Things to do when you're not going on a J1

So,  summer is fast approaching and many of our adventurous peers will soon be jetting State-side for their J1 adventures, while some of us stay perched on the Emerald Ilse watching their Snapchats and witnessing their amazing adventure across the pond. It might seem crappy, but it doesn’t have to be! There is plenty you can do to make the most out of your summer if you’re giving the J1 experience a miss.  


Get fit. So the stress of exams and assignments is over, and you might be wondering where to focus your energy for the next few months if you’re not living the dream in America. What better way to spend that energy than on getting fit and working on you. Plus, think of how cool it would be to greet your friends who have probably had a little bit too much fun state-side with a rockin’ bod when they return.  

Make the most out of home. Dublin and the rest of Ireland have so much to offer a young person who might be twiddling their thumbs looking for something to do. There is so much beautiful nature (that people come from all over the world to see), amazing nightlife, quirky tourist attractions and hidden gems to be found. Before adventuring somewhere else, why not act the tourist in your own country?  

Plan little trips. It seems like those heading on their J1 are about to have the time of their lives, and they probably are. But, you can still visit some new places and make new memories in a foreign land in between your work shifts. Book a couple of cheap getaways around Europe and break up the travelling rather than doing it all in one go. You can still have a great time abroad while coming home every now and again.  

Earn some money. Instead of dwelling on the fact that your friends are adventuring overseas, you could get yourself a job at home and work up some money so your next summer can be the one of your dreams. Just because you’re not in a position to go travelling now doesn’t mean that you never will. So save up and be patient because you will get your adventure one day.  

Learn a new skill. You may need something else to focus on rather than the fact that some of your friends are off on their American summer adventure, so learning a new skill or starting a new hobby may be the best thing to put your energy into. Writing, learning a new craft or taking up a new activity like cycling or walking could all be something new for you to dive into and something that improves your mentality, your physical fitness and your summer!  

Whether you’re venturing over to the states this summer, next summer, or not at all, it’s not the end of the world. Even though inspirational Instagram quotes constantly tell us to travel while we’re young, it is okay if you’re not in a place to do so. You have your whole life to do it, and if you feel like you should do it when you’re young, then stay young. Who doesn’t love the mad 40-year-old who thinks she’s still 21?  

Thumbnail by Elias Ehmann