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What do I do now my exams are finished?

Congratulations on completing your exams! 

What a relief to finally finish and be able to look forward to some free time over the summer months. 

You may be starting Uni or a college course come September, but in the meantime, take some time to breathe and put some thought into what you want to gain from your time off. 

Having just had the same conversation with my son who finished his A levels today, I thought it may be useful to get some ideas down for those of you who are thinking now what?

There are so many opportunities available to you, the World really is your oyster – have a read through the following list and see if there’s anything that you’d like to consider:

  1. Explore new places, both in the UK and overseas. You could visit countries or cities you’ve always wanted to see, or embark on an adventure with friends or family. Travelling can broaden your horizons and create lasting memories, as well as give you valuable life experience. 
  2. Consider some work experience or volunteering in a field related to your future studies or career interests. It can provide valuable insights and enhance your CV ready for your next move. It’ll also show future employers that you can commit to working hours and be reliable, as well as develop your communication skills.
  3. Engage in community volunteer work. It’s a fulfilling way to give back, make a positive impact, and develop new skills. Explore opportunities in areas like education, environmental conservation, healthcare, or social services. You’ll meet like-minded people and start forming networks that could open up opportunities later in life.
  4. Use the summer to learn a new skill or pursue a hobby. It could be anything from painting, playing a musical instrument, coding, cooking, photography, or writing. Find information online or on local Facebook pages: workshops and classes are often low cost and you’ll be surprised at the range of events happening on your doorstep.
  5. Catch up on books you have been meaning to read or delve into subjects that interest you. Self-study materials, online courses, or educational platforms can help you explore a wide range of topics. Get involved in relevant discussions and develop your communication skills at the same time.
  6. A university or college course can be demanding, so take some time to relax and recharge before September; spend quality time with family and friends, enjoy leisure activities, practice self-care, and prioritise your well-being.
  7. Use this time to get organised and ready for the upcoming academic year. Familiarise yourself with course content and start any required readings. You can also reach out to future classmates or join online groups to connect with others.
  8. Don’t forget the life admin stuff. Consider your finances and familiarise yourself with logins for banks and student loans etc. Use this time to learn how to cook some simple meals if you’ll be living away from home and be sure to look into the process for registering with a doctor for example. All important stuff if you’re relocating for either work or study.
  9. If you have any personal projects or ideas you’ve been meaning to pursue, now is the time. Whether it’s writing a book, starting a blog, launching a small business, or creating art, summer can provide the freedom and focus to bring your ideas to life.

Remember, your summer break is a valuable opportunity to explore, grow, and recharge before the next chapter of your life. 

If you’re looking for work over the summer months to fund any of the above, register with a local agency that will be able to help you find employment. They will know which temp jobs are more suitable for you as some employers will want recent experience which you may not have.

Although experience is not always necessary, remember, you’ll still need bags of enthusiasm, good timekeeping and communication skills. If you turn up on time and work hard, there will always be more opportunity to return for holiday work and you’ll be considered more favourably if permanent jobs come up when you’ve finished your studies.

Above all, enjoy! You have worked so hard and studied for so long. Enjoy the break and take advantage of every opportunity available to you.



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