Picture this: your exams are over, hurray! Now you’re in a hurry to pack up and leave your student accommodation to go back to your home country a few thousand miles away. Alexa, play panicked packing playlist. You make it home! What a relief, you survived a hectic few days and now you can relax! You can- well, maybe you could..no, they’re not in the country- or possibly, wait you don’t have a ride- so, what now?
It’s a blessing to be a part of such an international community and study abroad, but the downside is that when the year is over, you have to go back to a life you parted with and maybe don’t find much company in. Your university friends are scattered across the globe, your home town suddenly has nothing to do, and you terribly miss the ease of getting around with Stagecoach. I came to Manchester all the way from Dubai, and if you’re familiar with this hot country, you might understand why I’m not keen to go on a midday stroll. It’s also more difficult to catch a ride around the city or see friends who are busy with summer semesters. When you’re not a tourist, home is just home and there’s not an awful ton to do.
Luckily for myself and you, I’ve put my mind to cracking the code that is summer away from university and I’ve compiled an incomplete but pretty solid-looking list of activities anyone can do from home. I’ve also made a TikTok with even more ideas, so make sure to check that out after this!
Free online courses with certifications
Do you feel like all you do during the academic year is just study? Do you have nothing to contribute to your CV? Do you feel a little under-qualified compared to your peers? We’ve all been there. Or, maybe you’re just a nerd like me and romanticizing going to the library and taking pretty notes is your personality. Solo Summer Staycation – An International Student’s Guide to Spending Summer Back Home 2 If so, I recommend you check out online courses offered by various universities globally that are free and offer certification at the end. You’ll be adding to your sea of knowledge and learning a couple of things your classmates haven’t. Give yourself a little boost in the competition that might come with your degree.
Write or update your CV
Looking to secure a part-time job next year? Have a placement coming up? Let’s be realistic, sitting down to write your CV is probably not your priority during term time. If you’ve got nothing to do, you do now! Check out the Careers Service for help with this! Everyone could use some extra tips to help them stand out.
New self-care habits
Did you know it takes an average of 2 months to establish a habit? I may not be a math student, but I know that summer vacation is a little longer than that. What this means is that it’s the perfect time to change up your night time routine or make a self-care sequence that you’ll continue to practice when you return to Manchester. If you’ve been interested in starting a 10-step Korean skincare routine, now’s the time!
Easy arts and crafts
I’m not an artist. If you are, I’m insanely jealous of you! However, if you also struggle to create a Louvre-worthy piece, there are smaller crafts you can make that are super fun. Put on your headphones and paint over an old DVD, redecorate your wall with collages of your favourite singer, or try some origami. You didn’t hear it from me, but Water Marble nails from 2015 were kind of fun to do!
Start a blog about ANY topic!
I have a theory that everyone has a niche or deep interest in something. Whether you’re an insane fan of F1, super into indie bands, or a wiz at sustainable makeup, you have a passion to offer others. There will be others who want to hear your insight. If not a Tumblr blog, a TikTok or Twitter account! Don’t worry about views, do it for yourself. Besides, if the Facebook page I made about candy when I was 10 got 6 likes, I’m sure there’s an audience for you. Like, definitely positive.
Recipe book for the generations
If I have grandkids one day, they better be making my Banana Bread by the book! Of course, to help them, I’m in the process of compiling all my recipes into a neat little Solo Summer Staycation – An International Student’s Guide to Spending Summer Back Home 3 recipe book. I hope this idea is cute and appealing to others as well, and not just a product of my old soul…
Call up one of your friends and challenge them to a little race: download Duolingo or a similar app and choose a language you both would like to learn some of. Now here’s the fun part: whoever learns more of this new language (that neither of you currently speak) by the time semester 1 rolls around wins! The not-winner has to treat them to the cuisine of the country whose language you chose. Not only can you flex knowing some of a language, but you can get a meal out of it too! Well, there you have it, folks. I really hope this inspired you because I had fun writing this (see, tip #5 is legit!)
If you think you’ve done everything there is to do and you’re still bored, check out OfficialUOM on TikTok. We have some great content on there, and what is more human than scrolling through an addicting app for hours on end?