While it is always tempting to completely switch off and become a couch potato over your Uni break, it’s not always the best use of your time off. While your holidays always seem to creep up on you after a very busy semester, it is important to have a plan for what you will do with your time off.
So unless you’re one of the very lucky people who get to jet off overseas (although for the foreseeable future we highly doubt this will be many of us), here are seven ways to make the most of your time off.
1. Apply for an internship
There are lots of companies that offer month internships over summer targeted directly at you. Your holiday break is the perfect time to get some hands on experience without having to give up your studies or stretch thin your social life.
A lot of companies these days tend to look further than just the completion of your studies and want to see that you have taken the initiative to invest in your own future and further develop your skills. Even though some internships are unpaid, the benefit of showing potential employers that you have experience is invaluable.
To get you started here are some sites that constantly advertise internships: Pedestrian JOBS and The Loop (for creatives), GradConnection, 99Interns (for startups) and, of course, your uni careers website.
2. Take an online course
As if you weren’t sick of studying already, right?
While online courses may not be quite as fulfilling as learning in tuni, they are a great way to learn at your own pace and gain a new skill.
As a bonus, they’re often cheap or even free, and you can learn some valuable skills, particularly if you are in a technology focused industry.
With an abundance of free, interactive courses on the web, such as Khan Academy or Code Academy, you can keep busy all summer.
3. Get a casual job
If you have a busy social life and love going out, this is a no-brainer.
While your holiday break is a fun and relaxed way to reconnect with your friends and family, it’s also an opportunity to cash up. Yes, you're giving up a chunk of your holidays to work but having the extra money to spoil yourself and fund your outings is surely worth it. Or even just save up so you can actually go to Europe when the borders open.
When you’re thinking about volunteering, it is important to also think about what motivates/ inspires you and what you’re looking to achieve.
Not-for-profit organisations are always after people with skills such as graphic design, marketing and accounting, so if you’re studying in these fields or have an interest in them it would be a good time to polish your skills and help a worthy cause.
Alternatively, you can volunteer at the next big event or festival in your city (you might even make some friends and score free tickets!).
It is important to remember that just because you’re doing this for free, it doesnt mean that you can be slack or bail on your commitments. While you may not get any monetary benefits from volunteering, you can definitely showcase your volunteer work in your resume or even ask a leader for a reference! Employers love to see that you have used your spare time for a worthy cause.
7. Attend talks and events
Keeping up to date on the professional events/seminar, this is a lot harder than it sounds as you will have to do some research, but is well worth the effort. Your best bet is to constantly check out uni Facebook pages or groups for upcoming events checking out the events section in Facebook to find events that may interest you.
This will be a quick and easy way to connect with other qualified professionals and form connections that could benefit you in the future.
Now you can finally peel your tired, dry eyes away from the hours of lecture notes you marathoned this year, why not expand your mind and read books that actually interest you.
Although I wouldn’t blame you for revisiting an oldie but a goodie (who doesnt love to revisit Hogwarts every once in a while), it’s always important to chuck a few non-fiction books onto your ‘to-read’ list. Don’t stay fixated on your area of study, learning about other industries and fields will open your mind to new ideas and ways of thinking.
You can even take it as far as to form a book club with your friends, this will not only give you an excuse to get together and chat about a book that you have loved/hated, but it will also let you see how others have processed something that you might have missed!
7. Don’t forget to have FUN!
Don’t forget to relax a bit as well. Make sure that you set aside some time to catch up with friends, day trips to explore your city or even chill at the beach! After all, you have just finished a semester of uni, congratulate yourself and let your hair down!!