What to do with free time

  • Thread starter AhmedEzz
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  • #1
AhmedEzz
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.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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READ!

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.
 
  • #3
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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.
 
  • #4
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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.
 
  • #5
lisab
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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.

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.
 
  • #6
AhmedEzz
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.

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?

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.

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.
 
  • #7
3,042
16
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.

Actually, its called being Amurikan!

Techincally speaking, I speak American, British, Canadian, AND Australian. Put that on your Ress-ume.
 
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  • #8
3,042
16
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.

Is programing somehow FAKE science?
 
  • #9
412
4
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 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.
 
  • #10
AhmedEzz
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.

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.

Is programing somehow FAKE science?

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.
 
  • #11
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16
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.

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.
 
  • #12
AhmedEzz
Actually I'm currently doing a convolution project with MATLAB...
 
  • #13
3,042
16
Actually I'm currently doing a convolution project with MATLAB...

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. :(
 
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  • #14
1,309
19
READ!

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.

There was no mention of prostitutes in surely you're joking. Strippers, yes, prostitutes, no.
 
  • #15
670
3
What free time?
 
  • #16
Abdelrahman
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.
 
  • #17
3,042
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.

I only speak english and the vocab is torture!! The words are asinine. <--GRE word baby.
 
  • #18
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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:
 
  • #19
1,309
19
I only speak english and the vocab is torture!! The words are asinine. <--GRE word baby.

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.
 
  • #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?
 
  • #21
3,042
16
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.

I wouldnt know, I never took the GRE's!.....and I never will...........(evil eyes)
 
  • #22
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19
I wouldnt know, I never took the GRE's!.....and I never will...........(evil eyes)

I took it and did rather mediocre. I've never performed well on standardized tests. My actual GRE score was much lower than my practice GRE score.

Well, I got into a respectable top 30 PhD program with full funding that fits my criteria and the research my future advisor is doing is in line with my interests, so I am happy. Plus, I never have to take a standardized test ever again in my life, unless I for some reason decide to go to b-school later on in life.
 
  • #23
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I think my best score on the sat was 1250.....quite sad. I would def. FLUNK the GRE, mainly due to the verbal section. Those words are hard!
 
  • #24
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I think my best score on the sat was 1250.....quite sad. I would def. FLUNK the GRE, mainly due to the verbal section. Those words are hard!

I never took the SAT. I didn't do well on the ACT though.
 
  • #25
3,042
16
I thumbed through my old SAT vocab list and it took me four years of college to learn most of those words ~80%!
 
  • #26
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Reading is - in my opinion - one of the best ways to get a grasp of vocabulary
It is a great pass-time whether you are reading fiction or pop-sci.
Not that I don't like video games (huge fan of Fifa an Pro Evo) but reading is better.
You should enjoy yourself over your summer. Play some viedo games, read a few books, eat some tasty food from another culture (thai food is my favorite [ american thai food ] ), socialize with friends, work a part time job whether related to your field or not, take up playing a instrument ... possibilities are endless. Just do not waste your summer away. Yeah video games are fun, but a whole summer filled with them could have been better spent in my opinion
 
  • #27
Learn Matlab

Seriously, you can't go wrong learning Matlab in this market. Spend a little time writing a few programs and getting the feel for it. If you're going to read, I'd recommend reading books not having to do with science. It gives your brain balance. The old classics offer a nice selection... try some Bronte or Hemingway.

And after all that learning starts to take its toll, take a break. Go down to the local pool hall, shoot a few games, and buy a drink for a beautiful woman.

Cheers,
DT
 
  • #28
42
0
I'd like to stress the importance not doing something on the vacation for the sake of being productive. Otherwise you'll not have a vacation and you risk growing tired of it all when school starts again. Read books if you truly enjoy it, hang out with friends if that's what you like. As long as you're doing it for the fun of it and not for some kind of pressure you put on yourself.

Is programing somehow FAKE science?
When done in practice - unquestionably yes. IMHO computer science is one of the most ugly, unstructured, cluttered, stupid and plain unlogical "science" ever created. And yeah, I spent the major part of my awake hours from age the of 10 to 20 tinkering with programming. For a long time I tried to understand where the beauty lied in legendary things like POSIX, Emacs, LaTeX, X11, just to name a few, but later on I realised that there was none to be found. Guess the really great minds turned to fields other than CS leaving these in-theory good ideas to the trashed by stupid Jolt Cola consumers.

(Sorry for the ignorant over-simplyfing rant, I just had to let it out. :blushing:)
 
  • #29
AhmedEzz
reading, having fun, learning a language and maybe have some programming courses that I don't enjoy....good list.

Guys, I love physics but its too strenous for to learning it, especially with the equations. I prefer to watch documentaries and short movies on youtube to get a more overview, which is good because in my vacation I don't need to study equations and all.

When YOU were on vacation, back in your college years, what did you do? and what do you think you should have done?
 
  • #30
Lisa!
Gold Member
620
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I'm planing to start learnkng French this summer!

READ!

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.

For the 1st time in my life, I'm feeling jealous of you!
Btw, go read some how to cook books, dear! They could be more useful for you.:devil:
 
  • #31
loseyourname
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Gold Member
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I just got back from a vacation in Lancaster County, PA, and I spent pretty much the entire time learning about the region and its history by visiting museums, heritage centers, and touring the local farms and towns, and, of course, nearby revolutionary battlefields and colonial encampments.
 
  • #32
cristo
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I also recommend reading- it will improve your vocabulary to no end (and not just for the 'memorise as many words as you can' GRE exam). It should also help with grammar: i find it amazing the number of college science graduates who don't know the difference between their and there, or your and you're!
 
  • #33
seycyrus
reading, having fun, learning a language and maybe have some programming courses that I don't enjoy....good list.

...

When YOU were on vacation, back in your college years, what did you do? and what do you think you should have done?

Get some non-science books. A few classics. A Tale of Two Cities. Brothers Karamazov etc. Read em and don't hesitate to reread or re-reread the last 10 pages you just read. Those will give you a common gtound enabling you to socialize with the intellectuals in other fields rather than your own.

Go to a coffeeshop and read. The hippy chicks will come.
 
  • #34
Get some non-science books. A few classics. A Tale of Two Cities. Brothers Karamazov etc. Read em and don't hesitate to reread or re-reread the last 10 pages you just read. Those will give you a common gtound enabling you to socialize with the intellectuals in other fields rather than your own.

Go to a coffeeshop and read. The hippy chicks will come.

Well I'm still in college and I try to balance my vacation time. I might take a week off and do nothing intellectual, but not an entire Summer. I'd try to read something, study something, exercise and burn a few extra calories...

I'll second seycyrus's suggestion.
 
  • #35
seycyrus
Well I'm still in college and I try to balance my vacation time. I might take a week off and do nothing intellectual, but not an entire Summer. I'd try to read something, study something, exercise and burn a few extra calories...

I'll second seycyrus's suggestion.

Esp, the part about the hippy chicks, I bet :)
 

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