The essays have been handed in, the exams are drawing to a close, and the freedom of summer looms before us. For many, this means travelling. For others, a summer job is on the cards. But, many students will be heading home for the summer months, to spend time with friends and family, return to old haunts, and enjoy some well deserved creature comforts – until everybody else goes back to work and your only companion is Jeremy Kyle.

Going home for summer can be lovely, but after a while it can drag a little and the daytime telly just gets dull. Your parents are back at work, your siblings have got their own plans, and youíve already caught up with all your friends. So, how can you fill your newly free schedule?

Well, spare time can easily be put to use in trying to achieve all those things you never seemed to have time for at uni. This could be anything from starting a blog, having a go at a new sport, or even teaching yourself something new.

Try learning a new language on an app, making some of those endless recipe videos on Facebook, or teaching yourself a few chords on the guitar you got for Christmas one year but never learnt how to play. There’s no reason why your summer has to be bland; if you find a new task or challenge to complete, youíre not only making the most of your time but are also investing in yourself.

There are plenty of volunteering opportunities that would make your summer a worthwhile time for yourself and for others. In your local area, you could have a look into some charities and see what you could do to help. It could be anything from gardening to helping at an animal shelter. You can give as much or as little time as you have spare, and it is a worthwhile cause that can boost morale as well as your CV! UEA’s CareerCentral has lots of exciting opportunities in both voluntary and paid roles, so it might be worth a look to see if your dream internship or volunteering position is ready and waiting for you!