Ideas for things to do with a free semester before starting ft?

Hi all. I have recently been considering dropping my double major in business analytics to graduate a semester early and save money on tuition. I already signed a year long lease for my apartment for senior year, so was looking for any interesting ideas on what to potentially do with the extra time on campus before starting full time. Curious to hear insights from anybody who has done something similar (remote jobs, new skills, hobbies, etc). Thanks!


if I had a free semester before graduating and knew what I knew now, I would've

  1. surfed/swam every day
  2. started training jiu jitsu
  3. taken a backpacking trip abroad, maybe camino del santiago, maybe just the basque coasts of france & spain for surf & language immersion
  4. lifted weights every day (in college I was more like 2-3 days a week)
  5. spend several weeks with family, namely parents & grandparents
  6. done a volunteer project in the 3rd world (likely would've linked this up with surfing like waves for water or something similar)
  7. learned to cook better. I can cook pretty well now but when I was 22 I was shite
  8. read more books

I’ve surfed Basque Country in France at Hossegor. Camped out there on the beach for a week with two Spaniards. Didn’t talk much English the whole time. Perfect glassy head high to double overhead beach break waves. One of the best weeks of my life.

Have visited Mundaka, Spain too, but there weren’t waves there at the time.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Yeah cooking well is a game changer. When I left the corporate world, I had a lot more time on my hands and started cooking and watching cooking shows. I’d watch a show and would be able to replicate what I saw. It is a lot of fun. My favorite cooking show is β€œTake Home Chef” with Curtis Stone. Gordon Ramsay Kitchen nightmares is hilarious- fun to watch but not as much as a tutorial versus Take Home Chef.Β 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee
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What do you work as now, Isaiah?

I promised my parents that I would help take care of them until they die. My Dad is 88 and Mom is 85. I spend about 30 - 35 hours per week taking care of their basic needs. My mom lives in a skilled nursing facility that costs $10K per month, but they are kind of bad at taking care of her, so my Dad stop by every morning 7 days a week to help out. She is cold everyday and they don't put a jacket on her and so I put a jacket on her every morning. She has dementia and can't speak or walk and is confined to a wheelchair after breaking her hip. She also doesn't eat much of her meals and mainly only gets nutrition from me when I bring her 2 x 350 cal Ensures every day. We pay $10K per month for people to neglect her and not give her basic needs. It is sickening and I despise some of the people who work there. They don't care, are too lazy, or don't want to put up with dressing my Mom fully everyday. We have complained to the staff and the leadership doesn't care. There is no real alternative in the area to send my Mom to. They do ok changing her diaper and stuff, but that is about it. There are some good workers there, but most are crap.Β 

My Dad lives in independent living in a Senior Living facility and pretty much needs assisted living help, but doesn't want to hire people and prefers that I just help to take care of him. He can't drive anymore and I have to take him to all of his doctor's appointments and have to provide all his meals and get all the groceries for his place. When he was driving, I was only spending 20hrs per week helping out, but he stopped driving and in December pretty much stopped eating dinner and went from 140lbs to 120lbs at 5'9". He was really light and his doctor prescribed Mirtazapine to help with appetite and I started making or bringing him dinner 6-7 days per week. I basically had to make him food and hand it to him for him to eat.Β 

In a few months, we got my Dad's weight back up to 140lbs, which is somewhat healthy but still skinny. My mom is 86lbs. My Dad has had bladder cancer and they removed his bladder and he has ostomy bags now for the urine. It is a pain. I might eventually have to help out with that, but I am just not very comfortable changing the bags and might need to hire additional help at some point. Also, I'm about at my limit at 35hrs per week. Also, my Dad has moderate dementia. It is not like my Mom, but he has a hard time understanding things outside of the routine. He calls me pretty much every morning and afternoon and at night. I used to start to despise all the calls, but now feel just happy that I can talk to him a bit before he dies. So I'm ok with all the calls.

To add to all of that, my Dad was also recently diagnosed with Lung Cancer. He has a tangerine sized growth in his lung. This means even more doctors appointments and we are seeing a Pulmonologist and Oncologist in two separate appointments this week. He has probably 5-6 doctors that we see on a regular basis including the GP, Dentist, Urologist, Dermatologist, Oncologist, and Pulmonologist. I also have to go to the pharmacy to get all his medications and give them to him everyday as he can't remember how to take them. The doctor said that the lung cancer might cause a drop in weight and his appetite has been decreasing lately and I'm a bit worried. I do everything I can to fatten him up and get him Whole Foods apple pie, ice cream, doughnuts, anything.

Also, I spend 15hrs per week helping out my Church in their garden. It is a massive garden, maybe the size of a football field with a section for an altar and room for a crowd as well as the stations of the cross. It is called the Way of the Cross Garden. I like being outdoors and in nature and this gives me some good time to reflect and pray. Ora et Labora as the Benedictine saying goes. There are religious statues and religious decorations everywhere across the property and I really like it. And my favorite station of the cross is "Jesus Meets his Mother." Station 4. We plant pansies, foxgloves, and snap dragons at every station. It is very fulfilling to me.

And then for the rest of my time that I have, I play online poker and am trying to build a poker career. I'm very tight with a lot of the pros who play and stream and think I am getting better. I recently started playing high stakes poker again and this week has been off to a good start. But, if I don't make it in poker, I am probably going to go back for an MBA and then go back into the corporate world in Corp Dev.Β 

Cheers -

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

I went to the beach every day and flaked off. Pool and cook out every evening. I wish I had done what one of the incoming analysts with me had done. We were commissioned a very low base, think 35K in HCOL city. I had to paint houses on the weekend, which did help me meet wealthy neighbors and get a couple hot prospects for the Wealth advisory firm I worked for, but my coworker had stashed cash, he worked landscaping during the day and a bartender PT on the Vineyard, stayed with a family friend for like $150 a week. He hated the job but had a solid 30K in savings coming in, stuck it out, and now makes a ton at a brokerage. I had a great summer I won't forget, but didn't set me up for success.Β Β 


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