Family matters


Vacation Time
Spending vs. Investing

Ravi was really looking forward to a long vacation especially because it was quite a taxing year, tenth standard after all. Waiting for just the last day of exams. It was going to be a Friday, the day they would get over with their exams. So Ravi and his friends were really irritated because they wouldn’t be able to see the first show. A lot of planning & re-planning was done to do ‘time pass’ in the vacations.

Students always look forward to the big day of an academic year the last day of the examination. Especially throughout the year & examination they wait, plan and then when it is actually there, besides probably a movie, video game, or a visit to an entertainment park, do not end up doing anything else.

Youth today however decidedly do not restrict themselves to just entertainment and fun. They are becoming increasingly concerned about the choices they have to make. And one of their choices is seeking a balance in the planning to a vacation. The idea behind doing this is they understand the need of the hour and are consciously aware of the competitive conditions that prevail. They are keen to empower themselves by spending their time according to a well thought out plan which is balanced in terms of learning new skills and entertainment.

The activities chosen should ideally help to focus on some of the areas already learnt build new, desirable mental constructs and acquire new skills. The activities could vary from developing broad motor skills, to fine interpersonal skills.

Everyone would have a different scheme for vacations, but a few smart ones would decide to invest wisely in their vacations.
Some avenues for investing vacation time are:

  • Adventure Camps become a good choice if you have a liking for nature, outdoors, risk taking and adventure. The attitude and skills you learn are cooperation, independence, interpersonal skills, motor skills and persistence.
  • Art/Craft/Hobby courses for those who find themselves to be artistically inclined. There are various classes which offer variety of innovative things to choose from such as Candle making, flower making, paper & stone sculpture, making of jute & crochet bags, stained glass painting,... Individuals who intend earning money out of home based careers can definitely give themselves an edge in their chosen skill. The qualities that you learn are soft motor skills, fine-tuning of eye hand coordination and definitely a boost in creativity.
  • Cookery and Bakery Classes for those who want to hone their culinary skills and have a fascination for exquisite presentation of cuisine. Although many opt for taking up these courses to meticulously improve their cooking skills, those who intend having parallel careers in catering and allied fields can also opt for developing these skills. These courses help you boost your creativity, judgment in culinary arts, persistence and taste buds.
  • Music Classes for those who wish to learn to play different percussion instruments or hone their vocal cords, nothing is as rewarding as music. Giving a finishing touch to already acquired skills is a boon to you as well as others especially in times of stress. Many private tutors offer training in music. Depending on the type i.e. instrumental or vocal; or in vocal type of music i.e. Carnatic or classical or any other, individuals specialising in a particular type of music train incumbents in that type of music. This hobby can eventually be converted into a profession.
  • Summer Jobs: Many young persons want to earn in the vacations, a good idea for earning pocket money. These jobs can be a ground for experiments for individuals for testing themselves in different fields and check out what he/she would like or not like to pursue in future. It serves a dual purpose of having an opportunity to gain work experience as well earning money. Summer jobs inculcate improved interpersonal skills, adjustment to work environment, coordination and diligence. It is a litmus test to check your work attitudes, stretch ability. Also it gives one an idea of work opportunities available. Summer jobs give a view of work life.
  • Social Work Assignment: One could utilise the time to be good Samaritans and help towards a social cause by doing work for old age homes, orphanages, and street children… This does not bring in monetary gain but often influences our outlook. Working with people of different abilities, cadre, opportunities, enhances a plethora of skills, which cannot be acquired otherwise. Working with NGO’s does not only mean working for underprivileged but also means working for organisations, which cater to a multitude problems existing in the society.
  • Dance Classes: Classical, Modern, Folk- Indian or Western, whatever you wish to choose, there is a long menu to choose for learning to shake a leg. Dancing besides being a good fitness activity promotes relaxation and a spiritual outlook… It enables you to enjoy social events and family occasions fully as well as engulfs you with a sense of adequacy and confidence… A joyful activity worth pursuing to overcome social shyness.
  • Regime of Reading is a great way of imbibing new ideas and constructs for understanding different worldviews and enhancing knowledge about the world in general. Reading books enhances linguistic and thinking skills, which are essential to succeed in today’s world. Mental rigidities can be overcome by reading books. Books also provide immediate access to information. Circulating Libraries are often of help if you are particularly interested in novels and magazines. If you are the serious kind who relishes knowledge and learning then becoming a member of well-stocked library is a must. E-books and reading online are other low cost avenues for reading extensively.
  • Computer Courses are wise choice considering the fact that computer knowledge is essential in every occupation today. Employees from any profession and job have to know computers at different levels. No wonder computers are inculcated in the newer course curriculum by Indian universities. Various institutes at a private level offer very lucrative courses, which are extremely focused. Computer training institutes like NIIT, APTECH, offer courses for various levels of competence.
  • Finishing Schools/Skill Workshops: One recent trend is to learn grooming skills by joining Finishing Schools. In these schools there are special trainers who help this process of change by infusing a certain level of proficiency of the desirable behaviour. The idea is to make you a refined person for the opportunities available. This is to aid an individual in several situations ranging from public speaking and communication skills to stress management. The choice of these workshops could be based on the individual requirements. These workshops provide individuals to experiment in safe environment. These workshops are especially useful for people who are easily intimidated by failures in real life situations. The skills can be acquired and pursued through short time courses or distance learning programmes and there are little or no constraints in terms of eligibility. A graduate degree in any field is a good starting point to build a foundation but not enough. It is best to choose a parallel advanced programme to improve the odds in the long run.
  • Social Visits are also not to be forgotten. A good amount of interaction with grandparents, elderly relatives and cousins can go a long way in building relationships for life. A short visit to your hometown/relatives can bring you close to your roots, family and nature.

Parents should encourage the young adults to spend vacation time effectively. This can be done by having a number of discussion sessions much ahead of the exams and the vacations. Also parents should make set aside a specific budget for vacation activities. The activities chosen should have a strong bearing on the interest and abilities of those who are going to pursue them. Parental or peer push must be strictly avoided.

Sound professional help is available. Parents are advised to seek it out for the best use of the vacations.

Invest in your vacation rather than spending it!

Swati Salunkhe
Managing Director
Growth Centre (I) Pvt. Ltd.
Tel: 2528 8844/7474