It might be tempting to sunbathe and sleep all summer long but you should balance your time. Source: Shutterstock.

So the autumn term might feel a really long way away at the moment – we’ve hardly even started the spring term, let alone had summer yet – but the time will be slipping through your fingers before you know it and you’ll be out in the real world for a month or two.

Long summer days where you can fill your time with whatever you please can feel endless, but when summer draws to a close and all you’ve done is laze around on the couch, you might not be feeling so good about yourself.

Whether you’re heading home for the break or sticking it out in your university country (or escaping somewhere else entirely), you might want to start thinking about what you are going to do over the long-awaited break.

Working nonstop would not be fun, but chilling out the whole time would not be productive. It’s good to strike a balance between the two so here’s how you can use your time off over summer to benefit your future self.

1. Give yourself a break

You’ve been working hard and need some time to unwind – that’s what the summer break is there for after all. After hours and hours stuck staring at textbooks and the same four walls you definitely deserve some time to stare at a glossy magazine, long-anticipated novel or even just the beach for a while instead.

Switch off, let your brain recuperate, and enjoy doing absolutely nothing for a while. Heck – you could even get some proper sleep!

Work hard so you can play (sleep) hard. Source: GIPHY.

Take this opportunity to do sweet, sweet nothing, catch up with family and friends, focus on yourself and just take time out from busy, busy uni life. A well-rested, happy you will be ready to tackle the next academic year much better than an overworked, grouchy you.

2. Work a summer job

Had some time out to unwind? Okay, now it wouldn’t be a bad idea to work for a while. Picking up a few shifts every week will give you more structure to your days, and help you stay motivated and alert over the break.

Plus, working means more money to spend on exciting things when you’re back at uni.

Whether or not your summer job relates to your studies at all, it will still show a strong work ethic and understanding of the workplace to future employers. It might be a little early to start thinking about careers yet but you will be so glad you took the chance to pick up transferable skills while you had the time.

3. Apply for work experience or internships

So you’ve made some money working a summer job but need the relevant experience to ‘wow’ future employers come graduation.

Work experience or an internship in your chosen field would not only increase your chances of finding a graduate job but is also likely to help you with your studies and allow you to test out potential careers.

Plus, it only has to take a week (or five days if you stick to the generic working week) of your break away from you if you want.

4. Tidy up your CV

Make sure all that work experience you got over the summer finds its way onto your CV. No matter how far off graduation you may be, at some point, you’re going to want to get a job and when the end of your final year begins to creep ever-closer, you will be so grateful you stayed on top of your CV and updated it as you went along.

Seems unrealistic? Brush up the ol’ CV. Source: GIPHY.

5. Get a head start

While you definitely shouldn’t spend your whole summer stressing about the year ahead, it would be a smart move to ease yourself back into your studies towards the end of the summer.

If you already have an essay title or a reading list for next year start on these, slowly, at your leisure.

When everyone else is in a manic state about next semester’s deadlines, you will be able to enjoy the beginning of the new year in peace.

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