University learning is very different from college and school, with a lot more independent learning. What many don’t realise is how much time ‘off’ from uni you will have – the holidays are so long! Having just spent 6 weeks off for Christmas, I thought it’d be a good idea to come up with some ideas of what you can do to over the holidays (or basically a list of things I should do…).
Volunteering can be a massive help for your CV when applying for future jobs. Having experience working with people within a business and showing a willingness to dedicate time and effort to a volunteer position looks really gold. It also allows you to develop personal skills and experience areas that you may not be able to partake in. For example, I wish to work in marketing and advertising when I graduate, so I have helped setup and run a local shop’s social media channels in the past. I have found it to be a very rewarding experience!
Applying for internships:
York Careers Gateway is invaluable tool for finding not only term time internships but also summer placements (that can sometimes pay). Internships also give your CV a boost, as you are showing an interest and enthusiasm to work in a specific sector (which can sometimes lead to job offers at the end!). Not only this but it can allow people to ‘test drive’ a career path they are interested in but don’t necessarily know a lot about. This experience allows them to decide if it’s for them. Christmas is the prime time to start looking and applying for summer internships as they can often fill up fast.
Do I really need to explain this one? It’s a given!
Looking for houses:
Most second and third years tend to live with people they’ve either known from their course or first year accommodation. Housing for second year can be competitive (especially for those 4/5person houses), so it’s never a bad idea to start looking during your Christmas break to get ahead of the crowd and into a happy home for second year.
Plan for second term:
If, like me, you felt you didn’t do enough outside your degree during first term, fear not! Refreshers will be coming up and that’s a great way to kickstart second term, especially now you’re comfortable with your accommodation buddies. Plan things for this term that you want to do, see what local events are going on around campus and in York to beat those winter blues. Christmas is also a great time to reflect on what you could have done better during first term; are you a procrastinator? Could you think of some methods to work round it? Are you bad at revision? You could find some tips online on study strategies.
Again, this is an obvious one but many people don’t rest. Christmas break can often be the first time you’ve seen your family and home friends since September, so it can be busy! But it’s important that you give also yourself enough time to relax, enjoy not having to cook for yourself and generally being a bit of an irritant to your parents.