Student Weekly Tips: Planning your summer

Library Student Team
Library Peer Network
6 min readJun 16, 2022


It’s taken its time to arrive but summer is finally here! We hope you’re all relaxing and enjoying your well-deserved time off from books, lecture notes and anything remotely revision-related! With 3 months of vacation though, you may soon be bored and wishing for a bit more structure to your days. The Student Team are here to help you to plan your summer so you can make the most of it! Yes, we know you’re tired of planning — revision was bad enough, right? Planning your summer should be a bit more fun, however…

Volunteering experiences

“If you would like to spend some time over the summer doing something productive, volunteering is a great thing to do! There are some really rewarding opportunities out there, such as working with charities or children’s summer holiday groups. It is also possible to make a difference by volunteering and get valuable career experience at the same time. In my case as a history student, I have volunteered with the Royal Northern College of Music to help with transcribing letters they have from the 1930s and 1940s. Through doing this, I can help them work through their material ready for it to be used for research or be shared, whilst also gaining valuable experience not only in transcribing but also through additional training on archival skills that I would not have been able to access if I hadn’t taken on the volunteer role. I found this opportunity through Twitter and I would definitely recommend following organisations and institutions who might share opportunities in whatever fields you are interested in!” — Lily, History

“Previously, I have volunteered at my local Oxfam shop, helping to run the online store by taking pictures of the clothes and sending out items. I found it to be a really beneficial experience as I was given insight into running a website and dealing with all types of customers — volunteering will more often than not provide you with skills that are transferable to any environment. Therefore I would definitely advise you to try it out.” — Iqra, Speech & Language Therapy

“I’ve done some volunteering back home for a local elementary school and was an assistant teacher for the summer. I’ve also volunteered during my time at university as a mentor for my peers and first year undergraduate students and found it a full-circle moment to help other students transition into life at Manchester and life as a university student. Usually volunteer work is good for CVs and employability but I like to dedicate my volunteering experiences to something I’m passionate about, and it could be a good way to distinguish between an industry I hope to work and a hobby I like to pursue in my free time. It’s quite nice to do a bit of both.” — Salma, Politics & International Relations

Photo by Arthur Krijgsman from Pexels

“I’m currently volunteering remotely, putting together an activity pack online which can be sent to elderly members of the community by post over the winter. It’s a very flexible and fun opportunity to get involved in something creative. The pack consists of activities like word searches, riddles and ‘fill in the missing song lyrics’. I see it as a good way to develop my creativity while making something that will hopefully be engaging, worthwhile and mentally stimulating for people to have a go at. Previously, I’ve volunteered as a mentor for Mind, a mental health charity, and facilitating number-based games in a primary school to help pupils’ arithmetic skills. Both have taught me different skills and have added variety to my experiences. Volunteering can be rewarding, especially if you can find something that is aligned to your interests and also your career.” — Olivia, Psychology

Part-time work and work experience over the summer

“It’s worth asking around different places if they offer part-time or work experience for a short-term commitment. Sometimes these opportunities are available internally, so they might exist but they are not widely advertised. Sometimes long-term volunteer experience can turn into part-time work if you’ve got good networking skills and a good relationship with colleagues and the workplace. Often times there are vacancies that are only for the summer because other students travel, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for them online.” — Salma, Politics & International Relations

“It really depends on what job or experience you would like to go for! A lot of jobs (mainly in hospitality) are available year-round and they do like to have students around, especially in summer, if your goal is perhaps to sharpen your soft skills and earn some sweet cash! When it comes to jobs in admin or very specific placements, there might be a few to spare, but as my colleague Salma pointed out, apply even if you do not see an advertisement! If you are looking for specific university internships, most of them are unfortunately already taken and usually not available after June. However, if you are looking for experience only, you might get lucky messaging one of your professors and perhaps creating a new project as a hobby over the summer!” — Jakub, Physics

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Reflecting over exam season

“Once exam season is over, the best thing you can do is take some time to relax rather than torturing yourself by trying to dissect all of your answers or going back through your notes to find things that you missed. You did the best that you could and whilst it is natural to think of things you wished you’d have said, most of the time, you will have done better than you thought you did! Nothing can be done to change your answers, and even if things don’t go as well as you hoped, one exam result is a tiny percentage of your overall degree, so it won’t have a devastating impact. Instead of putting yourself under more stress, enjoy being revision-free and have a fun and relaxing summer before the academic year starts again in September!” — Lily, History

“Whenever I finish an assessment, I usually go binge watching all the TV shows and movies I wanted to watch during exam season. I relax and come back to my hobbies and hope to take my mind off assessments, waiting patiently for the results. I feel it’s important to reconnect with friends and socialise after exam season, especially if they are going on holiday soon.” — Salma, Politics & International Relations

Photo by Tumisu from Pixabay

“As pointed out above, first — kick back and relax, watch your favourite TV shows, see your family and friends. Do all the things you could not do during the semester! Enjoy your first weeks of summer, so to speak. After that, when you receive your grades, it is time to at least reflect and see how well you have done on your exams. You can always make an outline of how you would do things differently next semester, after the summer. If you maybe need to resit some of your modules, it is always great advice to not get out of your studying habits, especially during the summer when we are tempted to go out and enjoy the weather. Make sure you have a detailed plan of your revision and make sure you set aside time to relax! You’ve got this!” — Jakub, Physics

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this week’s tips and that it’s given you some inspiration for the summer! Make the most of it and see where it takes you!



Library Student Team
Library Peer Network

The University of Manchester Library Student Team