After a gruelling final term at university, it is tempting to head home to mum’s cooking and old creature comforts, and to curl up on the sofa for the duration of the summer break. But we all know that summer should really be used as an opportunity for some self-improvement. With competition for jobs greater than ever, university students should use the summer break to clock up experience outside of the lecture theatre and boost their CV. But there are other ways your mind and body can be improved by making the most of the free time you have over the summer. With this in mind Send My Bag has put together its top tips for making the most of the summer break.
Set Goals and Plan Ahead
As soon as you can, draw up a list of things you want to achieve during your summer break. Be realistic but do challenge yourself. Is there a gap in your experience that you would like to fill, do you need to increase the amount of experience you have in a certain area of expertise? Come up with a plan of action to achieve these goals and take steps to get it up and running. This way you can avoid your summer drifting in a haze of daytime TV.
Do an Internship
One of the most obvious ways to make yourself more employable is to do an internship in the field you want to go into. Not only do you gain valuable experience that will put you ahead of other job seekers, but it is also an opportunity for you to test out the job and see if you would actually enjoy it as a full-time career.
Do Some Career Planning
If you don’t yet know for sure what career you want to go into, the summer is a great opportunity to research different jobs and think carefully about what best suits your personality and your skill set. Is there a role you would like to fill but don’t quite have the full skill set required? Now is the time to do something about it!
Expand your Essential Employability Skills
You don’t have to gain work experience specifically in your chosen field. Almost any type of role is bound to develop those essential skills that all employers look for, such as communication, teamwork and self-management. Even if you can’t secure paid employment, you will get great benefit from taking on a volunteer position. If you do work for a charity you also get the satisfaction of helping out people in need.
Improve your Academic Performance
You may feel that the best way to boost your CV is to perform better academically. So why not use at least part of the summer to set yourself up for a successful new academic year? You can do this by catching up on anything that you missed or by revising any topics you found difficult, without the pressure of impending assignment deadlines. You could even lighten your load going into the new academic year by getting started on your reading list – combine it with a spot of sunbathing and it could turn out to be quite enjoyable.
Get to Know your University Friends Better
Why not invite people you know from university to visit you at home, or go on a trip together? This lets people see who you are outside of university and away from the inevitable cliques that form there. By spending an extended period of time together you can form deeper bonds over shared experiences.
Reconnect with Old Friends
Don’t let years of friendship fizzle out because you have been away at university. Make the effort to contact your childhood friends and share your experiences as students. It may help to know that other people are going through similar things to you.
Pursue your Hobbies
Take up the hobbies you never have time for at university. It is important to keep your interests broad and to remember who you were before you started uni.
Have an Adventure
Tick something off your bucket list, face a fear, live a little! Summer is the perfect time to do something different, to challenge yourself or fulfil lifelong dreams. As well as giving you a feeling of self-fulfilment, these experiences will also give you plenty of material to draw on during future job interviews!
The summer break can’t all be about self-improvement. You will need to give yourself time to relax; otherwise your planned activities will soon turn into a chore. Give yourself a week at either end of the holidays to recharge and focus on life’s next instalment.
Send My Bag has tonnes more tips for students, including 'Top Five Student Holidays That Won't Break the Bank' and 'What to Take to University'.
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