Sorry I haven’t posted anything recently! I was in Dorset last week and I didn’t have access to a computer! But I’m back now!
So I’m guessing most of you students are on your summer break now. While some of you have had your summer plans sorted for months, the rest may have been too busy to think ahead. Fortunately, it is never too late to start organising something for the holidays. Having a long break from uni (or school) can give you the chance to earn some extra cash, plan your career (as daunting as that may seem), or venture to new places. If you find that you don’t have much on this summer, here are some of my suggestions as to how to make the next couple of months more productive:
- Get a job
Finding a job can be very difficult, especially if you are a student and don’t have much previous experience. However, many companies and businesses do have positions available during the summer months. Sports / activity centres and camps are always looking for extra staff, including activity leaders. Working at camps can enable you to meet people from all over the world. If you see yourself working in an office, jobsites like Indeed and Reed often advertise admin work. Shops also have vacancies during the holidays – just check the shop website or look in windows. Failing these, there’s always baby / pet sitting or tutoring.
- Work Experience
If you are unable to find a paid job for the summer, try looking for work experience instead. Gaining experience in a relevant field is a great way to get your foot in the door and build up contacts. Make a list of at least 8-12 companies you are interested in working for, and email or call them to see if they offer work experience. You might be asked to come in for one or two weeks to get a feel for the job and see whether you’d want to work in a similar environment in the future.
Internships are like work experience, but they typically last a lot longer, sometimes between six months and a year. It’s also more likely that you’ll be paid for an internship than work experience, though some companies do still only offer travel and/or food expenses (especially in the media sector). Internships are usually more intense than work experience, and you’ll often find yourself doing much more than just photocopying and making cups of tea. As a result, the competition for internships is fierce, and you might have to go for an interview first. However, internships are highly rewarding and if you impress the staff, you might be asked to work at the company full-time in the future.
Fancy going to a festival this summer but can’t afford it? Why not volunteer instead? Although it can be hard work, you’ll get a free ticket and the chance to see your favourite band play live. Volunteering at a festival may involve handing out wristbands or picking up litter – while that doesn’t sound too appealing, it’ll be worth it in the long-run as you’ll develop useful skills to add to your C.V and make new friends. Check out www.oxfam.org.uk/stewards or www.wikifestivals.com to find out more. You could also volunteer at your local charity shop, homeless shelter, farm, or museums / galleries during the summer.
One of the best things to do during the holidays is travelling. With all that time on your hands, what better than to explore the world? You’ll get to escape the unpredictable British weather and maybe work on getting that tan! While travelling can be expensive, it doesn’t have to mean jetting off to the other side of the world. You could just stay in England and visit your uni friends in their hometowns or go camping. But if you want to go abroad on a budget, there are several ways around it, for example teaching English to foreign students or applying to a summer school. Studying in hot weather may be the last thing you want to do, but summer schools are great if you want to learn something new and experience a different culture.
- Take up a new hobby
Summer is the perfect time to take up a new hobby, whether it’s a sport, instrument, or something creative like blogging or photography. If you’ve always wanted to do something in particular, now is your chance. With a hobby, you’ll be bored less easily and spend less time checking Facebook and complaining to your parents that you have nothing to do. Playing an instrument, taking photos or keeping a blog can be quite useful since you can make money out of them when you become more experienced.
What are your plans for the summer? Are you going away or working? Let me know in the comments 🙂