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Productive Ways to spend your Summer Break

Summer break is a perfect reward for all the hard work you put in over the last year. Seemingly endless freedom and possibilities stretch out before you after rushing to met all of your deadlines and stretching your brain to capacity to fit in enough knowledge to pass your exams. After the initial euphoria of having nothing to do fades away, you realise that summer is a long time to do nothing and you begin to wonder how best to utilise this freedom and which possibilities will be most beneficial and satisfying use of your time. These options are sure to help you make the most of your summer break:

Make your vacation an educational one or an opportunity to learn a new skill (such as meditation or a water sport) to really feel like you struck a balance between productivity and enjoyment. On the other hand, if you need some time alone with a loved one or with yourself, vacations can be the perfect chance to reconnect with someone close to you or with your own dreams, values and aspirations. You can partake in numerous activities, some of which are listed below:

    • Learn a language. This can be done on vacation or at home. Incorporate your new language into everyday life by setting your phone or certain apps to the other language. You can also read magazines or online articles in other languages or switch on subtitles for movies and TV shows. This works for hearing in English and reading the new language or you can try a foreign language movie with English subtitles. There are also loads of decent language acquisition apps. Find one that works for you.

    • Take up a new hobby or non-academic class. There are so many options for real-world skills that fall outside of the classroom. You could teach yourself HTML, JAVA or Python and boost your resume with tech skills. You could learn to cook or play an instrument or enhance your well-being through yoga. Make time for yourself while you have spare time over summer and you'll see the benefits even when you're back in class.

    • Get fit. Refocus your brain and get into good habits for when your schedule fills up again. Find an active hobby you enjoy, so you will keep it up once term-time commitments return to take over your day-to-day life.

    • Visit museums or art shows. Getting cultural on vacations is a good way to get to know a new city but they can also be a great way to get to know your own city (or college city) a bit better. Find out where you can get cheap or free admission as a student, your school will probably have a list on their website.

    • Watch documentaries. This still counts as downtime but makes your Netflix experience an educational one. You'll feel far better for it than if you chain- watch reality shows or soaps. You never know when information you take on board from TED talks or Netflix documentaries could come in useful.

    • There are websites that can recommend good books for you based on your favourite authors or you can finally make your way through that list of books you'd like to have read through term-time but never got the chance to. If a whole novel or autobiography seems like too much commitment, there are some brilliant short stories and articles to be found online or at your local library.

    • Listen to podcasts. This is a great way to feel productive because they don't take up any extra time out of your day. Stick them on while you commute, cook or shower and get ready in the morning. Find a series you like, then you can keep up to date by subscribing, so you can continue with them after you summer is over.

  • Volunteer, take up an internship or get a summer job. Give something back to the community, make new friends and connections, add to your resume and make sure you update it. If nothing else, giving yourself some structure over summer will give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning and stop you from wasting time.

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