Congratulations on making it to the end of the academic year! No matter how it has been, you can now rest in the knowledge that a break awaits you. Here are a couple of things you can do to make the most of your summer, so you can start afresh in September:
Whether you’re starting sixth form, an apprenticeship, a gap year or diving straight into the world of work, it’s definitely worth doing some planning to help ease the transition. This could look like planning some logistics – Have you visited the city you’re moving to?
Maybe you need to buy a new work bag or clothes? Or make sure your budget can stretch to cover everything you have planned for your gap year? If you really want to impress, get a head start on the syllabus for the new year by looking at some reading lists or doing some general research into the company you’re joining.
Volunteering is a great way to spend time that not only gives you a chance to make a difference and gain some new experiences, but also helps make someone else’s day better.
There are countless organisations that are looking for all sorts of help – whether you want to spend your day looking after animals, visiting a care home, running a summer school for international students, or maybe doing some admin work from the comfort of your own home, there are plenty of opportunities out there in every shape and size.
Take some time to think about how the past year has gone. Celebrate your achievements, your successes and all the things you weren’t sure you’d be able to accomplish but did in the end! Also think about the challenges you faced – maybe why some things didn’t go so well, or perhaps some things you wanted to achieve but couldn’t for some reason.
Allow yourself the time and space to acknowledge some uncomfortable feelings that might come up from this – and let them go. Reflect, and then reset your mindset to tackle whatever your new challenge is.
This is also a good time to look at your personal goals – pick a bad habit you have and try to replace it with a better one. It doesn’t matter if you have to restart a couple of times – progress isn’t always linear!
Setting clear and achievable goals is key to having an amazing September. From students heading back to class or professionals facing new work months ahead, having objectives clearly laid out will provide direction, motivation and a sense of purpose as you make plans for September.
Before embarking on the goal-setting process, take some time to reflect on what matters to you in September. What are your top priorities -- academic excellence, career advancement, personal development, or all three? By understanding these top areas, your goals can better align with your values and ambitions.
Look at your overall short and long-term objectives when setting September goals. While September's goals might appear short-term in nature, they should still contribute towards realising long-term ambitions - so think of ways achieving September's goals could become an avenue towards realising bigger dreams!
Successful organisation and time management are at the core of success - be it a gap year, work project or any other pursuit. Begin by compiling a list of objectives or tasks which require your attention.
Prioritisation is of vital importance; carefully assess which tasks should take priority over others and which can wait. Tools like the Eisenhower Matrix - which categorises tasks according to urgent, important, less important and no importance - may prove especially helpful here.
Make clear goals and deadlines your driving force of motivation by setting objectives with specific deadlines for them and assigning specific dates as targets for them to remain on course and avoid procrastination. Get organised using either physical planners or digital calendar apps!
These tools allow you to plan out your days, weeks and months in an organised way so you have time for all the crucial activities on your agenda. Many digital calendars also come equipped with reminders or notifications, so you stay on top of your schedule.
Summer provides an extraordinary opportunity for personal and professional growth. Instead of viewing it solely as an occasion for relaxation, use this season to set learning and skill development objectives and begin by outlining them clearly.
What knowledge or skills would you like to improve upon this summer? Setting clear goals will guide your efforts and keep you on the right path, keeping your motivation high along the way, with online courses or webinars covering areas relevant to your interests or career ambitions accessible via the web.
Coursera, EdX and LinkedIn Learning all provide courses covering a range of subjects. Reading can be one of the best ways to expand your knowledge base; reading books, articles or research papers introduces you to new ideas and perspectives. Be sure to set aside enough time each summer for reading! Create your summer reading list now.
Practice is crucial to skill acquisition. Be it musical instrument learning, new language acquisition or programming languages like CSS/PHP coding languages, consistent practice sessions should take place regularly in order for improvement to take place. Set aside a specific time each day for practice sessions.
Most importantly, take some time to fully relax. For many people, it can be hard to completely disengage from work, but it’s absolutely necessary no matter how busy you may be or how urgent you think something is.
There are a lot of different types of rest (mental, physical, emotional to name a few) and too often we tend to engage in the most convenient option, which tends to be spending hours on our phone.
Whilst there is nothing inherently wrong with that, we need to complement it with other types of rest in order to feel fully recharged. There’s no one magic formula unfortunately – the best advice is just to try different types of things and immerse yourself in new experiences.
Why is It Essential to Prepare for September during the Summer?
Prepping for September in August allows you to begin the new school year with an organised plan, defined goals, and a refined skill set. Planning now helps reduce stress while smoothing over any potential difficulties as September arrives.
How can I achieve the ideal balance of relaxation and preparation during the summer months?
Balance relaxation and preparation is vital. Allot certain times for focused work or learning while setting aside leisurely times as well. Time management and goal-setting strategies can assist with striking this delicate equilibrium.
Are there any practical strategies that will enable me to remain motivated over the summer season?
Staying motivated during the summer can be challenging. To stay on the right path, set clear and ambitious goals, track progress towards them, seek accountability from friends or mentors and celebrate small achievements along the way.
Are there specific tools or resources recommended for summer preparation?
Yes, many tools and resources exist to assist with summer preparation, such as digital planners, online courses, goal-setting apps and community workshops. Which tool(s) best meets your goals and preferences will depend upon which tools are chosen.