Productive things to do with your holiday

November 07, 2022

At the moment there is little doubt that exams are dominating your thinking, but soon they will be over and the summer holidays will be stretching out in front of you like an endless paradise.

The truth is, while this is a great time to unwind and de-stress from the year you just had, it may also be a chance for you to start working on next year’s success and even pump up your CV so when you get to looking for a job you are a step ahead of your classmates. By all means, take a week or two off, but then perhaps consider doing one of these constructive things to do in your end-of-year holiday.

Reflect on the past year

No year at university ever goes perfectly, but this doesn’t mean the next one can’t be better. By looking back carefully at your year, and being honest with yourself, you may be able to draw some lessons from mistakes that were made. Did you leave studying till the last minute? Were your notes not up to scratch? Did you maybe do well on your marks, but feel you missed out on student life? Taking a look at what you want to change then putting in place active plans for how to fix it, will not only mean you can relax more during the break, but that you will also go back to university excited for the opportunities you have created for yourself.

Improve your skills

Once it’s done, your degree will only form a part of what makes you an attractive employee. You can make sure you are at the top of the CV pile by ensuring you also have other skills that may be necessary for your profession. For example, while a journalism course is great, it doesn’t help if you don’t know how to use a computer, and specifically, Microsoft word, Photoshop or InDesign. Having the ability do layout, or deftly handle emails on Outlook will mean future employees see you as a much easier newcomer to train and are therefore more likely to hire you. For everything there now exists a small online course that you can take and gain a credit and a certificate in to add to your CV. Doing a few of these courses and bolstering your skill set will never be a bad thing.

Get an internship

Better than courses is actual experience in your field. If you send out your CV and applications now, it may still not be too late to find yourself a work placement for a few weeks in December. Take a look at our article on finding work experience for tips on how to do it. There is nothing quite like an internship with actual work experience for reinforcing that CV and showing potential employees you are a go getter with the right attitude and willingness to work.

Volunteer

If you can’t get an actual internship, why not think about volunteering with a local charity. Christmas time is always busy for charities whose drives need people to staff them. Can you wrap presents in a local mall, or help out at the SPCA when their regular staff go on leave? Are you able to help paint a local orphanage or look after kids on a day trip? There is so much work that needs to be done at charities and once again, having these things on your CV will show employees exactly who you are.

Read books by experts in your career

No matter the career, these days there are books written by experts in which they share their knowledge and expertise. This one won’t so much help your CV, but will definitely improve your own confidence and ability to hit the ground running when you start. The internet is a great source of information when it comes to which books to reach for your intended career, try to get in at least the ten most mentioned by the time you finish your degree. At the very least your ability to handle the tough questions come interview time will be improved.

Start a business

While you are studying it’s difficult to do anything new. Starting a small business over the holidays will not only enrich your understanding of work, but may also result in you having an additional income by the time university starts up again. Think of things that are flexible or which fit in with a student lifestyle, such as dog walking, house sitting or being an au pair.

Increase your reading and typing speeds

Reading quickly is a skill that student appreciates. The faster you read, the better your ability to cover your work, or find the research you need for assignments. The beautiful thing is that it’s actually pretty simple to do these days. Simply head either here or here.  Likewise, learning to type quickly will help with exams, and your work one day. Practice here to become better.

Connect with friends and loved ones

Being busy at university, particularly if you have been studying away from home, will mean you have definitely not seen the people you love enough. Don’t forget to make time for them over the holiday as they will always be the strong foundation you can lean on in life for advice or solace, and should never be neglected.

Find a happy home for next year

If your residence wasn’t up to scratch last year or you were unhappy for any reason now is the time to start looking for new accommodation. The Fields is a connected, clean, community of people just like you, where you can stay in your own apartment or share, and where all the amenities you need as a student are available. The Fields is also equipped with always on WiFi and, being near all major public transport such as the Gautrain and A Re Yeng bus service is also perfect for getting around Pretoria. The Fields and Howzit Hilda are currently running a special where you can secure your apartment for 2023 at a massive 50% off.  Finding accommodation for 2023 has never been this easy, or this cheap. On second thoughts, perhaps don’t wait for the holidays on this one.

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