7 Things To Do In The Break Whilst Everyone Else Is In Europe
By Thomasin McCuaig
Uni exams are finally over and alongside the slightly anticlimactic feeling of finishing semester one is the sense of FOMO you experience when looking at your friends’ Insta and Snap stories in Paris. However, do not fret! Here’s a list of things to do without leaving the country.
1) Take a short trip outside of Sydney
Finishing exams probably means you’ve got the travel bug. Yet, your bank account and work schedule does not agree with these plans. Don’t worry! A short 2-3 night stay in a gorgeous Airbnb accommodation may just be the answer. Such places may include:
- Staying at ‘The Book Shed at Elouera’ in Bowral (1 hour and 20 mins from Sydney). This place is nothing short of breathtaking with rural views over the cute town of Bowral. Here, you can visit an array of gorgeous cafes like ‘Harry’s on Green Lane’ or be a little kid again and shop at Bowral’s ‘Sweets & Treats.’ At night, go on down to the Royal Hotel for a classic pub meal of sausages and mash with a few dark spirits. Beware: It is an average of 13º degrees.
- If Bowral is not your thing and you want to be closer to the coast, take a trip to Berry (1 hour and 40 mins from Sydney). The adorable village of Berry has the best of both worlds: it has an old country town vibe whilst being a short drive from the beach. In Berry you can go to the famous Donut Van, lolly stores, boutique shops and cosy pubs. If you want to stay within walking distance from the village centre and with a group of people, stay at the gorgeous ‘Circa 1890 Berry’ Cottage. It is everything you imagine a dream cottage to be: historical + stylish. It has a large open lounge area, fireplace, heated spa, massage room, wrap around verandah and BBQ area.
- Leura is also a fantastic op! It’s an hour and 50 minutes from Sydney and is the perfect place if you want to explore all the things that the Mountains have to offer and then rug up and retreat to a friendly and stunning village location. Leura has a classy and vintage style and is hailed as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Blue Mountains. With tree-lined streets, old cottages and beautiful gardens, this trip will warm your soul, despite freezing your body.
2) Binge watch your favourite TV shows and indulge in documentaries and film
If you find extra time in your schedule or have A LOT of free time (and the flu, like me), then grab your remote, a blanket, some comfort food (in moderation) and immerse yourself in Netflix, Stan and Foxtel. There is an overwhelming amount of content to watch. Hence, it is ESSENTIAL to dedicate a whole day (or two) to binge-watching where you put yourself first: with semester 1 over, you deserve to de-stress! If you’re anything like me, you will already be committed to Euphoria, Big Little Lies, The Act, Wentworth, The Handmaid’s Tale and the guilty pleasures of The Voice and Real Housewives of New York City (don’t judge)… and that’s only Foxtel!
3) Treat yourself
Although you may feel brain dead right now, reading a book that is not assigned to you whilst catching some rays is definitely the way to go. Through this activity, you are averting your attention from your racing thoughts, activating your imagination and absorbing vitamin D. Treat yourself to a full body massage: you’re going to need it after hunching over a computer for 13 weeks. Also treat yourself to a makeover: getting a new haircut – as minimal as it may seem – will make you feel fresh and new.
4) Do what makes you feel creative
Whether it be writing, singing, playing an instrument, dancing, acting or even finding an internship, do what makes you feel the most creative. It is so easy to let go of your passions in the semester when you are too busy meeting assessment deadlines and “attempting” the weekly readings. However, this break is your time to focus on you, what you love and what makes you feel happy.
5) Go on a night out!
Although a lot of your friends may have left for holidays, there is bound to be someone who you can bring on a night out (even if it is re-connecting with an old friend). If you want to be entertained, go to The Griffin Theatre to see a play or buy tickets to a concert. For a chilled night with friends, go to ‘Old Mate’s Place’ near Town Hall Station, ‘Frankie’s Pizza’ or a pub and bar crawl down King Street. If you prefer the nightclub scene, head on down to ‘Side Bar’ outside central station, ‘Home,’ ‘Scary Canary,’ ‘Chinese Laundry,’ ‘Marquee Sydney,’ ‘Junction,’ ‘The Retro,’ ‘World Bar,’ or ‘Goros.’ Woah, okay, that is a lot of listing…I’ll stop. Whether you are a club person or a pub person, it is necessary to let loose with your (available) friends.
6) Do everything that you have been delaying
It is completely normal to put things off in order to cope with uni workload. However, now is the time to vacuum that clump of dust under your bed… It’s been a long time coming. Whether it is de-cluttering your room or developing your film from two months ago, ticking off a to-do list will clear and free your mind.
7) Spend quality time with family and those you love
Sometimes uni can swallow you up and cause you to retreat from your family and friends. Spend this time to appreciate the ones you love and listen to them and what is going on in their own life. At this time in our life, it is easy to get totally wrapped up in ourselves. By listening to and helping those you care about, you will feel fulfilled and better for having done so.
There you have it. It may seem basic but if you spend time in doing all of these things, you will feel nourished (maybe not after the night out), creative and ready to take on semester 2!