The summer holidays are almost every student’s favourite holiday. Nice weather and the freedom to do what you like are the perfect combination. But not every student knows exactly how they want to spend their summer. Summer might already be over before you decide what you want to do!
In the UK, the summer holiday is around 6 weeks long. This article can help you decide how best to spend your time in the summer holidays.
Of course, there’s no right or wrong way to spend your summer holidays. Some people prefer to stay busy whilst others just like to relax and keep activity to a minimum. No matter which type of person you are, you might be stuck for ideas for things to do. If this sounds like you, then keep reading for things to do in the summer holidays.
10. Do some exercise
Not everybody goes to the gym and lifts weights 4 times a week, and that’s okay! However, exercise has been proven to help students’ mental health in the short and long term. If you want to know more about the benefits of exercise for students, you can check out this Think Student article. Even if you’re mentally healthy, it’s good to keep track of your physical health too.
If you aren’t somebody who enjoys fitness, there are plenty of ways to exercise that are fun and engaging. You can go for walks in your local woods or go on a bike ride; you can go to a trampoline or water park with your friends. Anything that involves physical activity, whether with family and friends or by yourself, can keep you feeling busy and calm.
In the UK, the summer holidays are the longest of all school holidays. It’s also the ideal time to go travelling. Travelling abroad is a great way to learn about the culture and history of countries around the world. You can try food, visit landmarks, or even just relax in a new location. There are also plenty of places to travel within the UK, between countries or within your own country – spend a weekend away at a National Park, or even just the beach.
Travel is the priority for most people in the summer. Not everyone has the opportunity or the funds. Year 11 students in particular have a longer summer than other year groups, which can make summer feel like it’s starting to drag. If you’re in Year 11 and can’t travel, this Think Student article has more ideas on things to do to keep summer exciting.
8. Complete your summer schoolwork
No student enjoys doing schoolwork in the summer. Unfortunately for students however, lots of schools set homework for the holidays – it is normally always for good reason. While this might not make your summer holiday the most enjoyable one, it may actually be less of a punishment than you think.
It might feel like you’re wasting your holiday doing schoolwork, but summer homework does have its benefits. For one, it makes your transition back to school a lot easier. It also helps you stay on track with the knowledge and skills you picked up during term time, which can save you a lot of revision in the long term.
The best way to complete your work is to space it out. Try completing one or two tasks a week; this helps keep your brain engaged and maintains your memory.
7. Find work experience
Work experience is a summer opportunity that a lot of students miss. Work experience looks great on a Personal Statement, and universities will ask you about it in interviews. It can also help you gain an idea for possible careers you want to pursue. For students with social anxiety, it might help to give you more confidence in speaking to others.
Finding work experience can sometimes be a confusing or complicated process. If you need help on how to find some work experience, you can read this article by Pearson. If you’re stuck for ideas on what to do for work experience, this Think Student article may be helpful for you.
6. Visit universities
Particularly for Year 11 and Year 12 students, visiting universities can be really helpful in getting a feel for what university is like. You don’t have to know which university you want to attend to visit. Visiting universities in your local area, or universities you have an interest in are a good gateway into preparing for university.
Most universities advertise open days for all students. You can visit the websites of universities you’re interested in for information about open days. For a calendar of most university open days, you can visit the UK University Search website here.
5. Get a part time job
Part time jobs can help you earn a little extra money to spend without taking up too much of your time. As an added benefit, it’s always possible to apply for a part time job where your friends work. Part time jobs can also be good work experience to add to your resume for when you decide to go into work.
Sixth form, college and university study can be demanding, so you may find that you don’t have the time for a part time job. This is why the summer holidays are the best opportunities students have to earn some money. If you’re stuck for ideas on part time jobs to work in, this Think Student article has good recommendations.
4. Meet up with friends
Although you see your friends at school almost every day, it isn’t the same as seeing them outside of school. Plus, in the summer holidays there are plenty of opportunities to have fun with your friends. For example, you could visit a theme park, or try an escape room together.
If you don’t have the funds to go out, meeting up at your local park can also be just as fun with the right people. Alternatively, even just a video call is a nice way to keep in touch and prevent feelings of loneliness.
3. Learn a new skill
Skills of any kind are always useful in some way. There’s no downside to learning one. Some of the best skills that students can learn include digital skills, research skills and leadership skills. How you adapt these can also be good for your personal statement. However, they can also be for you personally.
Some domestic skills like cooking and doing laundry are extremely useful for university. You can ask your parents or friends to help you, or there are plenty of tutorials online. There are also several personal skills you can learn, such as computer programming, or maybe try learning a new language.
Most things can be considered a skill, and lots of skills can be fun to learn as well as helping you in education or employment. Summer is the perfect time to try your hand at something new!
2. Pick up a book or audiobook
Reading seems like an obvious choice, but students often look over its benefits. Reading for pleasure is not only a good stress-relief, but you might see improvements in your studies too. By reading, you naturally pick up new words in the right context. For more information on the benefits of reading, see this Healthline article.
Audiobooks are also a great alternative if you: focus better through listening, aren’t confident in your reading ability, or just don’t have time to sit down and read. Western Downs Libraries reported that listening to an audiobook improves test scores by 21% (for multi-modal learners). Having an audiobook in the background of what you’re doing can be beneficial in multiple ways.
1. Sit back and relax
The most important part of any holiday is relaxation. You just completed another year of school! For Year 11, Year 13, and university students especially, a break is well needed. No matter which year of school you completed, make sure to take some time for yourself and enjoy doing the things that you like.
Summer isn’t all about being active, despite what you might see on social media. Sleeping in and doing ‘nothing’ can be just as nice as going out and seeing friends or travelling. Whichever way you choose to spend your summer holidays, it’s important to achieve a comfortable balance of activity and rest.