Ah, finally it’s over. The relief you sighed after finishing tons of final exams. You spent the last several weeks bugging your professors for letters of recommendations, receiving admission letters, filling out extensive summer applications, writing and rewriting your effective personal statement, working to improve test scores, doing school work, papers, final exams, Jama’at work and still have time to spell the word: relax. Although the word “relax” may not have been part of your vocabulary in the past few weeks, I can assure you that if you pick up your personal dictionary you will be sure to find that word now. You have done all that you could and there is practically nothing more you can do. I would use this time to reflect and relax on how well you were able to complete so much work in such a little time. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that you have been overwhelmed with a lot of responsibility and accountability in the past weeks of your life. Allah Ta’alah also tested you each day to see if you too were able to remember Him during this trivial time; and though perhaps the times may have gotten difficult, your utmost obedience in observance of prayer and sacrifice for your Jama’at work is noteworthy without exception. No one can understand the life of a student unless she/he is a student or have spent a quarter of her/his life as a student learning and engaging with advanced curriculum. One must always remember that no test can be a substitute for Allah’s tests. No project can be worth more points than the projects of Allah Ta’alah. No math homework warrants more numbers than the numbers Allah Ta’alah warrants you.
So you have two months or even a month off from school, what to do? Yeah, you could shop, spend time with family and friends, go on a mini vacation or a cruise, but if you ask me, here are the top 5 things you could do over the summer break:
1. Attend a Spiritual Fitness Camp: Yes, there are spiritual fitness camps happening all over the country and it would be negligent of you to not attend at least one camp to advance your spiritual and moral knowledge/training.
2. Volunteer: Volunteer at a local hospital, community center, non-profit organization or even a homeless shelter. Get the community service hours you need to graduate or earn the distinction from President Obama through the Volunteer Service Award.
3. Do Waqf-e-Arzi: Serve the jama’at for two weeks in any capacity in which jama’at requires assistance. It could be done locally, regionally, nationally or most likely in Merida, Mexico.
4. Do Internship: Look for an internship that will provide hands on training in the field you want to study. See if you can find a paid internship so you can make some extra cash; but if not, unpaid internships will get you memorable experience.
5. Do Research: Though my favorite, but it has to be 5th in ranking. Spend some time researching new innovations or ideas, write a 5-10 page paper and submit it to a local journal or publication. Get recognition of your name in your field of interest. Our Jama’at also has many avenues of much needed research. Contact your local Murabbi sahib for further information.
Well, that’s all the time I have for right now or else I would be spoiling my relaxation time and likewise would be taking precious time away from you. So, have a fun and joyous summer break!
RKS-QQ Answer: AIK ISA-I KAY TIN SAWAL AUR UNKAY JAWABAAT (Three Questions of a Christian and their Answers)