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Get Ahead Kids® Feature Article
Get Ahead Kids - Vol. 5, No. 5 - September/October 2013

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How to Spend Your Last High School Summer Vacation

By Tim Laurence

There is an ocean of time in-between the end of HSC exams and the beginning of University.

Rather than catching up on sleep, get the most out of the time you have before University.

Get a Summer Job

Managing your own budget when you're at University will be much easier if you have some extra money saved up from working a summer job. A little extra cash will go a long way when assignments pile up and you need to focus all your efforts on studying.

Working will also provide you with valuable time and people management skills that will be a huge advantage at University and hopefully equip you with the skills to manage University study commitments, part time work and still maintain a social life.


As horrid as the idea might be, many Universities offer bridging programs over January and February for students who haven't studied the subjects that are listed as "Assumed Knowledge" for many University courses. If you really want to succeed in your first year at University it is a great idea to gain this extra knowledge over summer, you can always take a holiday in your mid-year break.


You don't need to have an entire Gap Year to experience the benefits of travel and see the world after you've finished high school. With the Australian dollar still relatively high, there are plenty of student-friendly travel destinations close to home that are perfect for a quick break while broadening your world view. A deeper understanding of Australia's position in the world will prove useful when you need to frame your future at University in an international context.

Clean Up Your Online Act

University is the time where you start building your professional identity. In a couple of years you will start applying for internships or part-time jobs that are relevant to what you're studying.

So give yourself a head-start by giving your online identity a professional makeover. Take a few minutes to make sure your social media privacy settings are up-to-date and your personal content is private. It may also be a good time to get a new email address. Keep it simple and stick to a classic variation of your full name.

Learn to Cook

It's an old cliché but a healthy body is a healthy mind. And rather than living off two-minute noodles, learn a few basic recipes to keep you going through University.

Attend O-Week

Once you have completed your enrolment you need to start thinking about your new life at University. Orientation week is about much more than campus parties and late nights. O-week is a vital time for students to familiarise themselves with on-campus clubs and societies, all the University services and get to know where things are on campus. Getting off to a good start during orientation week will put you in a good place for the rest of Semester.

About Tim Laurence

Tim is the Dean of Studies at UTS:INSEARCH, the premium pathway provider to UTS. He is responsible for the delivery and quality assurance of all UTS:INSEARCH pathway programs both locally and internationally. He has 26 years' experience in higher education teaching and management. With a background in design, he is also an Adjunct Professor of Design at the University of Technology, Sydney and a Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia.

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