With exams done, for those A-Level students out there, the last thing you want to be thinking of right now is revising. It’s finally summer, and you’ve only just finished your exams.
On the other hand, you might be worried that with the summer, and all the partying/ lazying about/ holidaying to no end/ switching off your brain that comes with it, you’ll forget everything you’d learnt this year, and return to Sixth Form/ arrive at university unprepared. So what I’m going to be doing in this article is showing you the different ways you can keep your brain working while still enjoying your summer 😉 Even if you’re not an A-Level student, you might find some of the suggestions I give here on learning things new and old in a fun way useful 🙂 Although I finished my A-Levels what feels like a decade ago, I use many of these on a daily basis as I find they help keep me focused and for the added benefit that I can return to university knowing a little more than when I left 😉
Tip 1: Watch informative T.V Shows.
If you are one to spend hours watching different T.V shows and/or movies- you can use this to your advantage amd justify any show-binging 😉 Try to find television shows which are broadly educational, or that inspire you in some way to educate yourself about a certain interesting topic or discipline. Game of Thrones, for example, might inspire you to read up on Medieval Battles 😉 If you are even vaguely interested in history, you might find that watching a show such as Wolf Hall (which documents the rise of Thomas Cromwell through the court of Henry VIII) inspires you to do further research on the Tudors, or at least teaches you something about them… like what it is the Tudors actually ate. Clue: it’s a little more than just sweetmeats 😉
Tip 2: Read throughout the summer- whatever you can get your hands on: books, news articles, movie reviews, poetry, stories, etc.
This is one of the most useful tips for me personally; I find that the more I read, the more I improve at it, and the more my knowledge of different fields increases. Create a list of books you’re interested in reading- whether they be classical history, novels, plays, etc. What I’m currently doing is that each month, I give myself a different group of things to read: by this, I mean one month I will read only novels, the next month only plays, the month after, classical history, then poetry, short stories, and so on. This means I don’t get bored, can easily compare the different writing styles within each group, and means I will have read a great variety of different texts by the time I return to university 🙂
Tip 3: Watch informative YouTube videos or Television documentaries
Television documentaries are something I really enjoy, because they often inspire me to do further research on certain fields. I personally love the BBC’s Horizon series- it’s really greatly motivated me to read more on science (especially Astrology). I try to watch documentaries on areas I’m not too familiar with, i.e. Mathematics, Science, Technology, because it completes my knowledge, but it’s also wonderful to watch documentaries on the ones I love and know so well- History, Classics, Literature, Economics and Politics. It’s definitely sparked a new interest in me, and doesn’t require much effort, so you can watch them at any part of the day.
Tip 4: Visit historical or significant sites and landmarks.
If you live in London, whatever field you’re interested in, you can find somewhere that might help keep you updated on your favourite field, and where you can enjoy a bit of adventure too. The Stock Exchange, Tower of London, any one of the Royal Palaces, Parliament, and Bank of England are only some of the places you can see, and learn more about. In England, Stonehenge, Canterbury, Leeds Castle and Salisbury are incredible, and this is only naming a few of the many! This is true for so many cities in the world- especially if you’re interested in history, there’s a lot you can learn from visiting different locations.
Tip 5: If you’re going abroad, do some reading on the customs/ history/ facts about the countries you’re travelling to
I find learning about the different customs that exist in the different countries I travel to as much interesting as it is useful, in that it’s definitely a helpful thing to know, and one that you can use time and time again. Learning about the history of the place you’re visiting is also a really rewarding thing- both in helping you increase your knowledge of the world, and also in helping you appreciate the rich stories and beauty of the place you’re visiting 🙂
Tip 6: Attend shows/exhibitions/lectures about interesting and informative things.
I like to visit as many museums and art exhibitions as I can. I find it’s not only enjoyable, but keeps me up-to-date on the latest trends, styles, artists and events going on in the world. I love stories so visiting art exhibitions is for me something very special because I love to look for hidden messages and symbols in pieces of art. Lectures are also a great way to learn about hot new topics/subjects, and debates are also a nice way to do this while allowing you to practice public speaking. Many universities hold them open even if you’re not a student there, so it’s definitely worth checking them out.
Tip 7: Blog… or read blogs
Blogging every week, and having to create and read my own essays for them has really helped me remember key details and facts. You don’t even need to create your own blog to do that though- simply follow any one of the many wonderful blogs online on whatever topics you feel will benefit/educate you 🙂
How do you keep yourself well-read during the summer? I’d love to hear your ideas below!