Once the school year is over, doing anything productive is probably the last thing on your mind. After all, you deserve a break after exams, right? While taking some time to unwind after school finishes is a good idea, there aren’t many times in life you’ll find yourself with six weeks of uninterrupted freedom. If your school year keeps you too busy, your summer may be your only chance to get anything done, especially activities you’ve been meaning to get around to for a while or are important to your future career. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to take advantage of your free schedule while you can, we’ve compiled a list of To Dos to help you make the most of your summer.
If you like helping people and want to spend your summer valuably, volunteering is the way to do it. Not only will you feel good about it, but it’s guaranteed to look great on your resume – just make sure to find something that aligns with your interests, instead of just for the sake of boosting your CV. Participate in a citizen science project, join a landcare group, volunteer in an aged care facility, or check out any of the numerous opportunities listed online. Government websites tend to be a treasure-trove of options, so head to your local council or the state government website and have a browse.
If you’re feeling ambitious and have some money squirrelled away, think about whether volunteering abroad might be right for you. There are plenty of programs for youths that can give you unique experiences and opportunities. As a bonus, global experience can be a valuable asset when you’re job hunting later in life.
Research Your Tertiary Education Options
Depending on what stage of your high school career that you’re in, it might be time to start researching universities or degrees. While it’s never too early to start thinking about your future, going into your senior years warrants making more solid plans. Think about what’s important to you in a degree and what university experiences you’re looking for to guide your search. Some universities also have faculty-led workshops during the holidays targeted at high school students to help you get an idea of what studying a particular degree at their institution is like and to answer any questions you may have.
Pick up a New Skill
If you already have an idea of what your dream career is, picking up a relevant skill will be beneficial to you in the long-run. Even if you haven’t figured that much out yet, some skills are transferable across fields, or tend to be highly sought-after by employers in different industries. Such skills include being multilingual, knowing how to code, using spreadsheets, and being a good communicator. Soft skills are just as important as technical skills, so make sure to spend some time finding strategies to improve your communication and teamwork skills. Playing a team sport is a great way to demonstrate the latter while landing a part-time job can also show future employers that you’re a good candidate. If you’re looking to learn a technical skill, however, there are plenty of free online courses that can get you started.
Most importantly, don’t forget to make time for hobbies and personal interests. Not only will you be happier for it, but it will help to break up all the future-proofing you have planned for the holidays.