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What to do with free time

  1. Jun 5, 2008 #1
    Hi guys, i want to discuss something which I think is common atleast among younger crowd. I just got my summer vacation and i'll be mostly travelling abroad for vacations or staying at home...

    what bothers me is that i deprive myself from playing video games and some other stuff to keep focused on my studies. Now, that i'm in vacation, I should go and enjoy myself but every time i try to do that i feel guilty because I know I can do better things with my time and that's the problem.

    I think its a common thing because as alot of you know, for an engineering student or any educated person, there's alot to know and that is overwhelming.
    Sorry if some might count this as spam, but i needed to open up especially that i feel that you might understand what i'm saying.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2008 #2

    That's what I've been doing. I've never read much in my life. This is my FIRST SUMMER w/o summer classes!!!!! I've been reading books one after another, I cant put them down!

    Get yourself a bunch of good books and read them. I finished Surely, your joking mr feynman a few days ago. That's an ok read and only took me about 5 days to finish. Feynman sure did love him some prostitutes, my kinda guy.
  4. Jun 5, 2008 #3
    For the most part, I'll be relaxing and enjoying myself this summer. I just bought Classic Feynman (contains Surely You're Joking and What Do You Care..., along with an audio CD) to read over the summer, and will probably finally get to watching some movies that I bought ages ago...I may also self-teach myself some physics and a bit of math, but that too is entertaining for me. Aside from all of that, I have very few plans for the summer. Don't feel too guilty about slacking off for a few months, as I'm sure you deserve it--after months of studying and hard work, relaxation is well-earned.
  5. Jun 5, 2008 #4
    If you are skillful, try constructing something, like a telescope. There are many books that talk about that.

    If you have enough money, learn a language. There are many language schools, and some of them are really nice. That could take one month of your time, or more if you decide to. I tried that a few years ago. I met a lot of people and had a great time.
  6. Jun 5, 2008 #5


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    I think AhmedEzz is from Egypt, so he already knows at least two languages :smile: . But that's a good suggestion, for those who are only...unilingual?

    Most of the time, I would take at least one class during summer. Still, I would emphasize simply having a good time with friends since I didn't get much time to socialize during the school year. Having fun is a great way to re-charge your batteries.
  7. Jun 5, 2008 #6
    Correct, I'm Egyptian. I like the idea of taking a summer class but what would that be? I already have a plan to go to the UK or the far East in August so it shouldn't be a long one. I was thinking programming but I'm not sure, i like REAL science more.

    Learning a language is also said to increase memory and intelligence. Can someone learn a language online?

    Can you recommend readings for undergrad-level physics/QM/computer-engineering?

    I tell myself that too but I just can't get it into my mind. I adore video games but I feel that I can put my time in something more fruitful.
  8. Jun 5, 2008 #7
    Actually, its called being Amurikan!

    Techincally speaking, I speak American, British, Canadian, AND Australian. Put that on your Ress-ume.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  9. Jun 5, 2008 #8
    Is programing somehow FAKE science?
  10. Jun 5, 2008 #9
    I also suffer from same thing! :smile:

    For me, definition of having fun is watching a Korean movie (they make awesome love movies!), and if I watch more than one in a week I start feeling guilty. I mostly use my free time to get ahead of work.
  11. Jun 5, 2008 #10
    But that doesn't always go as planned because when working during your vacation, you lack concentration, determination and motivation. And you end up being under-relaxed.

    I meant that I want something that is more "scientific" than programming. Programming in my eyes is more of a skill than a science. Unlike physics for example.
  12. Jun 5, 2008 #11
    You should do more research into what goes into programming. :)

    There can be lots and lots of maths involved. I take it you've never used matlab before.
  13. Jun 5, 2008 #12
    Actually I'm currently doing a convolution project with MATLAB...
  14. Jun 5, 2008 #13
    Then you should know that alot goes into programming. Try to write a C++ program that does the basic functions matlab does, and see how fun it becomes.

    The discritization of mathematical problems via finite difference methods, is just one example.

    I want you to :eek: your eyes and appreciate what you use in your everyday research. Dont downtalk another area of science because its not what you like to do. Science is science, ALL of it is just as important as any other area. Never speak of 'fake science' or 'soft science'. Id challenge you to run any physics experiment without the contrubution of the modern computer and programming. Its flat out disrespectful to say something like that about another field of science. :(
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  15. Jun 5, 2008 #14
    There was no mention of prostitutes in surely you're joking. Strippers, yes, prostitutes, no.
  16. Jun 5, 2008 #15
    What free time?
  17. Jun 5, 2008 #16
    Ahmed, I'm also from Egypt and I'll be graduating this year, if there is anything I think I shouldve done more in my college years it'll be more summer jobs/internships, so if you could get an internship in any reputable company it'll be great, but I do realize that it could be hard because your still in your first year, so you could also take a couple of courses related to your interests (maybe CCNA,MCSE..for some reason people are loving this stuff here).

    Also like Cyrus said I'd recommend reading, one thing about our college system is that we're graduated with a very narrow array of topics at hand, find something other than engineering and read about maybe science, politics, philosophy, and preferably if you could do try doing it in English, cause I'm studying for the GRE exam and the vocabulary is just plain torture.
  18. Jun 5, 2008 #17
    I only speak english and the vocab is torture!! The words are asinine. <--GRE word baby.
  19. Jun 5, 2008 #18
    If you love your work, then doing it on your own time is the most relaxing/invigorating vacation you could take. Think about what you love, and do it! If video games stimulate you more than your work, then play them! Though I doubt that is the case :approve:
  20. Jun 5, 2008 #19
    meh, asinine is a pretty commonly used word. It might be on the GRE, but it is a low level difficulty word. GRE words get much harder.
  21. Jun 5, 2008 #20
    I shoot billiards. It involves physics and a bit of trig right? ;-p

    And I read but I prefer fiction for the most part so I wouldn't know what books to suggest.
    Maybe "Relativity" by Einstein, though you may not need a laymans description of relativity.
    Ummm... other than that all of the non-fic I have read is historical. Do you like history much?
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