“Welcome to Hell Week”–– The four words that every Navy SEAL in training dreads more than anything in the world. The fourth week of basic training for the SEALs is given this fitting name. It entails five days and five nights of lugging heavy rubber Zodiacs, performing timed exercises, runs, and crawls through mud flats. Trainees clock in a maximum of four hours of sleep for the entire week, which they inevitably spend wet, cold and verbally battered all day, everyday.
Now, you might be wondering why I am taking the time to enlighten you about the training procedures of the Navy SEALs. Because, it’s that time of year again, that time when the only daylight you see is the artificial kind emanating from your computer screen, or maybe a crack of light shining distantly from a dusty window in the Stacks. It’s that time when it feels like your only social interactions are spent at meals (which have to be short in order to get back to the H/L basement).
You must know by know that I’m talking about finals week. Although it might seem like a never-ending ‘Hell Week,’ I thought I would leave you with the image of the wet, cold, sleep deprived and physically drained Navy SEAL to make your own situation seem a little bit sweeter. But in all truth, this week sucks, and everyone knows it. However, just like the Navy’s ‘Hell Week,’ finals inevitably come to an end. If a trainee passes ‘Hell Week,’ he is granted the gift of becoming one of the United States military’s most honorable soldiers. When we finish finals–– we are granted the beautiful gift of summer.
In light of the eminence of the light at the end of the tunnel, I’ve created a sort of ‘summer bucket list.’ We all know that any good SEAL deserves to relax after training—so should we! So here goes, a list of things you can do to relax, have fun and get back to your roots this summer:
- Make a slip n’ slide and play in the sprinklers–– gets better with age (believe me)
- Go to the beach and kick some six year old butt at sand castle making
- Plant a garden and watch it grow all summer
- Make homemade popsicles
- Go on a road trip to see your friends
- Attend outdoor concerts—as many as you can!
- Go to a farmer’s market
- Take a fishing trip
- Play with sidewalk chalk
- Make a fancy cocktail, with ice, in a blender
- Attend some odd small community celebration
- Nap… preferably on a hammock
- Have a picnic!
- Go for a hike
- Visit an art museum
- Find a friend with a boat and go tubing
- Lay under a tree
- Do an art project
- Take your dog for a long, long walk
- Take your car for a long, long drive
- Go to an outdoor baseball game… even if it’s only for the hotdog and cold beer
- Go on a run with Ben and Jerry’s as a destination
- Read for fun
- Do something nice for someone else
- Do something nice for yourself
Whatever you do this summer, remember to take the time to relax and enjoy yourself, don’t feel guilty about doing absolutely nothing–– because you survived Bowdoin’s own version of Hell Week.