Students share summer break plans, recommendations


Haley Oeur

Many students mark their calendar so they know how many days are left before the end of the school year. This year, summer break starts on June 12.

Haley Oeur, Staff Writer

Stressed with finals and end-of-year projects, students keep pushing through the end of the school year for hopes of what comes after: summer break. For many, it’s the light at the end of the tunnel, the salvation after suffering.

This year, the last day of school is June 11 and the first day of the 2021-2022 school year is Aug. 23, giving students more than two months of free time to take advantage of. Many students have exciting plans for their break.

“My brother is graduating college, so we’re probably going to have a graduation party for him,” freshman Abdelrahim Osman said. “We’ll probably [also] be traveling together [on a road trip].”

While the pandemic is still present, the increasing rate of vaccinations and relaxed coronavirus restrictions allow students to plan to meet their friends and family. Whether going out or staying indoors, there are many ways to spend quality time with others, including going to cafes, making ice cream or binge-watching shows with friends.

“I suggest going to Magnolia Dessert Bar and Café and Chateau de Chantilly,” freshman Leona Kim said. “They’re both cafes that have aesthetic food and interiors, so they’re great for taking photos.”

Traveling to nearby places can provide a change of scenery. Some viable options include beaches like Ocean City, Virginia Beach or the Outer Banks, as well as cities like D.C. and Annapolis. Camping in nearby mountain ranges like the Blue Ridge and Allegheny are also alternatives to crowds. U.S. News Travel gives a list of the best places to visit in Virginia, including Williamsburg, Richmond and Chincoteague Island.

Even without traveling, staying home produces an opportunity to develop skills or keep working at older ones. There are many new hobbies to discover from cooking, journaling, drawing or photography.

“[This summer], I’m going to work on improving my writing skills,” Kim said. “After taking creative writing as an elective this year, I’ve realized I want to write [as a side career] in the future.”

Sports also provide the opportunity to get some exercise. From basketball to swimming to ice skating, there are several options one can experiment with at nearby school basketball courts, community swimming pools or Fairfax Ice Arena.

“I’m actually hoping to learn how to throw a boomerang,” Osman said. “I [also] recently got really interested in volleyball, and I’m planning to practice over break and find a team for fall.”

While summer break can be spent doing more relaxing activities, some students like to prepare for the following year through enrichment classes or summer camps and programs. A variety of opportunities can usually be found in the weekly emails sent out by career center specialist Khristie Greiner or on the Chantilly Regional Library website.

“I had a bit of a hard time in school this year because of how much more difficult COVID-19 made everything, as well as the switch from middle school to high school,” Kim said. “I’m going to focus on making sure I’m prepared for next year’s classes.”

Summer is a time of opportunity to finally do the things constantly put off, so maybe it’s finally time to work on that project or learn that instrument. 

“You could go on picnics, play a sport, or learn programming languages. I’m hoping to learn [the coding language] C++,” Osman said. “Or you could just relax; [after all], it is summer break.”