Summer is a long, and often boring time for a lot of students, whether you have a summer job that makes the day drag or you are whiling away the days in bed. The structure of university is something that most students don’t miss until it’s gone. At university there are so many opportunities to grow as a person, but summer can feel like a long stretch of time where everything stagnates and you might find yourself with a gap that you desperately need to fill.


There are plenty of articles online that can provide you with inspiration for filling those sunny days, but this one aims to give you a little something more. Here are five ways that might help you do something new this summer:


Reinvent your look

Before starting university, most people have a certain aesthetic that they like to keep to. Not everyone though! Whether it’s floral tops, casual 90s grunge or a colour splash on the daily, it can be easy to just throw on whatever you know will look good and never deviate from that system. So over summer, why not try changing up your look completely? No one ever said that the emo kid can’t wear bright yellow. And if they did, they were wrong! Whatever your style is, try something completely different and see how it feels. You might surprise the people around you… or more importantly, yourself! And if you like it, that’s one more outfit you can use when term time comes back around!


Movie Swap

With all the technology we have now this may seem like an idea from the Land Before Time, but have a think about it before you dismiss it. I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill movie swap, where you and a friend grab a DVD and swap it for a week or so (possibly even forgetting to give the DVD back until 12 years later when nobody even watches DVDs anymore). The idea here is to find a film that maybe your whole group of friends has seen that you haven’t. Or maybe something you’ve always liked that everyone else you know can’t see the appeal in! Take a night when everyone is free and get together. If you don’t like people talking during a film, save the heated discussions for the end but if you’re okay with it, argue away and defend your film! You can watch away with friends, family, or even just your cat. Ideally get some human interaction in there though.


Reconnect with an old friend

Starting university is a big step. You leave behind a whole life and enter a new place with new people, and new opportunities. But during summer, you may find yourself with enough time to get back in touch with people you may have lost along the way. Admittedly, sometimes things change too much and you may feel like you have nothing in common with your old friends anymore. It could be the other way around. But in a lot of cases, all it takes is one message. You can never really know what anyone is going through at any given time, and you could hold the power to cheer someone up. Maybe even yourself. Try reaching out to someone you were once close to and you could be surprised with the results.


Go somewhere new

And I’m not talking about finally venturing into the library to attempt to do some work. Although if you haven’t been there yet, it’s definitely worth a look! If you’re an introvert, you might find that there’s a few select places that you’d consider perfect. Maybe it’s a quiet little shop, or a certain bench at a park. Or you might be the more outgoing type, who needs more of that buzz from being around other people. You may find that there’s a lot of places that you’ve never bothered to explore. A great way to find these new spots is to take someone who doesn’t know the place at all. If you did manage to reconnect with some old friends, you could take them with you!


Our last piece of advice is: don’t just let those days slip away. It’s different at school where summer signals freedom and you know that adventures will find you no matter what you do. The best thing is to go out there and do something for yourself. Once you do, you’ll be able to say that you experienced some personal growth over summer – even if it wasn’t your height!


Text by Jess Madanayake

Picture research by Donna Darafshian; featured image from