Once you finish school, and either go into employment or off to university, there’ll be no more long summer holidays for you to while away, and you’ll soon come to regret having wasted all that time. Here are some ideas for what you can do, that might be fun, novel, and help your CV/personal statement along the way.


If mum and dad lets you, and you have the money, you may want to think about getting away. Travelling offers you the opportunity, if you do it alone, or with friends, to grow and mature as a person and, through giving you a different perspective on things, it can inspire you to learn about what you want from your life and what you think is important by giving you time away. Through the adventures you get up to, it will give you confidence, teach you to communicate and offers interpersonal skills. If you visit a country where you learnt the language at school, or teach yourself a bit of the language along the way, you’ll also develop some vital second-language skills. You might also want to read up about the history and culture of the place. It’s cliché, but a good way to travel is interrailling, which involves buying a train ticket which can be used on various trains throughout Europe. You can then stay in hostels along the way. If you’ve more money, you could think about venturing somewhere further afield. 


Nannying offers you the chance to work with children for the summer. During school time, these children will most probably also be at school, so they won't be too young, and hopefully not too much of a handful! You'll be paid, and will be able to devise activities for them to do to keep them occupied. Nannying is especially useful if you are looking to enter the education or childcare, health professions, while you'll also learn a multitude of useful things such as tidying; organising children; cooking simple meals such as eggs, beans on toast etc.; managing structure and routine; and coping under pressure or in a crisis. You'll also have to think on your feet or be inventive as you’ll have to keep the children occupied as much as possible. If you are a bit older, you can also think about nannying abroad for the summer. Nanny Job and Tinies offer good places to look for summer nannying jobs.  

Summer school

Lots of universities around the UK offer summer school places - these places give you a taster of university life, and you can also learn something new at the same time. They last between a week and 6 weeks, and you can choose to study somewhere close to home or travel and stay at the university at pretend you are a real student! Courses range across the board, so you’ll definitely find something that to catch your eye. Studying gives you the opportunity to develop your written communication skills and academic skills, or more specific skills such as language or artistic if you are taking a course in something more skills-based, while you’ll also develop your interpersonal skills through meeting new people. If you choose to attend a school away from home, this might be your first time(!) and you’ll learn how to adapt without your parents to help you out. Attending a summer schools shows that you are ambitious, enjoy learning for its own sake, and want to grow and develop as a person. 

Take up an alternative hobby

Take up a hobby that will last the summer, whether this involves climbing munros, making a film, learning a language, learning an instrument or writing a novel. You’ll have to make a plan and organise your time to reach your goal by the end of the holidays.