Angles: What’s the best summer activity

With summer break just over the horizon, it’s time to start looking forward to the extra bit of free time that comes with it. Whether you prefer to spend your summer months enjoying the outdoors or you feel the extra time is an opportunity to catch up on all the reading or binging you couldn’t get to during the busy semester, there is something for everyone.

There are many ways to enjoy the summer, but perhaps some summer activities are better than others and maybe there’s more to the decision about how to spend summer break than what meets the eye.

For one, does a good summer activity have to take place outside? Or is a summer spent indoors just as enjoyable and worthwhile?

Picnicing and film marathons are a few examples of great ways to enjoy the summer that require little planning and relatively low cost. So, what is the best way to spend the summer months?

Use summer days for picnics
By Ann Madson

As the past month has shown us, weather in South Dakota is a fickle friend. One must be prepared for muggy 80 degree weather one day and have a shovel and snow boots ready for the next. As such, one must also be prepared to take advantage of a perfect summer day. 

Every once and a while, Mother Nature grants us one of these perfect days, with the sun high in the sky and the slightest cool breeze. In my opinion, the best way to celebrate a good old-fashioned summer day like this is to have a picnic.

While going for a walk or heading to the pool are perfectly practical means of celebration, there is an element of relaxation that accompanies a picnic that allows you to truly enjoy a beautiful day. 

Unlike a day at the lake or a trip to the beach, a picnic requires little to no preparation. A picnic blanket is useful, but by no means necessary. A smorgasbord of delectable food is a delightful addition, but an ice cream cone or a box of Goldfish crackers does the trick as well. A group of friends provides great conversation and entertainment, but enjoying a picnic by your lonesome is a great way to clear the mind.

The key element to a picnic is taking time to enjoy the world around you, whether that means savoring the pizza you’re eating, listening to music or finding shapes in the clouds above.  

This summer, make sure to have at least one good picnic. For those of you staying in Sioux Falls, I offer some suggestions — grab some friends, pick up your favorite snacks (Pizza Cheeks or B&G Milkyway make for great options), head to your favorite park (I love McKennan or Upper Tuthill Park) and pick out a playlist (“Saturday in the Park” by Chicago is required). It’s the best way to spend a summer day.

Spend summer nights watching movies
By Hananiya Arega

Nothing is more exhilarating and heart racing than being gripped by intense fear or nostalgia all in one night Normal people do it once every few months, and sometimes regret it later. 

What am I? A one night stand? Fortunately, no. A film marathon? Absolutely, yes!

Now, what is a film marathon? It’s the gathering of close friends that hopefully have the same taste in movies as the host and ultimately, together, enjoy a series of similarly themed movies. The number of movies that a group decides to watch is solely determined by that group. However, there is a catch to the number of movies the group can watch before their heart, mind or even eyes give up on them.

Imagine an individual who has spent the whole day being perfectly productive, has worked a 10 hour shift, and even did a little cleaning around the house. And now, all they want to do is get a large pint of their favorite ice cream, order in some Chinese, sit on their couch and think about absolutely nothing. It’s hard to sleep because it’ll feel like they’re wasting personal time, but they also don’t want to do anything slightly “productive,” like reading or writing since it requires a little more energy than they’re willing to put in. So, what should they do? They text-invite a few friends who also have absolutely nothing to do and sit around their TV to watch a series of horror movies or rom-coms (if they’re anything like me). Movie marathons don’t require mental energy, but even if it did, it’s enjoyable to ponder about movies.

All jokes aside, what makes film marathons so unique in comparison to other summer activities is the flair of watching a series of 10 to 12 movies a night. It’s an act of rebellion against an individual’s strict lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in strict living and a life filled with scheduling and routines. I honestly believe that film marathons are created to appease people who make it a point to plan their mornings and bedtimes. But even more so, I also believe that film marathons are made for people who feel that their life lacks excitement. 

So how do film marathons solve this problem? When individuals feel they lack a sense of thrill or nostalgia, they don’t need go and jump off planes when they can just repeatedly watch Matt Damon survive bomb explosions in the Jason Bourne series.

Film marathons give us an opportunity to experience multiple emotions in one sitting. What could be better than sitting around TV screen surrounded by close friends, munching down unhealthy food and crying, laughing or dying from film anxiety all at the same time.

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