Tag: Summer vacation

Where in the WORLD?

Words: Bushra Lohrasbi

Summer is a time for adventure and discovery, and Centennial kids definitely know how to go all out. For some, a cliché vacation to the beach or to a relative’s house is the norm for their summer. But this year, students at Centennial have decided to go outside their comfort zone, and have the best summer yet.

Jinia Sarkar and Allyanna Rice, sophomores at Centennial, are planning on traveling with the “People to People” organization, an ambassador program for educational student travel. Heading to Europe, they couldn’t be more excited. “For the past couple of summers, I usually go to camps. But this year, I get to go out of the country and to new places, “ says Sarkar. Going to such foreign places without parent supervision could be scary for some, but not for Sarkar. “I am most thrilled to stay with an Italian family for two days during my trip.”

Will Jackson, also a tenth grader, is joining the “over-seas” club this summer. “As part of my confirmation, my church is going to Ireland. I am kind of nervous but happy to go over seas for the first time with friends.” Even though the trip is only ten days, this one trip will be the “turning point of the summer.”

Students like Tori Stroud, a junior at Centennial, have been planning this summer’s trip for quite a while. “I am going on a cruise with my girl scout troop to the Caribbean. It’s our end of high school celebration!” After a long year of work, a vacation to such a beautiful place sounds perfect. “I am so ready to have a vacation with my friends!”

On the other hand, there are students like Caitlin Crumley, a sophomore, who have been out of the country several times before.  However, Crumley, is not a stranger to the typical boring summer. “Over most summers, I … hang out with friends and go to camps.” However, Crumley’s family went to Kenya when she was little and in the summer of 2009. Crumley decided to go back to where she feels the happiest! She has wanted to go back since returning from her last trip. “I’m going to Kenya to build houses in poor, rural areas. I am so privileged for the opportunity and to go for my third time.”

For the rest of us, let’s make the most of the freedom. Improvise and enjoy your lack of sleep deprivation.  Can’t go to the pool? Tan in the backyard! Can’t go to Rita’s? Make homemade ice cream with friends! Can’t go to your favorite band’s concert? Blast their music and have a personal concert!

Staying in the same place can be comforting to a lot of people, but the occasional urge for adventure is part of our human nature. Hopefully your summer will be one of the coolest yet and unforgettable!


Freedom to Explore, Learn, and Experience

Words: Madhu Lal

As the last day of school is drawing near, many Centennial students are looking forward to playing in the sun, hanging out with friends, and spending days upon days doing anything but homework. Summer vacation serves as a way for students to take a breath from the stress of school.

I feel that summer vacation is a time to do what one feels is important. Hanging out with friends and relaxing should be a part of summer vacation, but I feel that working for a cause or exploring one’s passion is also an important event that should comprise part of summer break.

Many students become bored and do not challenge themselves during vacation. This lack of stimulation in the brain during summer causes students to lose information learned during the school year.

Studies published by summerlearning.org show that “Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months… students also lose more than two months in reading achievement.”

The stimuli that I feel should happen during summer does not necessarily have to fall under the traditional “educational” subjects such as math or English. I want to push students to explore and investigate their interests and get a better understanding of who they are and what they like or dislike.

Students also constantly worry about the future, whether or not they will find what they love to do, if they will get a good job, if they will be happy with their lives. Summer can serve as a perfect time for teens to ponder these questions and explore new jobs, hobbies, and subjects for extended periods of time without the disturbance of school work or exams.

Students always complain about not having time during the school year to do what they are interested in, but then when summer comes, and they have all the time in the world, they waste it by playing mindless video games or wasting money on clothes.

What students need to understand is that, by utilizing their summer and focusing on one or two things that make them happy, they will gain experience and knowledge that will help with their future.

Summer is the time for teens to take responsibility and initiative in learning new things because they want to, not because they are forced to.

One way to explore the vast opportunities and experiences that life has to offer is to visit local community events that are of your interest, whether it be a concert, a festival, carnival or car show. These places are great ways to immerse yourself in the culture behind an interest. Another way to find opportunities to express your interests is by signing up for different camps, clubs, or activities that are available. Finding internships and shadowing programs can also be interesting and exciting ways to spend a part of the summer.

Hanging out with friends is definitely an important aspect of summer, but sitting inside on Tumblr or playing video games in a messy dark room is a waste of a curious mind.

This coming summer I urge everyone to seek out opportunities and activities that will help in finding oneself and understanding one’s abilities and talents. Summer vacation is temporary; we are nearing the end of having vacation during the summer, and we might as well make it useful by uncovering the plethora of talents within ourselves waiting for the opportunity to shine.

To find information on events in Howard County and internship programs please visit: http://www.visithowardcounty.com or http://www.ellicottcity.net/events/.