What can you do, in those few months of the year that University pressures ease and you are not confined to campus or the surrounding area?
This may seem obvious but getting a paid job through the summer will provide you with some extra cash to support you through your studies, and is a great idea if you choose not to work through the Uni term.
Think outside the box – if you’ve got as far as applying to local cafes, that’s great, but there are so many other options out there that you could discover too! Some examples include: restaurant/bar work, admin/office work, support/care work, tutoring, baby-sitting/nannying, summer clubs and cleaning to name a few.
As well as earning some money, a job will provide you with experience, aid organisation and time management skills, help to learn new things and develop your communication with others. Just be aware of the contract when you apply, as there’s no point applying to a 2 year, 30-hour week if you only want to work 10-hours ones for 8 weeks.
The Student Ambassador scheme at Surrey is a great thing to get involved in, and if you are already an ambassador, don’t forget that opportunities run through the summer too. Things like summer schools, open days, campus tours and group visits. If you’re near Guildford or have access to a computer (for any virtual events), this could be a great flexible opportunity for you. Just keep an eye on adverts to apply as allocation will be made in advance.
Whether this is at home or away, the opportunities for volunteering are endless – discover them through talking to others, finding schemes online and seeing what vacancies are advertised around your area. You may not earn money, but you’ll learn things like professionalism, communication, new skills and be involved with great people while doing it.
You may or may not have considered this before, but travelling is a fantastic thing to do and I would encourage you, (with the finances, desire and ability to travel) to do so. Remember too, it doesn’t have to be hours away – anywhere you’re staying away from home can be a travel destination.
It will teach you so much from researching new places and finding suitable transport, to booking accommodation, meeting new people, learning about new cultures and managing your money. I did some travelling during my gap year and it has truly helped me to develop as a person – growing my independence, confidence, self-awareness and… there’s always some great stories to tell once you’re home!
If you’re back home for the summer, think about what you can do to help out around the house – whether that’s with the washing, cleaning, gardening, de-cluttering, food shop or cooking, I’m sure your family would be very grateful if you’re willing help too!
Your summer months don’t have to be spent jet-setting or ‘doing’, there is just as much to be said in doing things that you enjoy and developing yourself. Some ideas (although there must be many more) of things you could do during this time are…
- Take up a new hobby – whether it’s something you’ve always wanted to try and just not had the time for, or feel like seeking out a new opportunity; Summer is a great time to try something new!
- Read books and listen to music and podcasts
- Similar to the above – but this idea is about learning – expand your knowledge on chosen subject areas, and maybe learn a new language (there are so many resources online and books which can help you do either)
- Visit or spend time with your friends
- Explore your surrounding area – go for drives, walks, cycle rides, café-hop – who knows… you may find somewhere you never knew existed before!
- Find a new tv series you enjoy
However you spend your summer, it is a large amount of time (that you won’t get again once you’re in the working world!), so try to make the most of it and most importantly… Enjoy it!
You could also read this blog https://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/student-experience/2021/12/14/additional-opportunities-at-university/ about other opportunities available to you at Uni and plan what to get involved in your next academic year!