The summer holidays in a student’s academic year are a long time spanning a month or two. I think it can be a very exciting time to relax but like anything, too much lounging around can also get boring. So here are some ways to make the most of the long holidays and prepare for a new academic year at LSE!
It goes without saying but as students the summer term is synonymous with exams in the British education system. So when you finally complete your exams or coursework it is crucial to rest and rejuvenate. Exam periods are protracted periods of time where you are focused on revision so allow yourself to rest and keep your mind free. Things include looking after yourself and practicing self-care either by going on a daily walk or binge-watching a show you love. It is perfectly fine because now you have the time and deserve to treat yourself.
In most cases, exams are a done by an individual and you are not in a group or with friends. Therefore, when exams are over, make a conscious effort and plan to meet up with friends by meeting up for lunch, dinner or make plans to do activities. Revision at times can be an isolating experience and with the pandemic there has been greater barriers to meeting with friends. So, now exams are over, restrictions are easing, and the weather is improving make it a priority to meet up with friends, old and past. It feels great to connect with individuals after a year of isolation and is well-deserved after tackling these uncertain times and exams.
3. Get round to doing things
One thing that always happens around exam season is that certain things on our to-do lists get constantly pushed to the back. After exams and the summer holiday can be a great time to get round to doing things you have been putting off. Whether this is learning a new skill like a language or sport, or you are excited about reading a new book, all these things can be easily done with the free time the summer holiday provides. Personally I have put off booking my theory test and now with the luxury of time can get prepared and get it done. Whatever it is and no matter how big or small I am sure you have something you have been meaning to do – so just do it.
Summer holidays can be lots of fun, but it is always important to keep in mind the wider picture by preparing.
For new students who will be joining LSE in the Michaelmas Term, you can join LSE fresher chats and get to know people on the course before even officially starting. Spanning from accommodation to societies to course-related, there are many groups and group chats on mainly on Facebook which you can join. There are also WhatsApp groups, which despite the influx of notifications, can be really helpful to connect with individuals.
For returning students, you know your friends and can focus on preparing for the courses you are going to take. For example, if you are entering third year and will be writing a dissertation, the summer holiday is a great time to start thinking about a topic without the time pressure. Reading and visiting museums during this time can really help and make sure that when term begins you know what you are doing.
Other things you could be preparing for is work experience or internship or graduate applications. A large part of university is to explore the opportunities around you so internships and summer jobs are a large part of this. Many application processes include at minimum a CV and Cover Letter so spend some time in the summer holidays refining and writing up a convincing cover letter. Some application also requires online tests, so again the summer is great for practicing and getting comfortable with the application cycle process. There are many resources including LSE Careers, YouTube and other online resources. Therefore, preparing for the application cycle over the summer is a great way to productively pass the time.
I think the summer holidays are a great time for resting, connecting, getting round to things and preparing. Bearing in mind the average full time working holiday allowance is 28 days a year, the summer holidays are a unique time to be enjoyed and used productively. Whether that includes travelling around the UK, preparing for the upcoming application cycle or connecting with old friends, all things are valid so long as you feel happy and rested for the next academic year.