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5 Productive Things You Can Do Over Summer Break Before University!

5 Productive Things You Can Do Over Summer Break Before University!

The summer break before university is the time to enjoy a well-deserved rest after graduating high school and spend time with school friends and family before you head off to university. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do fun (and productive) things to prepare you for the road ahead!

Summer break is one of the best times to take on new projects and try something new simply because you literally have nothing else to do! No studies, no revision, no homework. How you use your time is completely up to you. We get you, doing work over the summer is a no-no. But how about doing productive and fun activities that will help you going forward? We could get on board with that! To give you some inspiration for a fab summer, we’ve broken down five productive things you can be doing.

“How you use your time is completely up to you”

#1 - Travel and learn a new language

Summer trips with friends or family are the best, but who says they can’t be productive too? If you’re going abroad somewhere that speaks a different language, take some time to actually learn the language before you go (more than just saying ‘hello’, ‘thanks’, and ‘where’s the toilet’), then practice during your holiday! Not only will the locals appreciate you for putting in the effort to learn their language, but you’ll enjoy the holiday so much more by being able to immerse yourself in their culture. And language skills are sooo useful throughout life - you can never know too many languages. You can even learn on the plane there, using websites like Duolingo to fuel your excitement for the trip and do even 10 minutes of language learning. Here are some benefits of learning a new language while travelling:

  • Instead of learning through textbooks, you can learn through a holiday! (school teachers, take notes… )
  • Immerse yourself into a new culture even more
  • Strengthen your resume - languages are extremely valued by employers

#2 - Massive Open Online Courses (more commonly known as MOOCs)

“You can learn from prestigious universities all from the comfort of your home”

MOOCs have become massively popular recently, with students and adults alike using websites like EdX, Coursera and Future Learn to access 1000s of online courses on any topic you could think about! Fancy learning about criminal psychology? Or a course about french cooking? If you can think of it, chances are it’ll be there! And the great thing is, most MOOC courses are completely free! Just enrol yourself in the course and take it at your own pace. What a great way to learn a new skill! Many courses are actually provided by the world’s top universities, meaning you can learn from content created by prestigious universities, all from the comfort of your home. No wonder MOOCs have taken the world by storm! Here are some of its numerous benefits:

  • Easiest way to learn a new subject or skill from reputable sources
  • Completely free for most websites - can choose to pay for a certificate of completion
  • All online, so you can take it from anywhere in the world!

Similar to MOOCs, check out our guide to Virtual Summer School and hundreds of pre-recorded Millie’s Guides as an alternative way to learn something new over summer!

#3 - Volunteer work

Volunteering in your local area is a great way to spend your summer and make great memories along the way! Not only will you help out your community, but you can also have tons of fun doing it. This could be volunteering at animal shelters, doing beach cleanups (if you’re lucky enough to live by a beach! But you could really do this in any area), starting an NPO, or even just mowing your elderly neighbours’ lawn! The opportunities to help out are endless. Even better, grab a few friends and set yourself a goal to do something together! If you’re into hiking for example, you could do a sponsored hike and raise money for a local charity. See what we mean? Anything can be turned into a project that helps out others (all while you’re still having fun over summer)! Here are some of the benefits of volunteering:

  • Make a difference in your community
  • Make great friends and connections with the people you work with and help
  • A great experience to talk about in future job interviews to show your proactiveness and compassion for those around you

“Anything can be turned into a project that helps out others”

#4 - Summer jobs

Similar to volunteer work, but with a little ‘cha-ching!’ involved, you could take up a summer job and earn a little extra pocket money on the side! Summer jobs are great ways to spend your holidays by helping out in local shops or restaurants and getting to know the people in your area. You’ll learn so much about teamwork, time management, and staying committed to a task, all great soft skills to talk about in future job interviews! For those summers where you have nothing else to do, getting a summer job is a simple way to keep productive over the holidays and gain valuable work experience. If you have sellable skills, you can also find virtual online job opportunities in freelancing platforms such as Fiverr or Upwork - great ways to work right from your home! Here are some of the other benefits:

  • Earn a bit of extra pocket money
  • Gives you a structure to your day and the experience of having working hours and various commitments
  • Show employers you can work well with people and are able to learn on the job

#5 - Internship

“Getting an internship is a great way to get your foot in the door”

Internships are the next level from summer jobs. Internships are short term contracts to work in a company for a few months over the holidays, where you learn valuable skills and gain the experience of what it’s like to work at an actual organisation. They can be in-person or totally virtual! While they are sometimes unpaid, internships are in many ways even more valuable than summer jobs. For firms in fields like finance, law or medicine for example, getting a summer internship is a great way to get your foot in the door of competitive industries and make valuable contacts to help with graduate positions. Here are some of the benefits of internships:

  • If you perform well at an internship, you could convert that into a graduate position (much easier than applying straight to the position after you graduate)
  • Gain valuable experience about working life in your chosen industry
  • Great way to see which career paths interest you

If an internship interests you, check out these five companies offering great internship opportunities for students over summer!

Bottom line is, summer is the time to reward yourself after a long year of hard work. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be productive while doing that! If you think you’d be interested in producing content like this article to help other students across the world with their academic journeys, apply to us at Millie for an internship position to kickstart your career!