AdkeIt’s that time of summer when people just might start taking sunshine for granted.

We’ve forgotten that this lovely warm weather — the soft breeze against our skin, the long days, the beautiful sunsets — will wither away into perpetual grayness and constant dribble and a temperature that’s almost always too cold for comfort.

In six weeks, we may be pining for summer to come again. And yet when it is here, sometimes people hole themselves up in a little cave of air-conditioned darkness to watch Netflix’s new releases.

And, if you’re a student like me, you may have copious amounts of time now that you aren’t stuck in class for seven hours a day. Take advantage of it. Here are my personal recommendations on how to take advantage of the remainder of August.

Always be outside. This weather isn’t going to last forever. Pretty soon you won’t be able to step outside without a raincoat and long pants. Yes, it might be a little bit too hot sometimes, but embrace it and do everything outside. Eat outside, read outside, sleep out on your porch, go pick fresh berries and eat at the food carts on the Waterfront. Always remember, sunburns aren’t forever, but rain in Oregon certainly can be.

See nature. Wåe’re lucky enough to live in such a naturally beautiful area, which is arguably the purest form of beauty. Please look at it, and not at some screen. The environment is quickly being destroyed, so experience it while you can. Go canoeing, kayaking, hiking, or just sit in your backyard and smell the trees and lovely Oregon air.

Swim in natural water. Not just a chlorinated pool. Go swim in the Columbia River, or float down the Willamette, or take a dip in the ocean. It’s freeing, really, to swim uninhibited by walls and concrete floors. Yes, it might be a little cold, but once your arms and legs go numb you can’t feel a thing! (But seriously, wear a life jacket, and don’t swim alone.)

Go out at dusk. Just after the sun sets on a hot day — that’s what I think is the most beautiful time of day. The air is still warm but not too hot, and there’s always a nice breeze drifting around. It’s incredibly peaceful and not too many people are out and about. Now, maybe you’re thinking that I appreciate the little things a bit too much, but let me ask you: When can you go for a walk at 8 o’clock in the evening without getting completely drenched and frozen solid during fall and winter? That’s right, you can’t.

Travel around Oregon. This one doubles as useful information if you have family in town and you aren’t sure how to entertain them. A few recommendations: Thor’s Well on the Oregon Coast, dune surfing in Pacific City, the Painted Hills, Smith Rock, the Gorge for day hikes (Punchbowl Falls, Pool of the Winds, Bear Lake Hike, Oneonta Gorge, Dog Mountain and many more), Three Pools in Marion County and Tamolitch Pool on the McKenzie River. No, I have not been to all of these places, however they are all on my list of places to see.

Read. Yes, I know you’re not in school. But read for the sake of reading, not for the sake of your English class. If you don’t like reading, you probably haven’t been reading the right books. Again, a few recommendations: “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, “Cat’s Cradle” and “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut, “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk, “The Shining” by Stephen King, “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller, “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein, or, if you like poetry, “Sailing Alone Around the Room” by Billy Collins.

Anisha Adke writes a monthly column for the Review and graduated from Lakeridge High School in June. She will be attending the University of Oregon this fall, and for a few more weeks, she can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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