There is no better feeling than being finished with all your exams and coursework. You have the whole summer ahead to do all the things you were probably already doing through procrastination, but without the guilt. But, if like me after a week of watching endless trashy Netflix shows you begin to get an itch to do something more “productive”, here are a few suggestions of what to do.
The long student summers are a great time to start globetrotting and also give you something interesting to talk about when you return to uni. Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive either; if you really put in the time and effort to scour the internet then you can find a getaway to suit any budget. It’s also often cheaper to find your own flights and accommodation separately (a control/organisation freaks absolute dream), rather than opting for a package holiday. Skyscanner is my go-to website for the best flight deals and it also shows you the cheapest places to fly to from your starting point. Accommodation-wise, I always check out Airbnb because it gives you the option to cook your own food — great if you’re on a budget. If organising your own holiday sounds too stressful then Last Minute and Groupon offer great last minute (cheap) deals that can be as little as £90 for a long weekend away.
Get an internship
Whether you spend a week, two weeks or two months interning, it will always stand out on your CV. Taking an internship shows that you’ve given up your free time by choice to acquire valuable skills and experience. An internship doesn’t necessarily have to be in the industry you plan to go into post-uni as you can always learn transferable skills that will help you stand out from the rest when applying for future grad jobs. If you’re struggling to find internships, talk to the people in your uni’s career department (it’s what they’re there for) and hunt the internet (honestly, how did people cope finding anything pre-internet?).
If you’ve already started uni then you’ll know it is and can be really expensive. From paying bills and rent, buying resources for your course and actually having money to socialise and do fun stuff sometimes (more often than not) your student loan probably doesn’t even come close to covering it. Working during the summer allows you to save and also means if you work enough hours, you can avoid the need to get a job during your studies.
Get ahead with your studies
With a lot of time on your hands, it may be a good idea to get ahead with your reading. You’ll feel like you won’t be thrown in the deep end when you return to uni at the beginning of the year. Particularly, if you’re going into your third year and doing a dissertation, you can use the summer to think of ideas around what you want to write your dissertation on, and catch up on some reading surrounding the topic.
Learn to look after yourself
No doubt you’ve indulged in all things Dominos and alcohol while at uni (who can blame you when you’re constantly showered in student discounts?) but why not use the summer to learn to cook a few basic meals for yourself and learn to look after your body (and mind) more. Dabble in a few exercise classes and find something you enjoy. It may even end up being a great way to relieve stress when you do return to uni and the workload gets a bit too much.
I hope that reading this will help you find something to do with your summer that stops you going out of your mind with boredom. Most importantly, use the time to also relax and enjoy yourself! The summers at uni are going to be the largest (and hopefully most carefree) chunk of time you’ll probably have off in your life, so make the most of it.
Eileanor has just finished her third year studying English Language at the University of Chester.
Note: 'Student Blog' pieces highlight the student perspective on issues relating to ProtectED. Consequently, this article reflects the views of the author and not ProtectED.