What inspired me to write this post is because I've seen some of my third year juniors being SO proactive during their semester break. They participated in conferences, attended summits, volunteered this and that, basically, they're out there getting as much experience as they can, while they can! Some of my juniors participated in the National Aspiration & Leadership Summit 2016, as participant and committee. Which is amazing! I wonder why I didn't do the same thing as them during my time. Hmm
Anyway, after six months of struggling finishing assignments and what not, it is understandable that most would take this short time to have a break. By break, I mean, sit at home, eat, watch favourite series, sleep, repeat... 😏 you know it's true! ;p However, semester break is also a great time for you to explore and get out of your comfort zone without having to jeopardise much on your side. So how can you maximise your semester break?
1. Identify the things you have always wanted to try/experience/do, and GO FOR IT!
What is it that you have always wanted to do but you're afraid or shy to try? Like, maybe try horseback riding? Glass painting? Rock climbing? Keeping fit? Write a short story and getting it published? Whatever that you have always dreamed of doing, NOW is the time for you go and try it out! Even if it's something that you might not have it sooner, but at least try, start early. Just give a go. You'll never know what you're missing if you don't try. =)
2. Apply for internship programme
There's a lot of companies out there that offer internships for students. You just have to find companies that you are attracted to, or you're interested in their values, culture or what they produce, or you want to be a part of something big. I mean, if you love pizza, you can work at Domino's or Pizza Hut, but don't work there just so you could eat!! hahaha Another example, if you're interested in experiencing how it's like to work in Teach For Malaysia (TFM), you can apply for their internship programme in their website. Internship gives you the experience and opportunity of what it's like working in an office without having to sacrifice your study because the minimum duration is usually 2 months. This is the time where you get to learn the ins and outs of working environments, learn how to communicate with others, the standard procedures in companies, and more which could be beneficial for you in the long run. Be friendly, smile, and start networking.
3. Do some volunteering work
Doing charity work is always admirable. What I see in Malaysia now, is that volunteering groups and opportunities grow like weeds! Which is good! We have groups that provide opportunity for people to volunteer in teaching, cooking, providing food, etc. You name it, you choose what you want to do! Volunteering is not only good for the soul, but it'll also look good on your CV. ;)
You might want to check these out:
4. Read up & get hands on with something new
Since it's semester break, which means you have extra time to read other stuffs, this is the time where you can focus to read on an area that interest you at the time. For example, marketing, design, or whatever that intrigues you. Or you could also get hands on with some things? After my final year, I decided to re-learn Photoshop, which I've left since secondary school. I took the time to learn it on my own and it proved to benefit me when I had to design the banner, bunting and poster for the Reach Out! Melaka project. Saves us extra kaching from hiring outsiders. hehe Oh and my current read is Lean In for Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg and other writers.
5. Hone your skills/talent
Everyone has something that they are good at. What's yours? Or maybe you feel like you could be good at something, what is it? Find it and work on it! You never know when it could be useful for you or others. You could also do some introspection and do self-review of your performance for that semester. Find aspects that you feel is your weakness and requires improvement, say communication skills. Find a workshop or seminar that could help you better your communication skills. Hone it.
Just because you're on a break, doesn't mean life has to be on break too. Don't waste time doing things that don't help you grow.
Make full use of your youth.