By Caragh Medlicott
School’s out for summer! Well, not quite, but almost. So it’s time to start thinking about how to make the most of your summer. At uni we get a pretty big break between each year (remember how long that six week holiday used to feel at school?) and one thing is for sure – you don’t want to end up spending the whole time stuck in doors with only Netflix for company. Of course everyone likes a good post-deadline Netflix binge, but more than a couple of days is just time you’re never getting back.
So what can you do with that vaguely rainy stretch of time we call the British summer? If the Phineas and Ferb theme songs doesn’t have enough ideas for you, I’m here to supply you with some more.
Let’s start with the boring. Why not get a summer job? Whether that’s working part time or full time for summer. Getting a job over summer – particularly if you’re moving back home – this will give you a chance to save up some money (or for some people, to get out of their overdraft).
Whatever the reasons, it’s best to start looking early. As most uni students are done by mid-June we have a jump on the college kids also looking for work, so starting the search early means you’re more likely to be able to get in somewhere you actually like.
When deciding on places it’s always worth having a look online to see which places have the best ratings for treating their staff well. For more information on writing a good CV or acing an interview go to http://cardiffstudentmedia.co.uk/gairrhydd/category/advice/ and see our previous article on these topics.
Another practical idea for summer is to arrange some work experience. Particularly if you’re finishing your second year as this may be your last chance to do something extra to pad out your CV before you have to start looking for graduate jobs the following year (scary!) Plus having work experience on your CV shows you are conscientious and proactive.
Now onto the fun side of things. Travelling! Even if you don’t have enough money now, why not use the summer to save up a bit (that aforementioned job will help with this) and get out and see the world. It’s easier to arrange than you’d imagine, particularly if you get an interrailing ticket.
There’s no better time to go than when you’re a student with no serious career commitments and such. You’ll make memories to last forever! I’d particularly recommend going with uni friends. Once you all graduate you may return home or go into different jobs so you should really make the most of the time you have while you all share the same holidays.
Another idea popular with students is using their summer to volunteer to work on charity-based projects. While many of these are worthwhile and rewarding experiences, make sure you check out the charity or organisation beforehand. Some of these companies are notorious for ripping students off and it’s important you make sure you know what you’re getting into.
It’s also worth checking that whatever you’re doing will actually be beneficial to the charity rather than a holiday you fundraise money for. Make sure you’re willing to work hard! A lot of the worthwhile projects are tough so make sure you are mentally and physically prepared and I’m sure it’ll be an amazing experience.
Whatever you do with summer is ultimately up to you and I’m sure there are a million and one other things you can do with your time that will be just as amazing. The main piece of advice I have to you is just make sure you don’t do nothing. For this reason I’d like to end with an inspirational quote… “don’t let your dreams be dreams” (LaBeouf, S 2015).