Did you know that productive activities on school break might as well set the course for your bright future and not the time in the school itself? I, for one, am an unbeliever when it comes to idleness. I do not believe in whiling away time and chilling away on the net or with friends while my parents keep toiling to make ends meet and eventually support my way back to school. That in itself is as tiring to my ever agile mind as labouring physically, and not half as rewarding.
So I embarked on a quest to get the most out of the least of my moments, it was a lucrative and eye-opening one believe me. So here are some tips that may make your break and on the long run, any free period you may get in the future more productive than you have ever bargained for…what’s more, you already know them.
Find your talent/strong point
It may sound too easy to those whose talents are apparent or too vague to those who feel they have none but read on. If you have already discovered the special ingredient in your humanity that makes you, you, congratulations! But do you know that you may have more talents than one? I know of a lady who is an excellent painter, her drawings literally have life, they speak to you. When she writes, you get transported into the reality she has created, and when she sings, sirens get jealous. She is multi-talented and she has them all discovered. If this lady propagates only these unique qualities, it is safe to say she has found her talents. But she can do more; she can, with her creativity be a make-up artist, fashion designer, sculptor, creative writer, an endless list. This is finding talent within talent. So if you feel you are good with music, chances are you will be an excellent singer and poet. If you are good with colours, interior or fashion designer perhaps. Your forte might be technologically inclined; you might with a little bit of exposure make mad website designs or super useful mobile apps or groundbreaking technological discoveries.
For those who feel they do not have any and believe me they are plenty- you do. I believe everyone has talent just that some are patent while others are latent. You might have even discovered your talent but have dismissed it as minor or unimportant; you want a popular one like writing. I know of a person who made dollars plaiting hair, yes cornrows!. That is her talent and she made the most of it. It might be your organisational skills, or ability to persuade, or being a great orator, or you have a mind that can strategise. Look into your inner self and find that thing you are good at without even trying.
Act on your talent/set up your business
What is the use of buying a rod if you don’t fish with it? Discovering your talent is only crucial if you act upon it. A lot of people die not knowing what they are capable of doing but what is more painful are the ones who die knowing what particular thing they can do but not harvesting from it. Make sure that you tap into that unique feature to it’s fullest which if you look, is never too much. Use this opportunity and make money painting, writing, designing software, cooking, playing football, tailoring, learning make-up or just buying and selling (some have exceptional skills in marketing). Who knows, you might write a whole book from ‘testing the waters’ before the vacation runs out. And who knows, the book might, with a bit of polishing turn out to be a bestseller (very possible), and who knows, it might be your first step to the land of writing and by the time you are done with school- you already have substantial book deals on the desk. Same with the other talents. Whether you practice them with a view to fine-tuning, or with intent to monetise them, such dedication never goes to waste.
Applying for and securing an internship with an office in your intended area of specialisation is perhaps one of the most productive ways of juicing the most out of this period. Law students, for example, can be interns in chambers where they can get knowledge no class can teach them. Medical students would best be fit in a hospital, examining how things are practically done and gaining so much experience without as much stress as an actual ward round. Though payment is not guaranteed, the beneficial knowledge gained is almost better.
Get a carpentry workshop or car repair centre or a fashion designer’s place or any place were vocational trades are practised and attach yourself to them, forget about the fact that you are pursuing a degree or diploma, this is entrepreneurship in practice. Learn the dynamics and tools of the trade; your degree might not always be what you use to pay the bills.
Being a volunteer in an NGO, community development scheme and the likes has a lot of perks- plenty of which will surface when you are pursuing your future career. Many humanitarians, Non-Governmental Organization founders and United Nations appointees started from being mere volunteers seeking to better the lives of their communities or communities around them that need help. There are plenty of community development services that one can render either by being the founder of or as a volunteer to one. Not only does it widen the horizon of one’s concept of life, but it also, as a student, provides for the necessary drive to the youthful mind to make it in life.
So make sure that you do not idle away your breaks, impact on your life by gaining experience and making some money; also by making a significant impact on other people’s lives and learning more about the best to help humanity.