The Gradlife – What not to do over the summer

OK, so it seems like summer has finally arrived.

Our holidays are booked, our exams are finished, and the fun has just begun. But, with all that being said, how do you ensure that this summer is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced?

Well, I can’t quite guarantee I’ll have all the answers. But I do have a couple of key things to avoid which could help make it a summer to remember – or, at the very least, help prevent you from having a totally mediocre one.

We’ve also covered some of the best-paying summer jobs, if you’re just looking to earn some extra cash.


Don’t become a social media stalker

Statistics show that the time taken using social media has continued to increase year-on-year, with most of us spending an average of 6. 2 hours on activities such as tweeting every single day.

And that number only increases when we’re on annual leave.

However, in today’s ‘always on’ culture, this hardly seems surprising. And whether it’s checking in on the latest news, or just sharing our own ‘latest news’ (see also: selfies), it’s no wonder that it’s increasingly difficult for some of us to disconnect.

All jokes aside, social media can actually be a very powerful tool when used correctly – and can even be a great way to earn an extra income.

A few tips for how you can turn your social media fix into something more productive (and much more lucrative) include identifying a subject that you enjoy (e.g. fashion, cars, animals, food, travel, art, etc.) and trying to build up a social media following for your area of interest.

This could be by connecting directly with those within your industry, and even just taking part in online conversations to share your interests with others, whilst still retaining your own unique style.

P.S. This can also be a great way to get yourself recognised by employers; helping you showcase abilities such as creativity, initiative, entrepreneurship, and hard work. You never know, it could even open the door for a full-time career in social media.

View all social media jobs now


Don’t work too hard

So it’s OK to use your summer to do some work. But don’t be too hasty.

You actually need to enjoy your time off. So please try not to go to bed with your laptop and textbook in hand.

Summer can be a great time to start or learn something you’ve always had an interest in, or work on a project you’re really passionate about.

It could be to gain some additional experience, pick up a new instrument, help out with a community project or brush up on a new language. Or it could simply be to earn some extra cash you can put aside.

Remember: work can also mean working on yourself. As long as you’re mentally stimulated and engaged, it can all help you work towards becoming a better you.

P.S: This may also be a great way for you to revive your not-so-exciting CV and cover letter. So, whatever you find yourself working on, if it shows some of your best attributes then don’t forget to make a note of it. It could make all the difference.

Five ways to refresh your CV

Free CV template

Free cover letter template


Don’t leave things to the last minute

It can be very tempting to completely forget everything you had wanted to do over the summer. Especially when the distractions start racking up.

But, be warned – that approach often ends up biting us back.

So, rather than allowing your workload to pile up, or relying on the final deadline to try and complete everything, give yourself ample time by planning and pacing yourself.

Even if you’re convinced that you ‘work well under pressure’, from my own personal experience tasks always seem to go a lot better (and feel a lot less daunting) when you give yourself enough time to plan and complete them.

So this summer take your time, there’s no need to rush. Plan your days accordingly and make a reasonable schedule that you’ll find realistic and easy to follow. That way you can get on with actually enjoying your summer.

P.S.  By planning out your work and using a schedule, you’re able to better utilise your time which will help to reduce procrastination and allow more productivity.

And, finally…

Six things productive people do every day

Six ways to beat procrastination


Don’t forget to have fun…

Be sure to use your summer to catch up on some much needed overdue sleep, finish your half-read novel, catch up on the latest Netflix series and spend quality time with friends and family.

Remember, it’s called a ‘break’ for a reason. So go ahead, enjoy it.

You’ve earned it…



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