Learn Something New This Summer

Summer is a great opportunity to take recreational classes, such as a cooking class. (Coast Guard Compass Archive/LT Katie Braynard)

For KPU students who aren’t taking classes this summer, the days between May and September may include some rare leisure time.

I always feel like summer is the best time to pick up a new skill or to get reacquainted with something you once loved, but I also easily get overwhelmed by all the ways I could be spending my time.

This year, I’ve decided to find one thing I really want to do and actually do it. I’ve made a list of classes to take for fun to acquire some new skills or to get back into some old hobbies. It can be easy for students to forget to practice personal development this way, but taking classes doesn’t always have to be a chore.

Throughout the Lower Mainland, there are a ton of no-pressure, recreational dance classes. Place des Arts in Coquitlam offers a variety of beginner and intermediate adult dance classes ranging from ballet and jazz to hip-hop. The summer classes run through July and August.

For something free and low-commitment, try Sunday Afternoon Salsa, which is back for its thirteenth year at Robson Square from July 7 to August 25. Learn to salsa dance every Sunday with classes at 3:00 pm followed by a social dancing time, performances, and even more time to dance.

Perhaps summer is your time to learn to cook. Well Seasoned in Langley offers a variety of hands-on and demo cooking classes. They teach classes on everything from Cajun food and sushi to macaroons.

In Vancouver, the Dirty Apron is also known for its wide range of cooking classes. It offers vegan and vegetarian options as well as events for meat eaters and the option to book the space privately.

For students looking to explore their artistic side, the Luminous Elephant is an art studio on Granville Island that gives adults the chance to get back in touch with their creative sides. It has classes called “How to Use Your Camera” and “Extra Ordinary~The Artist’s Journal for Women”.  It also runs candle-making, perfume-making, and plant-based beauty workshops.

Sometimes taking extra classes can be costly, especially for students. Both the City of Surrey and the City of Vancouver offer a variety of relatively cheap art classes, dance classes, and cooking classes. They also offer literary clubs, fitness classes, open mics, and other skill-building activities at more reasonable rates.

The most important part of taking a recreational summer class is that it gives you an opportunity to learn free of performance anxiety. Go into it without expectations—for these classes, grades do not matter. I feel like the spring semester takes an especially great toll on students, making the summer the best time to get back to the things that bring you joy.