With the summer holidays in full swing for university students, and just beginning for those younger would-be lawyers, now is the perfect time to consider how to spend some time building the foundations for your future career. Alongside all your staycations, of course!
Review, reflect, reconcile
The end of the year is a time many people use to reflect on the previous year. Why should the end of the academic year be any different? Even taking just five minutes to consider what went well, which units you enjoyed or disliked, and any changes you’ll make moving forward is time well spent. But make sure to move on from this step and reconcile yourself to any more negative aspects of the previous year. Remember to acknowledge that your limits are finite, and there are certain things outside of your control. Especially when the previous year has looked like this one, it is good practice to let go of any guilt or regret you feel towards any grades. Next year is a fresh start, and these holidays may be the well-earned break you need to reset and make changes.
One of the biggest surprises I have found as I have grown older is how time-consuming admin can be. From organising your student house bills to having to arrange a redelivery for a missed parcel, these things add up and before you know it you’ve spent a whole afternoon solely on admin. Throughout exam season you may have let your to-do list pile up, so before the hectic new year hits, I’d advise tackling that pile!
This covers two sorts of tasks. The first is research, which is somewhat self-explanatory. Even attempting to answer the broad questions, such as what sort of job you think you would excel at or where you would want to work can involve some research. If you do want to go down the solicitor route, now is a good time to start your early application prep for first-year open days, vacation schemes or training contracts, and you can read my advice on vacation scheme applications. The second category of task involves preparing yourself for this work. This could be by boosting your commercial awareness and watching the news more, or could be through volunteering or getting part-time work to boost your CV. Doing either or both of these during the holidays is a great way to ease the burden on yourself during term-time.
Remember, the ‘summer break’ is exactly that – so don’t forget to take some time for yourself and enjoy the sunshine whilst it lasts!