Making the most of your Summer Holidays
While it is lovely to have a long break from University studies during the summer holidays, it is also very important that any prospective or current students take this time as an opportunity to broaden your horizons in the form of work experience, travelling somewhere that may relate to your studies, or any extra vocations that will be of use for your degree such as doing some reading towards next year’s module choices, learning a language if you will be studying abroad and reading up and researching for your dissertation, among other things.
If you are still unsure what you want to do in terms of your career, seek out advice from careers advisors or try to get some work experience, internships, volunteering roles or internships in different areas that you would like to explore to help you narrow down your choices. Even working a summer job will look good on your CV as well as providing you with some funding towards your time at University or for some travelling. I personally have been doing volunteering placements at a range of schools in my area of the summer as I would like to complete a PGCE at Warwick and later become a teacher and I have really enjoyed my time at the schools so far.
During the summer holidays is when most people are most able to travel and for University students this is no exception. There are now many opportunities for students to study, volunteer and work abroad which are all great additions to your CV as well as to your life experiences in general. I was lucky enough to go on my term abroad in Venice last year and I can honestly say that it was the best experience of my life and I loved absorbing their culture, language and art. I have also just returned from visiting Amsterdam, a trip that I have wanted to take since I did a module on 17 century Dutch painting last year so to see the paintings that we studied up close really helps you to understand the topic on an even deeper level. I am also lucky enough to be going on holiday to Wales with my family so this will also give me some time to relax and spend some quality time with them. Similarly, you may now want to take this time to catch up with your friends and visit them while you have some spare time.
Aside from travelling and getting some valuable work experience, the summer holidays is the perfect time to expand your knowledge. Read up on any topics or modules that interest you for the next academic year and have a look at any reading lists that have been given to you. My dissertation is coming up next year so I have been compiling my own reading lists, routes for research an noting anything of importance, even if your dissertation isn’t on the horizon just yet, have a think about potential topics so that you don’t have to scramble for ideas when the time comes. Now is also the perfect time to learn a language or learn some basic phrases if you are planning on studying abroad or travelling at all.
Most of all, however, take this time to relax a little. Think about all your accomplishments so far and the amount of time, effort and study that has gone into them and allow yourself some time to rest and recuperate. The holidays are also a great time to get in better shape and to make some more healthy changes to your diet as University can add a few pounds to you! You may want to start a website or blog of your own and start thinking about what your goals are for the future, what you need to do to get there and how you will need to organise yourself to fulfil your ambitions. Just make sure that you make the most of your summer holidays!
Thanks for reading, Kristie