Summer, summer, summer. Here in Britain we have a tradition. It’s called, “Complain about the weather all year round and then when it gets to summertime complain some more because it is too hot”. Of course, this is assuming it doesn’t rain, like every other year.

All of which is a very tangential way of making the point that summer is an odd time, a season where literally anything might happen. Last year a lot of young people in London went shopping without their wallets. This year, who knows? With this in mind, we’ve been kind enough to compile a list of suggestions – complete with pros and cons – for how you might spend your time off.

Travel abroad

Pros: See the world, meet people and bring back a hoard of treasured memories. These are all good things, and all are happy bi-products of either participating in an overseas volunteer programme or just grabbing a backpack, hitching a ride and drinking nothing which hasn’t already fermented.

Cons: Firstly, it will be expensive, and after a year at uni this could make finding funds in the short timeframe difficult. Secondly, whatever you do, for good or ill, people will ignorantly throw you in with the “Gap Yah” crowd of vacuous time wasters.

Lads/Girls Holiday

Pros: These short forays to foreign holiday and clubbing destinations can be cracking good fun, and quite cheap t’boot.

Cons: Accommodation may be unbearable; health and safety goes out the window; these destinations are 90% populated by idiot male egos; you may lose clothing and/or dignity.


Pros: You may come away from the holidays with something more substantial and useful than memories and a decent photo album. Whether you work for money or experience (or both), you’ll feel real progress has been made towards adulthood and employment.

Cons: You’ll feel real progress has been made towards adulthood and employment. What is the point of having wads of cash if you no longer have friends? What use is a stunning CV if you fall at the first interview for lacking a degree in having a life and an A level in being world-wise?

The Hybrid

Pros: Combining two or more of the above is the perfect way to cover all bases and really make the most of your summer. You’ll be popular, mature, employable and may even have a bit of beer money left for those pleasing reunions with your less clued-up contemporaries.

Cons: For those with less time off it can be a bit of a squeeze. Come to that, fitting it all in – specifically in our recommended order of work, travel, holiday – will be a bit of a challenge for anyone.

Written by Jordan Bishop