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Winding Down for Summer



© Jose Fernando Carli

How many of you are just approaching the end of the academic year? I’ve finished a couple of weeks ago, and many students are starting to break up for summer in the coming weeks. You’re all imagining it already, the great (or not so great) weather, the BBQs, the parties and proms. With all these temptations, it’s easy to put off those essential tasks that make summer more relaxing and getting back to work next year a lot easier to stomach. Although it might seem like a pain now, you’ll be thankful for it later. The list below should cover the basics.

Things to Do

Return all textbooks borrowed from School

The last thing you want to deal with over summer is letters and invoices for textbooks that you’ve borrowed and should have returned. Do yourself a favor and return them to the right people after you’ve finished using them.

Cancel any subscriptions you’ll no longer need

Perhaps you’re dropping a subject next year and you’ve got a subscription to a journal related to it. Make sure you cancel these and save yourself a bit of cash!

Tidy your workspace

This exam period can be a stressful period and unfortunately, for many of us, with stress comes mess. Make sure your work area is tidy, filing systems sorted (see below) and that you could work at it if you needed to. The last thing you want is a messy workspace cluttering your home when it isn’t even being used.

Sort out filing systems

Get all of your notes organized now, making sure everything is ready for next year. This includes throwing out notes you really don’t need (remember, if re-sits are likely etc. – keep the notes) and making sure they are all in the correct places.

Sort out computer files

Almost the same as the above on sorting filing systems out; make sure your computer system is not neglected. Archive files that you aren’t going to need to refer to regularly and make sure you have a clear file structure in place. Now might also be time to do some computer maintenance you should have been doing.

And finally…

Enjoy summer

I’ve got 11 weeks off this summer, and I’m sure going to take a break after the stressful exam period has finished. For some tips on how to make summer worthwhile, see Maria’s post on “Summer Goals” and check out my post published next Tuesday entitled “Things to do during summer”.

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This list isn’t exhaustive, if you’ve got any other tips for things you do to wind down for summer, please share them in the comments section below.


This is Carl Hickson’s regular “Tuesday Tips” column, writing on all aspects of student productivity to help you become a more effective and stress free student.