You’ve been working so hard for the last few weeks and the end of your exams is nearly in sight. But what exactly is it that you’ve been waiting for? You’ve probably been dreaming of the moment you would wake up to no exams and no revision, but what will you do with yourself for the three months after that before uni starts?
If you’re suffering from an ‘I don’t know what to do with all this new found freedom’ block, here’s some ideas for how to fill your Summer including some from students who have been in your shoes before…
After what may seem like a lifetime of intense study and revision you deserve to relax. Remember all that procrastination when you were revising and some of those simple things you would have preferred to do that we usually take for granted?
Read that new book, watch rubbish TV and most importantly enjoy time with friends and family and maybe watch more rubbish TV. (Psychology student Rimah really went for it last summer and had a whole movie marathon!)
As the UK is currently experiencing a much longed for heatwave we highly recommend making the most of the beautiful weather by just getting outside! Whether it's to play sport or just to sunbathe make the most of it before we hit the winter countdown.
Extra cash always comes in handy. You could sign on with an agency to see what temporary work may be available, as summer internships can be hard to come by, especially paid ones. Some work may not be as exciting as you would like, but it’s temporary and you are in control of doing as much, or as little as you want. If you have a good attitude and strike up a relationship with an employer, they may want you back when you are on holiday from uni and you need to boost the bank balance.
If gearing up for your course is more your thing, why not try a bit of online door knocking? You may find yourself getting involved in some really valuable work experience that will set you up for your studies and give you some insight towards your future goals. If you’ve got enthusiasm most employers will make good use of you but will also respect that you are there to learn and they will encourage you.
You don’t need to spend all your Summer on this, a week or two of work experience could be a great taster. When you start uni, your work experience will give you something to talk about with other people on your course. Being pro-active and self-initiated is how you will be successful in your studies.
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3. We’re all going on a …
…Summer holiday! If you’ve got a stash of cash, then you'll probably be planning your start at uni whilst you living your best life out in Thailand, or you may be just as happy floating around on an inflatable lilo in Bognor Regis. Whatever your budget, it’s definitely worth exploring the UK or further afield before you head off to Welcome Week.
Why not see if you can get any last minute package deals for a week or two away, fancy taking the train through Europe? It’s often cheaper than getting about in the UK! If you get a group of mates together you can get some bargain deals hiring cottages and caravans. Equally solo travelling is the perfect way to make tonnes of international friends and get you prepared for starting uni.
Heading to a festival and checking out a few bands is a holiday in itself, if you don’t want to buy a ticket then some events will allow you in for free, in return for a few hours labour, check the festival website.
4. A new you!
Why not have a go at that hobby you’ve been meaning to try out? Three months is loads of time to learn how to rock climb or start those language lessons. When you start at uni you will be met with tonnes of student societies that will all be vying for your attention. For instance, you could train yourself up as a magician, get involved in a bit of Bhangra, share your love of Dr Who or love of Rock music or join the most popular student society of last year, Burlesque!
There are also plenty of sports and recreational societies for you to choose from, so you could always spend the Summer getting ahead of the pack! And if there’s not a society for your new hobby when you get here, you’ll just have to start your own student society.
5. Find your feet …
…you never know where they might take you! If your only experience of Birmingham is the Open Day you came to a while ago, then why not take the chance in the Summer to get yourself well orientated? A couple of day trips should do it, why not drag some friends or family along with you to have a proper day out? Even if you come on your own you’ll really start to get a feel for where you are going to be living.
If you are from the area you probably feel that you know the streets like the back of your hand, but, there’s plenty out there that’s undiscovered and areas of the city that you will have never ventured. Sociology student Soton recommends looking on YouTube before hopping on a bus to check out any videos that may be there to help you out.
You could also take a waterways tour on a canal boat - did you know Birmingham has more miles of canal than Venice? The Museum and Art Gallery houses an astonishing collection of art and exhibits and is well worth a visit. When you start uni you could well find yourself going back to visit again, and again. Heading out of the city centre, areas such as The Jewellery Quarter and Bournville (the big chocolate factory) are fascinating areas that are really worth checking out.
Take a bit of time to get your bearings around Birmingham and it will be one less thing to get nervous about before starting uni.