Make the most of your summer holidays

don't waste your summer holidays

It’s been a really long year, and your well-earned summer break is nearly here.

You don’t need permission to relax, recover and recharge so that you’re ready for next year. Don’t feel pressured into doing anything you don’t want to either. But the long summer holidays can be an opportunity (if you have the energy) to cross a couple of things off your to do list.

Prepare for 2022


Although it probably feels like the last thing you want to think about right now, planning for the next school year (and beyond) is a seriously smart move.

You could have a look through your syllabus; you don’t have to start studying right now, but being familiar with what’s coming up next year will give you a bit of a head start when you go back to school.

Not that keen? That’s OK, why not look for some study tips that might help you to stay on track, find a way to organise your study space and calendar, or start thinking about some goals you’re keen to achieve next year and put some thought into how you could make them happen.

If you’re going into Year 12 next year you could start researching your options after high school and get a head start on deciding what you’ll do next. For example, Co-Op Scholarships open early in the year, so why not check them out, see if you’re eligible and get a head start on your applications?


Create your resume


A resume or CV is basically a summary of your education, work experience and skills.

Potential employers who’ve never met you will use it to decide whether to interview you when you’ve applied for a job. So, unless you start a job with your family’s business straight out of school and work there your whole life, you’re going to need a resume. 

And with lots of competition out there, it’s got to be amazing if you want to be considered for jobs.

Developing the ability to create a great resume now will stand you in good stead for your future, as you’ll most likely need your resume many times throughout your working life. Getting started on it over the summer means you’ll be ready to apply for jobs if you see one you fancy, and you’ll just need to update it each time you want to use it. 

You could make a start by reading this blog.


Boost your employability


Speaking of resumes, if you’re not too sure what to put on yours or you think it could be meatier in some sections, you could spend this summer having fun and working on boosting your resume. 

Not as easy as it sounds? You might be overthinking. Write down some of your hobbies and interests, then get creative with ways you can incorporate those into something constructive for your future. For example:


Head interstate or overseas


COVID might have made this trickier but there are still ways that you can travel, learn more about the world, experience different cultures and learn new languages.

Student exchanges are a great way to immerse yourself in other environments, and you get to choose where you think you’d like to go and how long you’d like to commit for. 

Costs are usually involved, so if your parents aren’t able to help you out then you can plan on getting a part time job or holding fundraisers to get there – imagine how good that’s going to look to potential employers. You can also apply for sponsorships for some of the programs too.

If you’re unable to get overseas right now, you could maybe convince your parents to become a host family for an exchange student coming to Australia. Help your parents prepare for your visitor and organise a memorable visit for all concerned – then include the experience on your resume and highlight your project planning, implementation and management skills.

Another option is to look into youth outdoor programs like Outward Bound. There are family options available too so you could enjoy quality family time while working on your resume – that’s a double win.


Explore Microcredentials and short courses


Upskilling is a fantastic way to gain some new skills and add weight to your resume.

You’ve two ways of going about this – choose something you already enjoy and find a course, holiday program, or voluntary role that will help you expand your knowledge base.

Or, think of something that you haven’t tried before but you’re interested in having a go at (added bonus if it’s going to teach you a valuable life skill). This could include sewing, learning a language, or just about anything else you can think of.

Get inspired and find out what’s on offer by looking at:

  • TAFE – for short courses
  • Local council libraries, museums, art galleries
  • Drama Schools
  • Sports Clubs
  • Language schools
  • Gardening
  • Local volunteering organisations
  • On-line home learning – FutureLearn, Open2Study, Craftsy
  • Eventbrite has loads of options for you to explore too


Thought about volunteering?


Volunteering and giving back to your community is not only a great addition to your resume, it will benefit the people around you too.

You’ll not only be learning new skills like first aid, office management, customer service and project co-ordination, you’ll also get to meet new people, build your network, and gain valuable work experience.

Have a look around your local area and see what’s available; you’ll probably be amazed. There could be opportunities in conservation, gardening, youth work, old age care, homelessness, and many other worthy causes you could get involved with.

You could also help out at events (a top way to get close to the action without paying for tickets), volunteer for St John’s, mentor younger children, or get involved with coaching sporting teams.

If you love animals, why not see if you can help out at your local animal shelter, or check in with local wildlife carers or even become a qualified carer yourself.

Here’s a few sites to get you started if your interest has been piqued:


Be creative


Time well spent doesn’t have to come with a certificate or a reference though. You could set yourself a goal to run 10ks, beat all your PBs in swimming, or make and sell your own artwork or crafts.

Create a project out of something you love.

Whether you’re an IT Guru, a budding chef, or the next Chris Hemsworth in the making, now’s your chance to indulge your passion. With a little planning (you could even blog your progress), you will create something fun to do over the holidays that can also look great on your resume. Here’s a few more ideas to spark your imagination:

  • Build a wildlife oasis in your garden / refurbish an old bike / build a computer
  • Harness your inner entrepreneur and start a business – sell slime, make friendship bracelets, fix other people’s stuff, tutor kids in your year if you’re doing great at school
  • Start a blog or YouTube channel and write relevant articles, review toys / music / films / computer games, make home movies or animated stories
  • Ask your parents if you can help them out and make a bit of extra money by managing more of the household responsibilities, from gardening, car washing, cleaning and cooking meals to organising holidays and activities for all of you to enjoy


Add it to your resume


With a little thought and organisation you’ll have a fun and rewarding summer break with added personal development and new skills to reflect on.

Just remember to add it to your resume with a professional spin that will entice prospective employers to give you a fair go.  


Still stuck for ideas?


Have a yarn with your mates, teachers, and parents to see what they are planning or what they used to get up to in the holidays. They might come up with some brilliant ideas that could keep you happily busy all summer long.

Most importantly – have fun!

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