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Making the most of the Summer ahead of you. - Life skills

How to be more productive this summer

The thought of many weeks of freedom ahead of you (hopefully in the sunshine!) may seem like a dream come true. However, spending the entire summer watching endless boxsets on Netflix may actually put your progress next term back a bit. There are many ways you can make your summer fun AND productive – not only can you relax but you can also ‘reset your brain’ in preparation for your return to learning in September.

Summer is a great time to try and get into shape. If you can get outside in the sunshine for some exercise or even a little more intense dog walking, your body (and dog!) will thank you. Who knows, it may even become a regular thing all year round!

You could try and get a job or ask for some work experience. Most small to medium businesses welcome an extra pair of hands to help cover the summer holiday period. Look at businesses in the field you hope to work in. Yes, it is likely to be unpaid but work experience is a worthwhile investment and really valuable addition to your CV – it could also lead to paid opportunities in the future.

Reading is a known ‘escape’ and is relaxing. Everyone should read for pleasure. It improves brain function, extends your vocabulary and can even improve your writing skills.

Your summer doesn’t have to be all work and no play! Exploring doesn’t have to involve going abroad or even on holiday. You can explore your own town or county; there are bound to be places you have never got around to visiting.

Do you fancy using your spare time to learn something new? Why not learn to canoe, take up photography, start learning a language online or join the popular trend of taking a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) – an online study course available on the internet to a large group of people, many of which are available free. The great thing about learning this way is the fact there is no stress from tests or exams, your brain gets a workout and it will help ease you back into studying in September.

You could start a new hobby or maybe restart something you used to do – polish those riding boots or dust off that guitar. Having interests or hobbies outside of studying or your career can really help you become a well-rounded individual. It can help you balance productivity and fun and provide you with something you love to do in your precious free time.

Summer is a time to rest and relax, but not a time to stay in bed for a month or so. Spend time with family, meet up with old friends and take the time to ‘network’ – you never know who you may get chatting to at your local sports centre or the supermarket.

And finally, use a little of your spare time to tidy or redecorate your study space. The addition of bright folders, nice pens or a new desk lamp can really brighten your study space and motivate you for the start of the new academic year. If you, or someone you know, needs some support in their lives then please do talk to family, friends or your tutor at College. We offer plenty of help if you need to talk, including a counseling service. Don't be afraid to let us know if you need some help.

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