Preparing for summer away from uni

It’s finally time for summer break! Lots of you will be heading home, maybe because you’ve finished your course, or if it’s because you’re going to spend time with your family or go on holiday over the break. Either way, it is important that you make sure everything is in order before you leave Lincoln – here are a few useful/important things to make sure you’ve done before you head home!

1. Book train tickets in advance

Booking train tickets in advance of the day you need them will save you a bit of money – try to organise the date/time you’re going to head home in advance! Also, getting yourself a railcard is another way of saving some money on travel, especially if you’re going to be using trains quite a bit. The best railcard for students is a 16-25 railcard from Trainline. Although it will initially cost you £30, the railcard will last you for a whole 12 months, and save you 1/3 off train tickets!

2. Return library books and equipment

This is a really important one – you don’t want to be caught out by any fines!

The library will charge a fee of 50p per day if you fail to return a book by the due date. Laptops will also incur a late charge fee per hour after the due time.

More information about returning items can be found on the library website.

3. Clean and tidy your accommodation

This is something that needs to be done whether you are staying in your accommodation again next year, or if you are moving out – you don’t want things to be all dirty when you come back after the summer, and you certainly don’t want to lose your deposit if you are leaving your property!

If you are completely moving out:

  • Make sure you throw out or take all food and rubbish with you (don’t even leave dry food goods in the cupboards as landlords don’t generally like this!)
  • Make sure everything is thoroughly cleaned and nice and tidy – have a look in supermarkets for cheap cleaning products, remember, you don’t need to spend money on branded things if you don’t have the money, the basic supermarket-own products are just as good!
  • Follow any advice given by your student accommodation provider or landlord about cleaning and leaving your property.

If you are returning to your accommodation next year:

  • Again, make sure you clean out all food and rubbish – if you have things such as unopened dried goods like tins, rice or pasta, have a look at the date on these as they will likely be absolutely fine to store over the summer!
  • Cleaning your room, bathroom and communal areas along with doing any laundry is a good idea before you go home – not only does it make everything hygienic, but it will also be nice to come back to and save you a job in the new academic year!

4. Pack things to take with you

If you are completely leaving your accommodation or moving to a new location in Lincoln, making sure you pack everything in an organised way is a really good idea. For example, make a box purely dedicated to kitchenware and another one just for office supplies – doing this will make it much easier to unpack when you get to wherever you’re heading! I didn’t do this when I moved from halls into my student house, and it was really not great – it took me so long to get organised and find where I’d put everything…

5. Lock up and switch things off

This is a really important one and one which may seem obvious, but it can easily be forgotten.

Make sure you’ve closed and locked all windows and doors and put any spare keys somewhere sensible and safe. Also, make sure you have unplugged plugs and switched electronics off – not only is this something to do for safety but it is also much better for the environment – you don’t need to leave your alarm clock plugged in for the next 2.5 months while you’re away! It is usually common to leave your fridge/freezer plugged in, but this will differ with different accommodation providers and landlords, so double check.

6. Make a plan of what work you need to do over the summer

Organising a study plan for the summer is a great way to make sure you’re also making sure you get plenty of time to do other things. Some people might find it better to get everything done at the start of the break, others might prefer to spread it out.

If you don’t have any work to do you can skip this one! Alternatively, you could have a look online for courses that interest you – there are lots of free ones online which would be great to add to your CV or talk about in an interview.

7. Organise a summer job/volunteering

Getting some experience over the summer is an excellent way to boost your CV for any jobs you might be applying for in the future. It doesn’t even need to be anything related to your course necessarily – lots of skills are transferrable across sectors and often employers like to see that you have been doing something rather than not doing anything at all!

8. Relax!

This is probably the most important thing to remember. The summer is for relaxing, spending time with people and doing things you enjoy. It’s easy to feel guilty if you feel like you should be getting a job or doing work, but remember to recharge and get ready to start afresh next year if you are a returning student, or get ready for a new start in the working world if you are just finishing uni!

Enjoy your summer everybody!