There is a dilemma which every person at the end of their semester faces: what do I do now?
As tempting as it may be to Netflix your way until the next semester, consider this: through the course of a degree, there are only a finite number of breaks. Foresight hints at the fact that the duration of your breaks will be a lot shorter once you start your career, which means that long holidays are a limited resource. The possibilities of what you can do are endless, how you spend it is up to you, but spend it wisely.
So how can you make the most of your time? Take a moment to brainstorm things you want to spend time on – write them down so you don’t lose focus of these goals. You can prioritise these goals and take a mental note of the proportion of time you want to allocate for it.
Under each category, create a list of to-do items which you can check off as you complete them. The part where many fail is keeping your goals. Only 8% of people fulfil their New Year's Resolutions. Holidays signify a refresh, so it is difficult for many to stay focused on what they want to achieve. To improve your chance of sticking to your goals, make them specific, actionable, bite-sized, and give yourself a deadline for each task.
Summer break in Australia is usually quite generous, which means that we have the opportunity to do more with our time. If you are lost for ideas of where to start, AIESEC offers short, medium, and long-term projects in over 125 countries. You can tailor your search to your interests, skills, and goals to find one which suits you best. Maybe you could come up with solutions for an aging population whilst volunteering in Poland or even gain some real management experience in Beijing.
Going on an exchange helps to solidify a time limit for many of your goals. For example, before going on exchange, I wrote down my goals. Realising that I had only 8 weeks on my project, it meant that I had to live each day with a sense of purpose and always working toward something. Completing my laundry list of tasks at the end of the day became a way to measure how much I felt fulfilled at my job and the little things which matter. At the end of my exchange, I looked back at my list of my main priorities during those 8 weeks (see image below) and could confidently tell myself that I had accomplished my exchange goals.
So what are you waiting for? Start making the most of your break now and check out the thousands of opportunities available at aiesec.org.
Pssst. I nearly forgot - once you have found and applied to an opportunity, we have some tips on how to prepare for and acing your AIESEC interview for you here.