Start your summer plans now

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Photograph: Alice Southern

Faking a smile is exhausting when everyone other than you is boasting about their fun-packed summer, which they have already planned. Although it is only just the end of winter, our social networking feeds are already brimming with hashtags, updates and generally annoying reminders of everyone else’s social life. Yawn. At excruciating lengths for an idle student, it is perhaps a good time to start making your own plans: here are some ideas!

If you’re a music lover with a high tolerance to grossly drunk people – which is expected as a student – festivals are concentrated with likewise people, as they are categorised by genre. Although daunting for some, if you’re more cider than champagne, brave it and slum it for an unforgettable weekend. For the full experience, it is definitely worth the weekend ticket. If your endurance doesn’t span so far, perhaps organise a barbecue garden party with the closest ones, as no one can turn down overcooked food and the glorious British weather. If your back garden doesn’t cut it, a trip down to the nearest beach – perhaps avoiding Morecambe – allows you to wind down, if you can gloss over the inevitable screaming children. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, a clichéd Aussie-style (disposable) beach barbecue followed by drinks as the sun sets may be an option. Although, getting too drunk wouldn’t be the cleverest idea when you’re so close to the sea!

Alternatively, make the most of the not-so-classy British nightlife and organise a city crawl over a few nights; for the less tame, try Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. If you aren’t a night owl, day trips can be equally as thrilling. For an adrenaline packed day, visit a theme park with your friends; or if you can’t bear a day of queuing, have a much less frantic visit to a museum or national park. Picnics are fantastic for those who primarily think with their stomach (aka every student, ever) as food and friends equals the perfect combination. You could also throw in a countryside walk; lucky for us Lancaster students, the Lake District is conveniently nearby.

For the hardcore, breaks and holidays offer perfect socialising opportunities in the summer. Friend’s holidays are notorious for being a messy blur, yet choosing a location which suits your lifestyle can make the holiday fly by. Perhaps you would like a cultural holiday (try Italy or Greece) or predictably, a clubbing holiday to help you forget those horrifying exams you’re yet to take – cue the sad face. Holiday’s abroad are stressful, so make sure a responsible friend is going; if not, stick to the British Isles!

Alternatively, shorter city breaks allow you to experience culture through sightseeing and the nightlife – get the best of both worlds! Amsterdam or Berlin are ideal for friends, yet a romantic trip to Paris may heat up your summer with that special somebody. Ooh la la! To exhibit the Bear Grylls in you, camping is a cheaper option to enjoy an exciting new location, while also adding the element of challenge. Ideal places for this are coastal areas, like Cornwall or Wales.

Instead of waiting for plans to materialise, be proactive and don’t sleep your summer away! Whatever you decide to do, if your dignity is in full tact by the end of the summer, you’re doing it wrong.