Optimising your summer break
“How do I make the most of my summer?”
“What should I do with my time this summer?”
“Do I dedicate my summer to work or play? Or both?”
These are questions that may have gently tip-toed or in fact aggressively stomped across your mind recently – and you’re not alone. You have just finished the second semester of the year and are probably still coming down from the buzz of completing a chapter of your university career, be it your first, second or third year. But, as we all know, as great as the excitement of achievement and the euphoria of relief is, all things must pass eventually. So, onto your next episode, albeit short – your summer. How do you fill your new-found free time? How do you pull yourself closer to your dream career? How do you reward yourself after 9 months of deadlines, exams and university stress? Well, although there is no clear answer for everybody – it is all about balance.
Whilst you are still enjoying the honeymoon period of finishing the academic year with hopefully (almost) everything still intact, you do deserve a reward! So, for a couple of weeks over the summer, give yourself a break. Wind down. Take a holiday. Put the extra reading down. Ignore the thoughts that make you constantly question your future. Enjoy yourself! Hard work is nothing without reward, so make sure it all counts for something, and go and do something that makes you happy. Mental wellbeing is always a priority, so give yourself something to look forward to – what is work without play?
(Keep an eye out for our post coming soon about travelling on a budget this summer!)
Gearing up again
Now, once you have enjoyed your break filled with self-indulgence, or booked something for the near future that will help you do just that, hopefully you are feeling energised enough to come back to thoughts about utilising your summer. “But where do you even start with making the most of your summer?” I hear you say. Well, as mentioned previously, there is no set route for everyone, but here are some tips which you may find helpful:
Employment. Let’s face it – being a student very often comes with a small drawback: financial struggle. If you’re able to get yourself into the working world throughout your summer, not only will this boost your bank balance but you will also majorly improve your future prospects. Employers often look for candidates who have experience of working life as well as commercial awareness, which often goes hand-in-hand with skills to bring to the table within future employment. “Candidates who have credible experience in the workplace before graduation stand out the most”, says the MyKindaFuture Recruitment Team. Even more brownie points if you’re able to gain employment within your desired sector!
Work experience. Unlike the previous point, work experience can sometimes come without the financial bonus. However, if you are able to tap into the industry or even company you envisage your future aligning with, you’ve struck gold. This is a great way to spend your summer, as it will not only glow on your CV but also give you great insight into what you may want to pursue later down the line, through both company culture and possible industry opportunities.
Volunteering. Making a difference and getting involved in helping certain communities can also boost your CV. Be careful however – volunteering work carries a lot more weight when completed alongside employment, or if you are more selective and strategic about choosing your line of volunteering in light of your career aspirations. Remember, you should aim to gain transferable skills and experiences in order to stand out from the crowd!
Whatever you do this summer, make sure you find a balance between taking a much-deserved break and using your time wisely. Make it a summer to remember, whilst building your employability profile – you will thank yourself down the line!