Guest blog by Carys Scales
Firstly, celebrate! You’re finally free. No more long hours studying or flicking through pile after pile of flashcards- now the fun can finally begin! Pat yourself on the back and give yourself time to relax.
If you’re like me, it can be hard to go from revising for hours each day to suddenly having nothing to do. It can be tricky to think of things to fill your extra long summer with. Well, have no fear– I’ve put together a handy list of fun (but also useful) things you can do after exams.
- Read for fun.
- Get some work experience.
- Start thinking about the future.
- Get involved in a cause that means something to you.
- See your friends.
- Work on your Personal Statement.
1. Read for fun.
f you’re an English or Humanities student, I bet most of the reading you’ve been doing has been for school. Now is the time to push those course books aside and read what you want to read. You can finally dive into that ‘To Be Read’ pile that’s been growing on your bedside table. Or if you don’t have a list yet, you can make one. There’s nothing better than browsing in Waterstones with an iced latte in one hand, a stack of books in the other. Or, if you prefer cheaper options, Amazon’s kindle selection is the perfect way to unwind– and there’s always your local library. Don’t know where to start with your reading? You can check out holiday reading lists, or watch BookTok videos for inspiration. I recommend reading ‘The Inheritance Games’ by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. It’s a super suspenseful read that you can enjoy on the beach.
2. Get some work experience.
Already know what future career you want– or are you trying to work out a few options? Work experience can be a great way to see what career you might be interested in. It can help you gain experience that will make your CV and personal UCAS statement shine, too (bonus!). I’ve just finished an internship myself as a marketing exec and it’s been loads of fun and I’ve learned tons about marketing. You can look on websites like LinkedIn, or have a walk around your local area and see if any places are hiring- I’m sure they’d love to have you! It’s a great way to gain experience, earn a little more money and broaden your connections.
3. Start thinking about the future.
You don’t have to have it all figured out. But summer is the perfect time to think of what you’d like to do after school. There are lots of different options- from apprenticeships to university, to taking a gap year or going straight into work. You can tap into loads of resources that can help you work it all out–like MyTutor’s free ebooks on uni, careers and apprenticeships. You can ask for help from your school guidance counsellor, and chat to your parents about it too. You can also ask yourself some questions to get the ball rolling.
- What subjects do I like the best in school?
- What am I good at? (list at least 5 skills)
- Who do I look up to and why?
- How would I like the world to be different?
At least you’ll have a better idea of what your interests are–if nothing else!
4. Get involved in a cause that means something to you.
If you’ve been thinking about how you want to make a difference in the world, the summer is a chance to put your plans into action. You can get involved in a cause that you care about– like the environment. There are lots of different ways you can do this, like joining the UK Youth Climate Coalition. Or you can take one of MyTutor’s summer group courses that are about issues that matter to you, like ‘Science to Save the Planet.’ Get your friends involved in your cause, too, which leads me to my next point…
5. See your friends.
Since you’ve spent a lot of your time hitting the books, you probably haven’t had much time to see your friends. Well, now’s your chance! Take advantage of the sun and go on days out with them. You can visit the park, go swimming in the sea, have picnics or even binge watch Netflix together. Use this free time to really relax- after all, you’ve earned it. If you’ve got enough money saved (perhaps from your summer job!) you can go on weekend breaks with your friends, either abroad if you’re old enough, or more locally. There’s nothing better than going camping and sleeping under the stars!
6. Work on your Personal Statement.
UCAS deadlines are still a ways off. But it’s never too early to start working on your Personal Statement or to have a look at potential universities. A lot of them hold open days in the summer, so why not pop down and have a look around their campus? If you’re thinking about going to university, start researching what needs to be included in your personal statement- YouTube is a great place for videos on this– and MyTutor will be sharing lots of helpful tips both on IG and TikTok to help you write your personal statement. There’s no harm in getting a draft ready now. The free time you’ve got can help you write a shining Personal Statement that will wow the universities you’re applying to.
So there you have it– six ways to fill your time this summer. The key is balance. Make the most of the very long holiday, but also remember to give yourself a break. You deserve it after all the revising. And from me– a huge congratulations on finishing your exams!
Carys Scales is an English tutor and studies English Literature and Creative Writing at Cardiff University.