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How to do Summer for the student budget.
By Lucy Pegg
With Easter behind us and the clocks moving forward, we’re being forced to confront the fact that summer is now in the tangible future – whether the weather seems to agree with that or not. And though this may seem like a delightful prospect, it can also bring with it a slight sense of panic. Just how are you going to fill all those lovely, but long, months of the university summer break? Here are four suggestions to fill your summer holidays, whatever your budget or interests.
Get a job
The obvious – but maybe boring – suggestion is to get a job. With such a big break for summer it’s the perfect chance to get some heavy money-earning done. If you’ll be spending your summer somewhere with seasonal visitors, whether that’s the seaside or a touristy city, there should be plenty of opportunities, but even in less bustling locations there’s likely to be a few jobs going. Though it might seem less exciting than travelling the world, summer work can give you the chance to make new friends, break the student bubble, and also takes the strain off the need to earn money during term time.
Steward at a festival
The summer months can seem dominated by festivals, but they’re also horrifically expensive. If you really want to go you can get around the ticket prices by stewarding; this just means wearing a hi-vest vest and helping out at the festival, whether that be by directing visitors, manning an entry gate or working on a campsite. In return you get into the festival for free and usually get to stay in the staff camping and have some of your meals paid for. Charities like Oxfam, ActionAid and War Child all run festival stewarding programmes, meaning you’re making money for a good cause too. Though some of your time freedom at the festival is restricted, when tickets can cost over £200 it really seems worth it.
After a year of hard studying, everyone wants a holiday – which can unfortunately be a tad pricey. WWOOFing – or Willing Workers on Organic Farms – is a great way to travel at low costs. In return for helping out on an organic farm, volunteers (or WWOOFers) get free food and board, allowing you to stay in locations across the UK and the world for free. The labour you provide can differ widely, from tending vegetables, making cheese, rearing pigs, bee keeping… depending on the destination you have in mind, the options differ widely. Whilst staying in cheap hostels and getting overnight buses can also provide an affordable holiday, WWOOFing can be even more inexpensive and just something a bit different.
Learn something new
Okay, so in your break from studying do you really want to do more learning? I’d argue the answer is potentially yes. After all, you don’t have to learn something academic and even if you want to it could be completely unrelated to your usual field of study. Why not try learning a language, graphic design, textile art or a local history course. Adult education courses run across the country, often with reduced rates for students, or you might be able to find a smaller or online provider too. Take the chance of this free time to expand your horizons beyond your degree classification.
Whether you’ve got money to splash out or not, your student summer can still be a blast!