Taking time for yourself this summer after an intense academic year

4 August 2021

After a year filled with more uncertainty and stress for many students, UCL student Nasra has some great advice on taking some time to de-stress and recharge.

london over the summer

Summer is finally upon us and there is no doubt that this was one of the most challenging academic years we may have ever faced. Being in and out of lockdown whilst studying almost completely remotely has affected us all in one way or another. Regardless of this, there is no reason to allow the stress of the academic year prevent us from seizing the summer as it is now time to recharge and appreciate this well-earned break.

With COVID-19 still looming over us, it is important that we ensure our health is the top priority. The main goal is to protect ourselves and the people around us from the virus. Nonetheless, there are still ways that we can safely take advantage of the summer

De clutter your workspace

The best way to start off your summer is to get some closure from the academic year. One way to do this is by de cluttering and organising your workspace. This can help clear the mind and allow you to move on and truly begin the summer. Throughout the academic year, there is an accumulation of miscellaneous things that can pile up and cause unnecessary stress. By moving and organising your study resources, this can help maximise your energy, improve productivity and promote a positive attitude towards things. This is the perfect mindset to begin your summer with!


The act of journaling can provide you with a space for private reflection which can help you process your thoughts, emotions and worries from the academic year. Many studies have shown that there are multiple benefits of journaling. Individuals who journal are more likely to have enhanced problem-solving skills and can manage stresses more effectively due to being better connected with their thoughts and emotions. By spending your summer journaling away, this can offer immense relief as it allows one to explore their emotions and keep track of them. It is also something great to look back at!

Learn a new skill

What better time in the year to learn a foreign language, gardening or perhaps how to knit? By acquiring a new skill, it can help keep the mind engaged and active. Along with training the mind, it can diversify your job and career opportunities as it could potentially open new doors for you. Furthermore, by expanding your knowledge and skills on new things, this can nurture a growth mindset and promote a happier and healthier mind. Learning a new skill can be exciting and may also help ease any worries as it can offer distractions. Take advantage of this time and pick up a new skill!

Pursue your hobbies

We all know that the pressures of the academic year can sometimes force us to sacrifice the things we enjoy, in order to put more time and focus onto our studies. It is now time to bring your hobbies back at the top of your priority list. Having a hobby isn’t just about having fun. It is essential for your mental health as it allows you to spend time on yourself, doing the things you love. Reflect on the things you previously found enjoyable and try to find ways to reintroduce them into your routine. There are many benefits of having a hobby. They push you beyond your limits and provide you with the opportunity to be creative. Hobbies can also immerse you into an entirely new community which ultimately improves your social life and expand and grow your experiences.

Go for walks and enjoy nature

Summer is the best time to take advantage of being outdoors and observing nature. Instead of staying glued to a screen all day, we should take the opportunity to reconnect with nature by going for walks as often as we can. You could also implement mindfulness whilst going on a walk. This can be done by allowing your senses to take in the surroundings and allowing yourself to feel present in that moment. This can instantly help dissolve any worries you may have.

Regardless of what you get up to this summer, remember to enjoy this well-earned break and spend some time on yourself. Remember, UCL Student Support and Wellbeing is here for you throughout the summer, and you can come for an appointment with our advisers and counsellors to get support.

Nasra Mohammed, Masters in Pharmacy