The first summer after university can be a bit different, whether you’re going home or sticking around for your first summer in Nova Scotia. You may feel like you’re leading a bit of a double life—one where you’re in school and one when you’re not. This is normal! We’ve put together some things to expect so you can prepare.
1. More free time than you think
Four whole months of it! Whether you’re working or not, you’ll still probably have more free time than you did while you were in school. You should have a couple summer projects in mind, whether that’s checking out local national parks, learning how to cook, or starting a new fitness routine. If you’re staying in Halifax, check out our summer bucket list for some ideas on how to spend your study-free weekends.
2. A ton of questions
Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends are going to want to know how your first year went. Be patient with them! Here are a few questions you can expect and plan your answers for ahead of time:
- How was your first year?
(Incredibly difficult to answer! We recommend referencing a couple of highlights, including what you learned and events you went to.)
- What are your plans for next year?
(While you may not know the answer, talk about what you’re excited about or are looking forward to.)
- What are your friends doing for the summer?
- What program are you taking again?
3. Quieter cities
The tourists will come, but the students will be gone. You may not notice it right away, but when students head home for the summer the traffic disappears, there’s more space on the sidewalks, and the city slows down (this goes for all cities with universities). If you don’t notice it now, you will in September when everyone comes back! That being said…
4. Open patios!
Patio season is always amazing. It’s pretty relaxing to be able to sit and enjoy your food while also enjoying the sun. Just make sure you’re being considerate of others, and that you aren’t blowing all your savings! In Halifax, check out The Coast’s 2018 best patio winners.
If you’re moving back in with your family for the summer, you may be surprised by new expectations that they have. From curfews to cooking meals, your family is probably going to have some new rules. While this may seem crazy after a year of university-found independence and late night KD binges, the best thing you can do is sit down and have a conversation about it. Talking about (and modifying) house rules early on will make sure that everyone is on the same page.
There’s a ton of sweet festivals in the summer (your summer project could be to volunteer for one or two). A few that we recommend in Halifax include the Halifax International Busker Festival, Halifax Pride Festival, and TD Halifax Jazz Festival. In Truro, we recommend the Wild Blueberry Harvest Festival and Pride Parade. If you’re eying up festivals (or travel) out of your home province, May and June are great times to go! Flights are cheaper than they are in peak summer.
7. Meeting up with old friends, and missing your new ones!
You may have gone to different universities, but you’ll be surprised with how many experiences you share. And don’t worry if you didn’t talk much throughout the year, great friends can pick up right where they left off. You may be talking to your university friends a lot less than expected once those different work schedules and time zones kick in. This is totally normal, and group chats are a great way to keep updated on everyone’s life.
8. Getting a job (and everything that comes with it)
The summer is a great time to look into different jobs in different places – four months off means you can go somewhere new and sublet (there are tons of great research and government jobs all over Canada)! As nice as working may sound after all those exams, it can be hard to get used to having a strict schedule again. No more studying in sweatpants wherever you want!
While summer is a great time to hang out with family and friends (and catch up on sleep), we guarantee that time is going to fly by. We can’t wait to see you back in September!
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Dani has the answers to all her parents’ questions prepped!