How to use your summer break productively following Year 12

The exams are over, school’s out for summer, and you have six weeks off before embarking on a new phase of life as a university student.

It’s understandable if all you want to do now is take time off and think about anything other than studying and revision. After all, you’ve probably spent most of the last two years with your head in a book or staring at a screen, preparing for and sitting exams.


However, the next few weeks offer a golden opportunity to prepare for the rest of your life.

Here are our top tips for using the long summer break productively:


  • First it is important to make time to rest, relax and recharge the batteries.
  • Take at least couple of weeks off to have a proper break.
  • Go on holiday, have a change of scenery or just go out and enjoy the world; anything that helps refresh your mind and body.


  • If you don’t already have a part-time job you could look for work to see you through the summer break.
  • Working will not only allow you to save some money ready for university, but it will also help you learn some valuable skills that will enhance your CV.

Take an internship

  • A summer internship can also be a great way to experience the world of work and gain useful transferable skills. You’ll also give yourself a head start before your university degree gets underway.
  • If you can find an internship in a company or organisation that is in some related to your degree, or a career you are interested in pursuing, you will also gain a valuable insight that will set you apart from your peers and give you an edge in the competitive graduate jobs market.
  • For more information on internships, visit the Prospects website.


  • Volunteering, whether overseas or closer to home, is another great way to enhance your skills, while helping others in the process.
  • Not only is it a rewarding use of your time, it will also boost your CV.
  • There are many options you could try,  from taking part in an organised volunteering programme to helping at the local charity shop.
  • Website ‘Save the Student’ also has a helpful guide to volunteering.

Prepare for university

  • More study might be the last thing on your mind after two years of rigorous academic effort, but in the last few weeks of your break it is a good idea to start preparing for university so that when you arrive as a fresher you are not totally out of your depth. Buy some of the textbooks you will need and start reading around your chosen subject area.

For more advice on how to make the most of your summer break, check out these useful guides from Prospects and The Complete University Guide.

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