School’s out. Time to relax. You’ve earned yourself a decent break, but with six weeks or more stretching out in front of you, it’s still important to find things to do in the summer holidays to avoid feeling restless.
The great thing is that, free from timetables, after-school clubs and exams, you have more choice about what you do with your time.
And, while you may want to spend the first week after school doing your own version of nothing, we’ve got some suggestions of how you can make the most of the rest of your summer. You could pick up some cash, learn something new and maybe even enjoy yourself a bit in the process…
Starting GCSE’s / A-levels / IB / Highers / Uni in September? Get ahead by reading up on any new subjects you are studying. If you’re studying GCSE or A-level English, for example, ask your teacher what texts you’ll be doing next year and read them at your own pace over the summer. It’ll make your homework go faster the next year and you might find you enjoy the books you read more when you’re not being forced to study them. For other subjects, head over to a revision site like BBC Bitesize to find out the kinds of things you’ll cover and have a practise without the pressure of a homework deadline. If you’re off to university, you should be sent a reading list, so take the time to pick up a few of the essential texts and get reading.
2. Get some work experience
The summer holidays are a good time for work experience as you can be flexible and you’ll likely have more than a couple of weeks to spare. To sort out work experience in July / August, you should think about applying in March / April or sooner, but there can still be last minute places available. Remember too that people pull out of placements all the time, so phone up and send out emails to local businesses to see what they can offer.
3. Get a part-time summer job
You might find there is more part-time or casual work on offer over the summer as there are lots of festivals and events that hire temporary staff plus all the usual leisure spots will need extra people to cope with the summer crush. Check out your local news, find out what events are going on in your area and get in touch with the organisers to see if there are jobs available. Useful places to look for summer jobs include: supermarkets, local theatre and entertainment venues, activity centres and summer camps. Remember you will need to be over 16 to apply for lots of jobs.
Find out more about how much you can work depending on your age.
The Student Room has a useful article on where to look for summer work online.
Don’t be afraid to try freelancing as well, e.g. offering to mow neighbour’s lawns, baby sit or pet sit.
Not everyone will find work in the summer holidays, but you can still use the time to do your research and try and line up a Saturday job for September.
To increase your chances of finding paid work, why not try volunteering too. Again, you could find seasonal work at festivals, events, venues and museums as well as local charities and community organisations.
5. Apply for National Citizen Service
NCS is specifically for young people aged 15-17 and can help you discover the benefits of volunteering as well as providing a chance to get outdoors and get active. You’ll spend a week at an outdoor activity centre having an adventurous time as well as two weeks learning work skills and volunteering on a project within your local community. Summer NCS recruits also get to spend one of their weeks away in uni style accommodation, so it’s an even better time to apply.
6. Join a summer workshop
Theatres, sports venues, schools, universities, tech companies, you name them, often put on summer workshops and summer schools for young people. Go online via your local council’s website or search your favourite venues to find out what activities are on offer. Some companies offer taster days in the summer for young people who might be interested in working there too. You could also try finding a course with the Prince’s Trust, or, if you don’t have a lot of time to spare, try joining a hackathon and pick up some new tech skills while you’re at it.
7. Take a free online course
There are loads of free courses and apps online to teach you languages, coding, gaming, design, psychology, virtually anything! We’ve listed some resources in Useful Stuff or check out the article: 24 awesome skills to learn for free online to pick up some ideas.
7 ½. Get outside and enjoy yourself!
You don’t need our advice here…
For information on how to make the most of your summer holiday, check out our post Four Useful Things to do this Half Term.
Photo by Kenny Louie via Flickr CC Attritbution