After SLC: 12 things to do during post-SLC break
BIDUSHI DHUNGEL & PRAVAT J GURUNG
SLC is over and the “Iron Gate” is taken care of. While you wait for the results to be published, it´s the perfect time to have some fun. You have at least two months of doing-nothing period.
We are sure you have already planned out what you want to do after SLC with friends and/or family, but here are some more suggestions for you from the GenNext team. Read on to find out what you can do in the months to come.
There is nothing more relaxing than spending the day watching movies back to back with some peanut butter, bread and black coffee or popcorn. Visit your nearby video store or Mahaboudha in Kathmandu and collect movies that you have missed. You can always try your hands on classics (and we recommend the Criterion Collection). Or you can go for the blockbusters. Here are some of our suggestions:
1. Best Movies nominated at the Oscars: Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, A Serious Man, Up and Up in the Air.
2. Other Blockbusters like: In the Loop, Twilight series, Nine, Invictus, Watchmen, I Love You, Man, Fantastic Mr Fox and our favorite Hang Over
3. Hindi Blockbusters: Dev D, Kaminey, Ishqiya, Sehar, 3 Idiots, Wake up Sid, Karthik Calling Karthik, Rann and Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani
4. A complete seasons of: Friends, Mad Men, 24, Lost, Heroes, Seinfeld, Prison Break, The Office (British) and Gossip Girl
PS. We do not recommend pirated DVDs, but it´s impossible to get hold of the original here in Nepal. You might also want to try out 60 Years of Cannes, The Complete Collection of Oscar´s Favorite, etc.
Go around Kathmandu and you will find plenty of places to go for day hikes.Gather some friends; carry food, a camera and plenty of water and jet off. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes because you will be walking. Some places we recommend for short day hikes are Nagarjun, Chisapani, Shivapuri, Sundarijal, Nagarkot and Dhulikhel.
Not too far and not too close. It´s a perfect place to do some walking and walking is eased when you have good company. These trips are pretty inexpensive and you are bound to make memories to cherish for a lifetime with friends whom you may not have a lot of time with from now on.
Or try out new routes, for example: Walk from Tokha to Shivapuri and back to Kathmandu via Budhanikantha. Or start off from Shivapuri to Chisapani and to Nagarkot (this will take two days). Or Nagarkot to Panauti. Get a map and draw your own trail.
You can also try mountain biking. One that we recommend is Epic Mountain Bike in Pulchowk. They organize day bike trips.
It´s often the case that though many of us have been born and brought up in Kathmandu, we have never really had or taken the time out to really appreciate its splendors.
This free time post-SLC is a great opportunity to explore the nooks and crannies of the city. Whether it´s just lazing around in one of the durbar squares or lookout-mission to find the best tea house or soda stall in these parts, taking a few friends and just wandering the streets of Kathmandu is a great way to pass time. You never know what you´ll find and what you can learn!
For starters, just start the day with a wander around Basantapur and find yourself one of the great tea shops (try Ginger Tea at Kumari and Banana Chocolate Cake at Snowman´s in Freak Street). This is also a very inexpensive way to make good use of your free time.
We also highly recommend the Ranjana Galli Soda Shop; the new restaurants in the Jhamsikhel area, popularly now known as Jhamel; the MoMo getaways like New Dish in New Road, Magic MoMo in Pulchowk. Also try out and see how (shitty or not) Ratna Park is; or take a trail around Pashupati Nath; wake up early to climb the stairs of Swayambhu, et al. Also try our libraries.
Getting away from the city
Obviously there´s nothing more apt than a nice retreat away from Kathmandu after all the months of stress and studying for the exams. Pokhara is always a favorite, as the air is cleaner, life is at a slower and more relaxed pace and there is plenty to do to keep busy! A couple of nights in Pokhara, with the usual boat rides, visits to the famous lakes and a trip to Sarangkot will cost anywhere from Rs 3,000 to Rs 7,000 depending on how indulgent you´re feeling at the time. Check out the hotel outlet that Mike´s Breakfast has to offer in Pokhara. It´s a relatively inexpensive but buzzing atmosphere to set you free!
Otherwise, if you want somewhere closer to home, even a night away in Nagarkot or Dhulikhel will definitely do you some good. Just make sure to get together a good bunch of people or few close friends to take along.
Or take a longer one. Treks in Nepal can range from one day to 164 days, according to Australian adventurer Robin Boustead who finished the whole Himalaya stretch in 2008 and 2009 walking the foothills of eight of the world´s highest peaks. Annapurna area takes somewhere between 8 to 14 days; Mt Everest Base Camp is 14-days´ trek. But we recommend against these usual suspects. Why do what everybody else is doing. Go to Manaslu, or Khaptad or the best of our choices: Shey Phuksundo.
Bridge courses might not be everyone´s cup of tea but it is, sort of, helpful once you enroll yourself for your further studies. We know you don´t want to get into another set of books right away but bridge courses can be something worth doing after some post SLC fun.
Also, if you join with a few friends, you can build on your knowledge while at the same time using the breaks to catch up with friends or gossip over the latest fads. The bridge courses are a great way to realize where your strengths lie academically, making your life at college a lot easier.
Dwiraj Sharma at a premier education consultancy said that bridge courses are ideal for those students who want to excel in their science and management studies further.
"There is at least three months of break after SLC. The students who want to excel and utilize time would benefit from bridge course. There is too much competition at good colleges. So, this bridge course will help them prepare for entrance, etc," said Sharma, managing director at Alfa Beta Institute, Baneshwar. Alfa Beta has been running bridge courses since 1992 and their new batch is starting from Tuesday in seven branches throughout Nepal.
The bridge course will also have personality development classes including English speaking and writing classes, Sharma told Republica. "There will be quiz competition and debate to make the course more fun and interactive."
There will never be a better time than now, with all this free time on your hands, to start worrying about your health. When you´re back to school, finding the time to start a fitness program might prove rather taxing. If you are worried more about your physique, join a gym.
Get on that treadmill, learn to love those free weights and watch your life transform itself! Banu´s Fitnesse Centre in Kamalpokhari is a great gym to join. Its monthly member is a bit steep, around Rs 2,000 a month, but you will have access to a complete state of the art gym. However, any old gym will indeed do the job. In fact, if gyms aren´t your thing, try just waking up early in the mornings and going for a stroll for about an hour or so. You will surely begin to feel the extra energy just an hour of exercise can give you, not to mention how it will begin to show on your appearance!
Dancing could be a way to sweat out your unnecessary fat. Salsa is a great way of expressing your passion to someone. Try some classes at salsanepal.com.
Take our word for it; the sooner you learn to get behind the wheels, the better it is for your freedom.Join a driving school, and get that license in hand, for both the Start with a motor bike or scooter and then make your way to the four wheelers. At this age, it won´t be very difficult to pick up and it is something you will need for a lifetime to come. If it´s a motorbike or scooter, just get a relative or friend to teach you.
The open space behind the airport is a perfect place to learn. If you already have a bike, learn to drive a car. You can get some good deals for month long lessons a couple of times a week. It will definitely be money wisely spent, and is a ticket to freedom!
Volunteering might sound boring, but it´s the best way to learn new things and make new friends. So get going, start volunteering, do some social work and start feeling proud of yourself. In order to do this, first think long and hard about where your interests lie. For example if you´re an animal lover, find an animal rights organization. If your interests are in children and education, find an organization that is working in this sector.
Volunteering is a great way to not only help society as a whole, but it will help your spectrum of knowledge on various issues to grow. One of the organizations that you can volunteer at is Volunteers Initiative Nepal. "Students can come and assist one of our many projects in Jitpurphedi, like early childhood development or teaching at a local school," said Bhupendra Ghimire, chairperson at the Initiative.
When you say you want to work for free, more or less, everyone will be willing to hire you. That´s the cool thing about internships.
You will get it very easily! In the process of learning new things, you will make new friends or meet (ahem!) someone special, you never know!
Internships are not only for experience but you will gain more confidence and learn the ways of the world before you actually start working and earning money. Ask around and apply for internships. Try something that you want to know more about. Make sure you know what your areas of interests are.
Internships also look great on CVs. Newspapers, magazines and corporate offices are great in terms of their broad base of employees. You will meet people to inspire and encourage you and will certainly help you in figuring out what your actual career dreams are. Some are even paid!
Nepal is creating a name for itself in adventure sports. From the bungee over the Tamakoshi to rafting along the Sunkoshi and paragliding off the hills in Pokhara or even Kathmandu, these rather extreme sports are a great way to relive the mind of any left over SLC stress; a really great way to begin anew! Check out the packages available for one and two night adventure sport deals. Contact the Last Resort for bungee and rafting packages.
They start at Rs 3,000 for just the bungee and Rs 7,000 for a two-day rafting and bungee holiday. Please, do try the canyoning; it´s a hell of an experience. For paragliding, head to Pokhara to see Lake Fewa from bird´s eye view (Rs 5,000). You can even try flying above Kathmandu (Rs 5,000 from www.xsportsnepal.com).
Take a creative class in music, photography, language or cooking
We know you must be sick and tired of the word ´class´ by now. However, not all classes have to be an absolute bore.
There are lots of skills you can acquire through various institutes around the valley. Depending on where your interests lie, think about taking a photography class to unleash your creativity and capture those perfect images of the valley and your friends.
Otherwise, why not language classes, as the more languages you know the more qualified you are in life. Other options are to take a cooking class, which will be useful for those of you who wish to travel abroad or have always wondered how to make the perfect chocolate cake!
For you music lovers, why not learn how to play an instrument? Being able to pick up a guitar and strike a few chords at gatherings will always make you stand out in the crowd!
Discover your roots
Another real mission and rewarding experience would be to go off and explore your roots. Make the trip to your ancestral home, and finally get an understanding of the hardships your parents or grandparents have always been going on about. Live that rural life for just a while, and rest assured you will not regret it!
source:republica,5 April 2010
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