This is a question that all students are asked around this time of year as they finish another academic year and transition into a two or three month period of ‘No school’. Students preparing for exams maybe in a different mind-set right now, but they too will have a long summer break.

Whatever your age, a summer break should never be wasted. Yes, you have had a long, difficult and challenging year with school / college, study, exams, assignments, projects, sport and various other activities and you deserve a break. But this break I believe should be a break of re-vitalisation and re-energising through activity, new learning and experience.

It is important to spend at least one to two weeks doing nothing after you finish school / college. This is actually important for both your physical and psychological health, After the period of rest / transition, begin to spend your summer with purpose and reasoning. So, if you haven’t already your summer planned, these are some things to think about.

Those of you under 16:

  • Choose a new (or an existing) sport / activity, buy good gear / equipment for it and become really good at it
  • Take up exercising and do it every day or every second day and stick to it
  • Join a charity or do volunteer work
  • Spend quality time with relations / grandparents (your time with is precious)
  • Get a pet and care for it (if you do, remember it is for life, not just for summer)
  • Start reading books
  • Discover the great outdoors

 Those of you over 16:

  • Develop a CV and get a summer job
  • Travel
  • Learn to drive a car
  • Choose a new (or an existing) sport / activity, buy good gear / equipment for it and become really good at it
  • Do a project or big task in your home for your parents / family
  • Go to five places in Ireland that you always wanted to visit / see
  • Discover the great outdoors too!

Routine and discipline are key here. You have to want to do it and you have to enjoy it or it simply will not continue. When the end of August arrives, you will look back and say, ‘’that was a great, memorable and my best summer ever…!’’