The summer holidays are a great time of the year: no stress of exams, university or coursework deadlines. After a hard year at university, we finally get to do whatever we want.
But how do we make the most of it?
That’s the focus of today’s post by looking at relaxation tips, work experience and volunteering.
At first, I was going to try and find out some psychology articles on relaxation, but they’re complex!
But relaxation is so important in the summer holidays because you need to allow yourself time to destress and (basically) recover after the academic year. Because being a university student is just like being a full-time employee. You have deadlines, full days most days and you have to do lots of reading and learning. (But you don’t get paid!)
Additionally, it is critical for you to relax and enjoy your time off so you can maintain a healthy work-life balance and, most importantly, so you don’t decrease your mental health.
Therefore, do what you love during the summer holidays. Be it going out with friends and family, reading books, going on holiday. Do whatever you need to do to relax.
Personally, I enjoy reading and spending time with friends and family so I do that to relax.
Despite relaxing being important in the summer holidays, spending three months doing nothing else, sometimes people want to spend a portion of their summer gaining experience in their eventual work field. I talk a little about work experience here, but I’d like to note, that mental health should always come first. If you’re burnt out and need a break, then often the most productive thing to do will be to take that break. That said:
Lots of students tend to get part-time jobs and try to get work experience in their chosen field. Getting work experience for a few months does have a lot of benefits. For example, it gives you a chance to develop your skills for future employment and this will increase your employability, since employers are always looking for people who have experience. In addition, if you can get work experience in your chosen field then this will almost certainly help you stand out from the crowd in the future. For example, I’m doing a psychology degree but so are thousands of other people. Therefore, when I finish my degree and complete my Masters too, then I will be just another psychology graduate. This is why getting work experience is critical because it allows you to stand out from the crowd. This is why I chose a psychology degree with a year of work experience included.
Overall, you can help make the most of your summer holidays by trying to get work experience, and most (if not all) universities have an employability service or job shop to help you find and get experience.
Building upon the idea of experience, volunteering is another great way to make the most of your summer holidays.
Since volunteering isn’t only a great addition to your CV, helping you stand out in the job market because volunteering can help you with people skills, confidence amongst other needed skills, but it can help you meet new people and most importantly make a difference. Also, with the internet at our fingertips, it’s easier than ever before to find volunteering opportunities. As well as that, most universities have a good volunteering scheme or group to help you find opportunities. For example, my university has opportunities with the homeless, woodlands, nature and lots of other opportunities. A benefit with volunteering work is that you won’t need to work a set amount of hours. You can, to a large degree, do what’s good for you.
This all comes back to balance and moderation. You don’t want to burn out with volunteering work.
I really hope you enjoyed today’s blog post and I really do encourage you to make the most of your summer holidays. Sadly, us university students don’t have a lot of them left before we enter the real world (scary!) so it is important to make good use of them.
So please do relax but think about looking for work experience and volunteering opportunities too. You can develop lots of great skills by doing this.
Have a great day!