The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

Review: Summer Staycation Guidebook

Maggie Mein

Once the last day of school has finally come and gone, students are often at a loss for what to spend their newfound time on. Some students may have a summer job lined up, or a vacation to look forward to. But what are we to do with an unmarked calendar? 

Staying productive with no bell schedule to guide your day can be difficult. As a student, I have personally found myself lacking in the productivity necessary to make my summer worthwhile. The days tend to stretch and blend into one another, losing the vibrance that was once so inviting within the last two weeks of school. Over the years, however, I have discovered some tips to help me find meaning within those long, warm months. 


When there’s a lull in your productivity on a July afternoon, head to the kitchen. Below are a variety of recipes to cool you down on a hot day, and they’re outside of the box enough that they challenge the boundaries of typical summer snacks.

  1. Earl gray ice cream
  2. Banana pancakes
  3. Pineapple Upside Down cake
  4. Chicken Tacos
  5. Feeling experimental? Make your own Poke bowl
  6. Watermelon Cooler

After experimenting with summer meals, settling down and doing something creative might “draw” some productivity out of your summer staycation. If you find yourself experiencing artist’s block, below are some prompts to get you started.


  1. A garden full of unpleasant weeds
  2. A cloudy beach scene
  3. A sunrise or sunset over a lake but invert the colors so the sun is blue and the water is orange
  4. Prompt word: magical
  5. Prompt word: futuristic
  6. Prompt word: love
  7. Prompt word: comfort
  8. Prompt word: gloomy

All that drawing of beach scenes and sunsets might precipitate a craving for a daycation. While traveling far away from your home can be costly in both money and time, a daycation proves to provide the same amount of fun, and at a smaller price. The Bay Area is littered with hidden vacation gems, some only a short drive away.


  1. Visit Bell’s Books in Palo Alto
  2. Try Soulgrind’s delicious soups, salads, sandwiches, and more in Pacifica
  3. Grab lunch at San Carlos’ Lou’s Cafe
  4. Stop by Verve and taste-test their coffee and pastries
  5. Tour Alcatraz
  6. Try Vesta’s delicious pizza pies.
  7. Expand outside of the Bay Area and spend the day at Twin Lakes State Beach in Santa Cruz

As I mentioned earlier, I have struggled with keeping up a sense of productivity while also balancing my plate with fun or relaxing activities. In order to keep my brain sharp while out of the classroom, I have dabbled in some brain games that test my knowledge and wit. Provided below are some games that may leave you exclaiming “Ah ha!” or scratching your head as you feverishly try to untangle an especially tough riddle. 

Brain Games 

  1. New York Time’s famous Wordle
  2. Contexto
  3. Crossword
  4. Riddle of the day
  5. Sudoku
  6. Solitaire

Working on getting your permit? If those brain games didn’t exercise your memory skills enough, take this opportunity to study Driver’s Education. While the comprehensive permit test may seem daunting at first, studying in small increments is especially helpful in passing your permit test. Some resources to remember the Driver’s Ed content before the permit test: 

DMV Practice Material

  1. Practice test 1
  2. Practice test 2
  3. Practice test 3
  4. DMV practice test
  5. Study this  Quizlet 

Focusing on and memorizing so many minute details of the road can leave your cognitive energy drained. Ever thought about turning on your radio or queuing up a playlist? Music has been proven to increase work productivity if selected correctly– productivity differs based on the lyrics and tempo of the song. When wondering what to do with your time on a warm summer evening, try creating a playlist. I’ve found that making playlists for specific tasks is not only fun to do but also proficient in inducing productivity. 

Playlist prompts

  1. A playlist to drive to
  2. A playlist to eat dinner to
  3. A playlist to play at the beach
  4. A playlist for catching up on work 
  5. A playlist to make breakfast to
  6. A playlist to make breakfast to
  7. A playlist to clean your room to

With a productive tune in mind, take advantage of your time and tackle small tasks around the house that you may have put off during the busy school year. Maybe there’s a closet full of things you don’t use or haven’t touched since you were in Elementary school, and are now just taking up room. Instead of allowing the legos you haven’t played with for years to collect dust, donate them to a local donation center. This provides them with a new life and to be loved once more. 

Donation Centers

  1. Donate old or unused Books, CDs, and DVDs to Downtown Redwood City’s Library on the third Saturday of each month (upcoming event on May 20th).
  2. Donate old clothes to downtown Redwood City’s  Savers or Palo Alto’s Goodwill
  3. If you have any new or gently loved art supplies, donate them to: local senior centers, schools, libraries, or daycares. 
  4. Donate old Lego sets to Brick Recycler in Sunnyvale

After you’ve cooked, drawn, vacationed, and sharpened your wit with numerous brain games, those three months of summer will have been three months well spent. While it can be difficult to maintain productivity during such an unstructured stretch of time, this guidebook will have hopefully provided some tips and tricks to make your summer worthwhile. 

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About the Contributor
Maggie Mein
Maggie Mein, Staff Writer
Maggie Mein is a sophomore and a first-year journalist. She enjoys writing about local news, the arts, and entertainment. She hopes to both inform and entertain readers, and encourage spirit among the Woodside community. In her free time, she enjoys creating art, spending time with family and friends, and playing water polo.

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