The question above which formed the title of this article popped up on my mind at a gathering with some friends a few days after our final semester examination. The joy that drenched some of them was visibly overwhelming as they admitted that they couldn’t wait to be home after the school break. ‘’Home sweet home,” was the chant they chorused.
My curiosity got the better of me, and I probed further into what they would do while at home. Their responses largely took me aback because of how indiscreet they were, and I walked slowly to my hostel afterward thinking about what one should engage oneself in during a school break.
It is the norm for students to run home almost immediately after they are through with exams for an academic semester or session. This innate propensity is borne out of the fact it is a time to relax and also enjoy the hustling and bustling that takes place outside school. However, one should not be oblivious to the fact that learning, education, and self-development does not end because the school (in the technical sense) is on break. As such, the time and opportunity that come with such occasion should be maximized in a purposeful, prudent and productive manner.
Consequently, this article will offer cues on some of the profitable things you can engage in during your school break.
1. Get an Internship Placement
According to Wikipedia, an internship is “a period of work experience offered by an organization for a limited period of time…. Interns may be high school students, college and university students, or post-graduate adults. These positions may be paid or unpaid and are temporary.”
There is no doubt that the period of your school break is usually the most appropriate and beneficial time to get an internship experience in a firm, organization or company. This is because of the ample time available and the relief from school work that may interfere or disrupt such engagement. Hence, it is advisable that adequate plans and preparation should have been put in place in the course of the session to apply for internship programme given your academic calendar for such period. Alternatively, you can apply immediately after your exams depending on where you intend to intern.
The benefits of an internship placement are immeasurable and have been highlighted in various articles throughout this website. An internship affords you the opportunity to gain practical experience that will foster personal, professional and career growth and development. You also get acquainted with real-life work outside the walls of the classroom; you learn the work ethics and mannerisms of your profession. In addition, you build and expand your network and give a turbo boost to your curriculum vitae.
2. Get other Work Experience
You can also do well to get yourself a job of some sort that would be convenient and earn you some cash. You can choose to work anywhere that fits your schedule and qualifications, not necessarily a law firm. For instance, you can work as a secretary, receptionist, salesperson, promo agent, tutor, and so forth. This could be of help in the learning process as your tentacles are extended to non-law related activities; as such, your knowledge base is broadened in complementing your major career focus. You could also simultaneously get monetary reward for your work.
Volunteering can be a very valuable engagement as it affords you the opportunity to get yourself involved with people. Your human-social skills are honed and the ability to work as a team player is further polished. Thus, you can volunteer to serve or assist in one capacity of the other for a club, association, school, organization for a given programme or event. The experience garnered could help you build social skills, and explore the real world beyond the academic environment.
4. Read and Research
Most times, you may not have the opportunity to apply for or get an internship placement due to factors beyond your control or some extenuating circumstances. However, do not tender this as an excuse or justification as to why you had to while away your time or engage in frivolities during school break.
It is quite worrisome to note that what some students do during school break circles around sleeping, eating, chatting on social media, watching movies, etc. As much as these things are fine in moderation, they are not what you should devote the time of your school break to. Rather than these, you should consider and opt to read books, articles, journals, newspapers, etc., that cut across various fields and specifications to keep yourself updated and informed about various trends around you. Also, you can carry out in-depth research on trending or controversial issues of interest and even bring out insightful write-ups accordingly.
5. Learn a Skill
Adam Grant once said that “the mark of higher education isn’t the knowledge you accumulate in your head. It’s the skills you gain about how to learn.”
Skill acquisition has become part and parcel of a well-developed individual as pertaining to your profession in this contemporary era. Many acquire these skills to give them an edge over their peers with respect to their career development and perhaps better their chances of employability. It could be a hard skill, soft skill, professional skill, confectionary skill, culinary skill, technical skill, vocational skill, etc., depending on your own peculiar interest and as it affects your long-term career goals.
6. Rest, Relax and Refresh Yourself!
There is no denying the fact that academic work during school session could be grueling, daunting and hectic. As a result, you may barely have time to rest and engage in fun activities beyond academic activities. Consequently, this period could be a good period for sufficient rest for your body. You could also take out time, for instance, to visit the zoo, relaxation centres, amusement parks, cinemas; take a vacation, etc., to relax the body and get reinvigorated and refreshed.
It is a popular saying that all work without play makes Jack a dull boy. So, take the time out during this period to ‘sharpen’ yourself!
As a concluding note, you should know that the time that comes with your school break is irretrievable and flies so fast; but you should also know that you are the pilot of your time and you determine which direction it goes. Thus, whatever you will do during your school break, you should ensure by all means that it enhances your self-development thereby boosting your career prospects in all facets of life.
 An American author and professor at that the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Ikusika Bamidele is a 300 Level undergraduate law student at the Obafemi Awolowo University. He has represented the faculty at numerous debate, moot and mock competitions.
Ikusika is a productive member of various academic and non-academic associations where he holds various leadership roles including the Moot and Mock Society, Tax Club, International Law Students Association and Liberation Chambers. His strong motivation for learning makes him seek avenues to build his professional and leadership capacity through relentless engagement in programmes that help him meet that objective.
Ikusika has undergone training in Desktop publishing, Human resources management, and project management. He currently has an internship placement with Aluko and Oyebode, a leading commercial law firm in the commercial hub of Nigeria, Lagos. He is a reader, speaker, researcher, and writer with some of his work published on diverse online platforms