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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Riverside chapter.

After a strenuous school year, I’m ready to kick back and focus on relaxing this summer before I move down to Riverside in the fall. While Zoom University had its perks, it also made me realize the numerous benefits that came with in-person learning. While I had the freedom to stay home whilst attending school, I also built up plenty of fatigue from video calls all day. I’m excited to get to walk to classes on campus next school year!

But until then, I’ll have the whole summer to recuperate. I took the time to outline some plans I have for the next few months, and I’ve decided to share them with you! 

cooking dinner
Photo by Conscious Design from Unsplash

Bake & Cook More

I started taking up baking as a hobby a little more than two years ago. I liked following recipes and getting delicious food as a result, so I could share them with family and friends. It also produced cheap, but delectable and high-quality presents for holidays. I was able to give away my creations for birthdays and Christmases, instead of paying for items that the recipient may never use. In fact, last Christmas, I whipped up these meringue fruit baskets to give away for some holiday cheer. They turned out to be beautiful and scrumptious! 

Besides baking, I’m also motivated to learn how to cook simple meals for myself. I won’t have a kitchen when I move onto campus, but learning to cook is a life skill everyone should know, and it’s never too early to start. Besides cheap dishes perfect for college students, I want to also learn how to make traditional Korean cuisine. My mom knows how to make some of my favorite foods, such as kimchi, kimchi stew, and spicy rice cakes. I want to be able to cook as well as her in the future, so I plan on taking time to help her out in the kitchen before mealtimes.

Woman Reading book in bed with coffee
Photo by Laura Chouette from Unsplash

Work on My Reading List

I love reading, and I’ve made it a priority to work through a chapter or two of a book a day. I’m currently reading Mistletoe Man by Susan Wittig Albert. It’s the ninth book in the China Bayles Mysteries series, a collection of murder mystery books centered around herbalist China Bayles, a woman who left life as a busy Houston criminal attorney to become the owner of an herb shop in a small town. Each of the books explores China as an amateur sleuth, investigating suspects and looking for clues, while maintaining her duties as a shopkeeper, and, eventually, as a wife and mother. Each of the books also contains facts about a specific herb, to which the book title is usually pointing at. For example, the previous books I’ve read were Thyme of Death, Rosemary Remembered, and Lavender Lies, for instance. The back of the book also contains references if the reader would like to learn more about the themed herb, and recipes for dishes mentioned in the story.

hand holding book open
Photo by Blaz Photo from Unsplash
This summer, I’m looking forward to looking through my latest loot from the local library. Next week, I’ll be starting The Darling Dahlias and the Voodoo Lily, the latest entry in another series by Susan Wittig Albert, starring a group of ladies and their garden club, solving mysteries around town during the Great Depression in an Alabama town. The other books I’ve borrowed for the summer are Eugene Onegin, a novel of translated Russian prose poetry, and Anna Karenina, a thick book over nine hundred pages long, and a classic staple in Russian literature. I’ve also gotten my hands on The Kite Runner, a book that a friend had recommended from one of her favorite authors. 

I can’t wait for my finals to be over so I can get on with my summer plans. And even with the burden of accelerated summer courses on my shoulders, I know my break will still be alright with these activities to look forward to.

Audrey Kim

UC Riverside '24

Audrey is a Computer Engineering major who wants to improve her writing skills. She hopes that readers will be informed, amused, or both, by her content!