yooralla, an organisation that helps the disabled, has a bargain shop at 135 Elgin Street, Carlton. They accept donations and the proceeds from the sale of your items will go towards improving the quality of life of those who have a disability. Sometimes we all get restless and wish we could do something meaningful, and a little donation can go a long way.

4. Start looking for an internship

Now don’t look at me like that!

Internships are a great way of finding out if you’ll enjoy your chosen career path, and can be heaps of fun.

During my undergraduate degree, I was really bored during one of my summer holidays and started sending out my resume in the vain hope that someone would hire me as an intern. The advertising arm of a local publishing company was looking for extra help and before I knew it, I was interning with them.

You never know if there’s an opportunity just around the corner. So don’t be shy, ask around. Internships look great on your resume.

5. Volunteer

Volunteering is one of the nicest and most rewarding ways to spend your summer holidays. Not only do you get the satisfaction of helping others, but you’ll also be making a real difference to someone else’s life. Life can be hard sometimes and even the smallest gesture can put a smile on a person’s face.

There are plenty of places to volunteer in Melbourne. GoVolunteer has a huge list of organisations and charities that are looking for people. You don’t have to give up your whole summer. You can volunteer as a walking companion for people with a mild disability, you can teach dance or cooking, or even just provide a bit of company to the elderly who live in aged care facilities near you.

So find something you love doing and volunteer!

Are there any other ways you like to de-stress post-exams? Let us know in the comment box below.