How I Spent My First Year Summer
I hope you’ve all had an amazing summer and are excited to come to Warwick! As the holidays are coming to an end, I wanted to tell you a bit about how I spent my first summer break as a uni student to give you an insight into what you might be doing next summer.
At university you get a pretty long summer holiday – I finished my exams and moved home in early June and will be moving back to Warwick at the end of the month, so I’ve had roughly three and a half months off. Having this time gives you a great opportunity to get some work experience, spend time with family and friends, visit some new places and have a well-deserved break.
Some of my uni friends planned their summers in advance and have volunteered abroad, travelled, performed at theatre festivals and worked as interns; there are so many exciting things you can do! I hadn’t made any plans in advance as during Term 3 I felt at full capacity with exam prep and didn’t feel like I had the energy to start making summer plans. I was worried that I’d left it too late to find projects to get involved in over the summer but that turned out not to be the case at all and not planning in advance hasn’t stopped me having a productive few months!
After my exams, I spent the rest of June having a break. Term 3 was quite intense so it was great to be able to slow down and enjoy being back at home. I’ve also spent a lot of time having a clear out this summer – when you bring home the contents of your uni room, you might realise (as I did) how much more stuff you’ve accumulated over the year!
Throughout July I worked in retail at a store I hadn’t worked at before so it was great to meet new people, get more experience and earn some money (which will most likely be spent on curry and cake at Warwick’s incredible monthly food market!). In August I started working as a volunteer at my local library as I have always loved books and libraries and really enjoy talking to new people. Volunteering looks brilliant on applications and it’s very rewarding to feel like you’re making a difference in the community. It’s also been really relaxed which has been ideal as I’ve spent the last few weeks reading material set for second year, and after several months of being out of the swing of studying, it’s taken some time for my brain to re-adjust!
Being away from your routine and friends at uni for over three months sounds like a long time but it will go by so quickly! I met up with one of my flatmates in London and have also caught up with friends over Skype so although it will feel odd to be away from the people you’ve gotten used to seeing every day, they won’t really feel far away if you stay in touch.
Whilst I hope to make some plans for next summer earlier than I did this year to get some experience more closely related to my degree/career path, I’ve still had a valuable few months taking a break and seizing unexpected opportunities for work as they came by, so making summer plans isn’t something that you need to be too stressed about next year. It’s so important to take time to have fun and recharge as much as you can – these may be some of the last long summer holidays you’ll have so make them count!