The length of the holidays when you’re at uni (especially UoY) is slightly absurd, by real-world standards, but its existence is well justified. What you choose to do in your 3 months of summer holidays can be either very fun or a great CV booster or both. And don’t leave your Christmas month empty either.
Last summer I made a fair effort at ticking the ‘both’ option. The boring part was finding a dull job for the first few weeks but it was all worth it as it funded a month of interrailing:
You’ve probably heard about interrail if you haven’t already made your own trip but take a look at the map and it’s not hard to see how you can make your European travelling unique.
Skiing between my first two terms last year also felt like a pretty solid choice, but now I’m browsing all the winter holidays I could be on this year (I’m sticking around at home this time). If the degree goes well enough to fund it then hopefully I’ll be doing 4) and 5) from the link above (Arctic and Whistler heli-skiing) eventually.
Other things I’ve been checking out include summer trips like these, which might soothe the pain of seeing a year of Instagram photos from my friends on gap years. Additionally, there are some really cool internships abroad where you can get some great experiences in various corners of the world.
Interrailing definitely wasn’t a CV booster unlike some of the other things I could’ve done abroad but I had an internship lined up for just after which removed that guilt (it was paid as well to make up for my bad budgeting)! I had a pretty cool time and learnt a lot about what I want as a job after uni; I also met the Lord Mayor of London which was cool…
For finding summer internships, I can solidly recommend Gradcracker. Just don’t apply to the ones that I’m applying to! It’s great for browsing through what’s available within different sectors and you can save jobs to your job diary and they’ll email you about upcoming deadlines which you will have probably forgotten about.
Having the freedom of the holidays is great fun but it also gives you the chance to get some experience to know what you really want to do after university. As well as that, employers want to see more than just a great academic record.