I can’t believe the year is finally over! With a long summer break stretched out ahead of me, I’m looking forward to some well deserved rest and relaxation!
However I do often find myself getting bored over the summer so I’ve come up with some ideas on how to use all this free time in a productive way to prepare myself for studying next year!
Find a job or work experience
Finding a job over the summer can massively reduce your stress levels next year if you can save up some money! This gives you more time to concentrate on your studies and more freedom to enjoy doing things with your friends.
A work experience or summer placement is also a really good idea, particularly if you are lacking in relevant experience to your degree. This could give you a taste of a certain area of work to help with your career plans if you are unsure, and can strengthen your application by providing relevant experience and a range of transferrable skills. Not only this but you are likely to meet new people who could come be useful for your future career plans!
If you have been given a reading list for your next year of study then you should probably aim to buy these books during the summer if you can afford to, rather than at the last minute during freshers when you are already going to be busy. It may be useful to take some time to familiarise yourself with the content of your books, particularly if there is a subject which will be new to you.
In addition to recommended reading, you may want to read for pleasure during the summer. This is a really great way to relax, take a break from technology but also allows you to keep your mind sharp and stay in practice of concentrating and reading ready for the next semester. You may not have time to read for pleasure during the term time, or may not want to (I get sick of the sight of books during the semester!) – so summer is the perfect time to read at your leisure. Grab a book and sit in the garden with a nice cold drink.
Updating your CV
Not as interesting as reading, but updating your CV while you have free time in the summer can save you time when you need it at a later date. In addition to this, reading over and updating your CV provides you with a really great opportunity to reflect on the skills you have developed in the last academic year and look back on your experiences. You can use this reflection to consider what skills and experience you may still be lacking in, and concentrate on building on these areas next year!
Create a LinkedIn profile
Creating a LinkedIn profile allows you to connect with professionals which allows you to keep in touch with lecturers, network with new people and showcase your own achievements. This could provide amazing opportunities and out of all the ideas listed here, is definitely the one that I need to get done over the summer!