How to make the most of your vacation

The long awaited time for many students, especially senior three and six former candidates, is here. This is so because they now have a long break from studying, preps, and tests. Some plan to ‘catch up on sleep’, visit friends and relatives, watch movies or start up a small business. The question is, how are you planning to utilise your vacation effectively?

Emmy Ntigurirwa, Swahili and English teacher at G.S school Rurambo, advises students to set goals for the next academic level.

He says that students should look out for mentors that can guide them on choosing the best choices; if possible, they ought to be given counselling so that they don’t opt for choices or engage in activities that might ruin their future.

S3 and S6 leavers might seem to have a lot of time on their hands but they should not get too comfortable. Parents need to play their part of grooming, advising and encouraging them to do constructive things.

Collins Odhiambo, a teacher and counsellor, says, “Students, mainly senior six leavers, should search for jobs that will keep them occupied or provide them with some money for upkeep.”

He adds that when their efforts are appreciated at their places of work, they could be retained or even given internship easily when the right time approaches.

Still, he emphasises that these students should discuss with their parents and teachers about career opportunities, especially in the fields they are good at and advise them where necessary.

Odhiambo states that students can also start up small businesses, like making snacks, for example, cakes or roasted groundnuts, with small loans from their parents because it will teach them the discipline of saving the money they earn, and taking care of their basic needs.

“Students during vacation should discover something new that will help them develop their talent, for example, they should engage in activities like cooking classes, singing, but most importantly, read extensively about different ideas that will assist them in improving their confidence, listening and writing skills,” Ntigurirwa advises.

The counsellor urges students to visit doctors for thorough health check-ups to know if they are suffering from any sicknesses so that they treat them before school starts.

“Students ought to work on their passion during the vacation since most of the time at school was used to read hard for good results.

“The vacation can be utilised through focusing on interests, which can be games and sports, reading, drawing, among others,” says Israel Oluwaseyi, the dean of students at Affairs at Green Hills Academy, Nyarutarama.

Oluwaseyi points out that students should not miss out on physical activity as this will help them refresh their minds after sleepless nights of pressure and reading tirelessly. 

Oluwaseyi says that school leavers should get involved in volunteer work by giving back to the community, for instance, they can do some cleaning around their home areas, visit the sick and give basic requirements to the needy.

“Expand your knowledge, you can do some training on making clothes, shoes and bags, and earrings; once you learn such technical skills, you will never forget them,” he notes.

Oluwaseyi calls on leavers to use YouTube for learning purposes by watching educational and inspiring videos to broaden their knowledge. He warns against watching videos that are not impactful.

He also says that students should use this time to learn new languages, whether international or regional, for fun, or for benefit to mental capacity.

Parents’ views

“Vacation is the time we need to bond with our children, spare some time with them and get to know their likes, dreams, ideas, weaknesses, strengths, mistakes, expectations and help shape them into responsible people,” François Nkurunzi, a father and a resident of Kimironko, explains.

He notes that vacation is when you notice your children’s actions; if they are good you push them ahead but if they are not, you guide them accordingly.

Anita Nshuti, a resident of Kacyiru, mother and businesswoman, says that parents should use this long holiday to help their children grow spiritually by encouraging them to pray, read the Bible, join church choirs or Bible study groups and attend church services.

She adds that for senior six leavers, parents should help them choose universities, mainly those with courses that their children need and prepare them for college life even before they join so as to be aware of what to expect.

Nshuti says senior three leavers should also get acquainted with some of the subjects at A-level. They should write their shopping lists in time to enable their parents get all their necessities before the term starts.

She states that all students should spare time to have fun, eat well, exercise, sleep enough and make new friends.