Note: This is our last Student Opinion question for the 2021-22 school year.
Do you have plans for this summer? Vacations? Summer camps? Hanging out with friends? Starting new projects? Does this summer mark any big transitions for you, such as moving up to high school or college or starting a summer job?
In “Summer in the City Is Back (Again!),” Julia Carmel shares some recommendations for ways to spend the next few months in New York City. Even if you live somewhere else in the country — or the world — you can probably find many similar activities in your community. Here are a few things on the list:
Visit a farmers’ market. If you’re feeling adventurous, buy something you’ve never tried before. I’m planning to try a new flavor of goat cheese from Lynnhaven farm at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket at my next picnic in Prospect Park. If prepared food is more your speed, Korsha likes the doubles, the quintessential Trinidadian street food of flatbread and saucy stewed chickpeas, at A & A Bake and Roti Shop and at Ali’s Roti Shop in Crown Heights, as well as the jerk chicken at Peppa’s in Flatbush.
Visit a new museum. I’m hoping to check out the retrospective of Raphael Montañez Ortiz at El Museo del Barrio, and the upcoming Duke Riley and Virgil Abloh exhibits at the Brooklyn Museum.
Spend an afternoon finding something new. Last summer, after a trip to Chicago was canceled by inclement weather, I visited Au Cheval and learned that there is half of a squished silver bean (much like the famed one, officially known as “Cloud Gate,” by the British artist Anish Kapoor, in Chicago) nearing completion on Leonard Street in Lower Manhattan.
Catch a few live music shows. Celebrate Brooklyn, Lincoln Center and the Parks Department (can you tell I love public parks?) all have their calendars up for this summer.
Sports! Frankly, I do not understand baseball but Nick Bogel-Burroughs, who works on the National desk, got me into going to Brooklyn Cyclones games. I was won over: There are sometimes fireworks! There are always frozen drinks! And did I mention they celebrate Weenie Wednesdays with two-for-one hot dogs?
Learn about what lives in our public parks. There are plenty of birding events, and Dodai Stewart, our Times colleague and New Yorker extraordinaire, has even signed up to work with horseshoe crabs. My mom also loves going on fungi walks led by the New York Mycological Society.
Try a new hobby. There are free kayaking lessons on the Hudson River, shuffleboard courts in Gowanus and lots of free dance and workout classes scattered around the city’s parks. (I’ve always wanted to try glass blowing, as well, but I might save that for a colder season.)
Students, read the entire article, then tell us:
Did any of the ideas in the article stand out to you? What is one thing you would like to do or see in your community this summer?
What is one thing you would like to achieve or accomplish this summer? Do you have a goal to read a certain number of books? Spend more time outside? Get a job?
How do you plan on treating yourself and relaxing this summer? What will feel like a rewarding break to you after the school year is over?
Does summer break ever bring up negative emotions for you? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of unstructured time off? Or get anxious about the school year ahead? How do you cope with those feelings?
Write a recommendation for a summer activity to do where you live. Is there something you’ve experienced that you think other teenagers should try? Or something you’ve never done but always wanted to? Use inspiration from the featured article to make your description exciting and enticing, and then post it in the comments.
Want more writing prompts? You can find all of our questions in our Student Opinion column. Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate them into your classroom.
Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.