Making the Most of the Summer

With summer having begun for many university students and just around the corner for the rest, there are now 2-3 months ahead to spend however you wish. It is worth having a think about what it is you hope to get out of your summer break, so the time doesn’t just pass you by.

In my time before and during uni, I’ve used the Summer as a time to catch up on things you don’t always find the time for during term: getting work experience, travelling and relaxing. It is also sometimes necessary to get in a bit of study to keep your mind at work. I’ll go over each of these in turn to offer some ideas and tips for getting value out of your time off.

By Michael Mander – 3rd Year Linguistics Studies, Lancaster  



It is a summer cliche, but going travelling is very valuable if you can afford it. There are plenty of ways to get away on a budget: Ryanair and other services have Fare Finders that give you cheap flights from as little as £10 if you want to explore somewhere new. With apps like Airbnb you don’t even need to book an expensive hotel. Travelling doesn’t have to mean planned and expensive month long excursion to Cuba with a gap year company, it can be as simple as hopping on a plane and seeing what you can discover!


The most important thing about the holidays is finding time to relax and replenish. With the stress of university life it can be hard to find time to do the basics. I found that in the day-to-day of term time I’d often forget to find time for the things I enjoyed: from days out to just watching Netflix. And there are other things that you can lose track of during term time: cooking and eating good meals, keeping your environment clean and organised, seeing extended family. Summer is the perfect time to take stock and just catch up on these things. Getting some extra study or work in may be important, but it can’t be at the expense of your own wellbeing. You’ve worked hard all year, and a break is well-earned.


While the summer months may seem like a long awaited escape from the books, don’t burn your notes just yet. A lot of content in second year of University relies on a sound understanding of first year concepts – and equally third year relies on second year. So if there’s a few concepts you feel like you don’t fully understand, summer is the perfect time to get a bit of reading in and wrap your head around them. If you don’t, you can quickly find yourself falling behind which will only snowball.

If you’re happy that you understand the key concepts of your course and are prepared for the next year of study, it’s still worth keeping your mind active. The summer holidays at University are a long time, and it’s easy to forget everything you know! I do a lot of reading over the summer, so I added a few books semi-related to my course into my reading list. I wasn’t working through an academic textbook, but you’re sure to find some interesting non-fiction books for the general public about the area you study that’ll keep you interested and keep your mind working.


There are many reasons to work for at least some of the summer. It is a good idea to consider a placement or internship relevant to a career you are considering after you graduate. It’ll give you a chance to see if you will enjoy it, you’ll get some great experience for your CV and it can help you get tips on tailoring your next year of University study with a view to entering the professional world.


Paid work is also helpful: we all know that University life depletes your bank account, and so it’s worth getting some cash in during the summer when you are likely to spend a bit less (particularly if you are living at home and not paying rent). It’s the perfect time to make that overdraft a bit less hefty!

If you can get it – paid work in a relevant field is a godsend over summer. Not only will you be getting valuable experience, you’ll also be getting a bit of money. Just because something doesn’t seem relevant, you might find a skills link: a job replying to emails hones your writing style and grasp of spelling and grammar for a career in journalism, for example!

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