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Top 3 productive things to do in your free time as a student

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

Having finished exams, I have a lot of free time on my hands. I haven't really got a lot of academic things to do in preparation for university and so I have been finding 'productive' things to do in the meantime. Here's a list of what I believe to be the best things to do if you've just finished exams and are about to go to university.

Plan for university

Obviously, the main difference between school and university is independence. The majority of students will go on to live in a different city and it is important to do your research on that city. For me, I am going to study in London and an example of my preparation for living there is my researching of the London underground- how the fees work, how Oyster cards work etc. Additionally, I'm looking into what student life is like including things like expenses and attractions nearby. You should also have a look at what you could do to prepare for your course. As I say, there isn't much to prepare dentistry but for example, you can sign up to the Dental Defence Organisation from whom you will get a free textbook.

More generally, every student should look into what they are going to do about money. I'm currently looking into student bank accounts and credit cards (see as well as budgeting. Other things include savings accounts, ISAs and perhaps jobs.

Learn a new skill

Speaking of money, apparently around 70% of university students have a part time job (I'm surprised it's not higher) and these jobs range from working in a restaurant to software engineering. Personally, I'm attracted to learning a freelanceable skill since one can usually earn more as a free lancer but also set their own schedule, something particularly useful at university. Skills include photography, video editing, software design or writing. Learning a new skill does take time and it is very important that you practice with consistency and push through the lulls, this is probably the reason why so many people fail at learning a new skill. See my post of how motivation is a myth and how to 'stay motivated' here. It is important to remember although learning a monetizable skill is very lucrative, this cannot be your only reason behind deciding to learn it otherwise you will not be motivated to practice it while you aren't making money. First develop enjoyment for the skill and let money follow.

Online writing

Linking on from that, I am a strong believer that everyone should do some form of online writing. Take it from someone who as consumed enough self help literature but has also spent a year writing that writing online is actually net positive. I wouldn't say it has been beneficial but it has been pretty fun. As someone who started writing in order to try and make money, I can say for sure that that is not the reason to start. With that motivating factor, it is hard to stay. However, I do enjoy writing partly because I have lots of time to spare but I thoroughly enjoy getting the very occasional message from people about how my post helped them do x. I also gain satisfaction from seeing the traffic to my blog slowly increase and sure, it's good fun and useful to just put your ideas out on the Internet.

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