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Student Life

25 best things to do this summer 2009


Whether you're just finishing uni or have got more time to go, here are a selection of things for you to do this summer - and you don't even need good weather for all of them.

1. Music Festivals

Missed out on tickets to Glastonbury? No problem. There are still loads of tickets available at an array of festivals across the UK so don't let that stop you. All music tastes are pretty much catered for, and if you're worried about the money – think of it this way... you could pay £30 to see one band, or go and see 30 bands for a mere 5 times the price. You do the math.


2. Wimbledon

Even though it doesn't seem likely that we'll ever win again, Wimbledon's always still worth a watch. Tickets are hard to find – to the point of the local cemetery allowing people to park over graves to watch - but at least all the matches can be seen on television from now till July 5.


3. Theatre

There are plenty of sites to buy theatre tickets with various deals and last-minute prices - so cost shouldn't be too big a factor in visiting the theatre.

For a celeb/Shakepeare collision go for Jude Law in Hamlet, or Lenny Henry as Othello, if you want a theatrical classic go for Les Misérables or The Phantom of the Opera, and for the fun go and see Avenue Q or We Will Rock You.


4. The lido

You can only do this in the summer so be sure to make the most of it! Relax while sunbathing, then take a dip in the pool – exactly like a holiday but not so far from home. There aren't that many, but some are dotted about so look them up. Here's a list of Lidos around the UK.


5. Do something for charity

There are various runs organised by charities:

Run 10k for Cancer Research UK

Run with the British Heart Foundation

The 2009 adidas Women's 5K Challenge

Or try something a bit different:

Macmillan cancer support big picnic

Liverpool to Chester Bike Ride 2009

Great North Swim 2009

Volunteer for Shelter

6. Go to a local park

Revisit your childhood. Go for a picnic, plan a game of football or rounders, or just relax outside. It costs nothing, you don't have to travel far, and best of all you don't have to be home by 5 o'clock.

7. Work experience

If you've got more uni to go – take advantage of some of your free-time in the summer by getting some work experience. It's more desirable than ever and employers really have their pick of the bunch at the moment - so it's definitely worth spending a few weeks gaining some experience so you can stand out from the crowd.


8. BBC Proms

The Proms last from 17 July to 12 September and if you book early enough you can get tickets for only £7.00


9. See a film

Summer releases:

Public Enemies – July 1st

Bruno - July 10th

Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince - July 15th

Inglourious Basterds – August 21

Or if you don't like the cinema, rent a film – Blockbusters have various vouchers circulating. If you're really strapped for cash, try visiting your local library as you can rent some reasonably new titles on the cheap.


10. Get a Job!

If that overdraft has reached its limit and you don't want to spend 3 months doing nothing this is pretty much your only option (unless you're willing to ponce from your parents.) It is guaranteed to look good on your CV and it will definitely help soften the blow of getting a full-time job after uni!


11. Comedy Clubs

If you're just finishing your last year at uni you might need some comic relief in between applying for jobs.


12. Go Camping!

Spend a night with Mother Nature - she'll definitely show you a good time. It's cheap and fun – as long as you close your tent properly bugs shouldn't be too much of a problem. A disposable barbeque costs a few pounds (check you're allowed to use them at the campsite) and head to a supermarket before to stock up on beer, meat and marshmallows.


13. De-clutter

What better time to sort out the bills, rent and tuition letters that you never had to deal with before you went to uni. Keep them all together, and keep essays and lecture notes in a separate place – you'll need them eventually for revision.

If you've just finished uni, you'll probably be surprised how much stuff you've accumulated in 3 years. It's a good idea to de-clutter by getting rid of any cowboy hats, traffic cones and that oh-so-original collection of empty alcohol bottles.

14. Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Boasting as the number one tourist attraction in Britain, this is worth a visit with something for everyone, including theatre, comedy, music, dance and exhibition. It's on between 7 and 31 August and tickets are available from £18.


15. Notting Hill Carnival

Want to know what the fuss is about? Notting Hill hosts one of the biggest carnivals in Europe with music, costumes and food. What more could a student want?


16. London Fashion Week

If you don't know your Armani from your Cavalli this might not be for you, but if fashion is your thing then you'll only have to wait until 18 September for the Spring/Summer 2010 collection.


17. Bowling

If you're secretly competitive and don't want anyone to know – don't go bowling. It will come out. Most Bowling Alleys offer student discounts so be sure to flash that card.


18. Theme Parks

Theme Parks are a great day out (unless you're under 1.4ft). The massive adrenalin rushes are bound to left you feeling exhausted but it's well worth it. Best to try and go when the kids are at school so try the beginning or end of summer.


20. Learn a new skill

Could be anything from learning to knit, play archery or cook. Often there are courses that aid future plans, such as an acting course for students entering the dramatic world or language courses for those going abroad.


21. Hit the beach

It wouldn't be summer without a trip to the beach. All you need is a towel and a swimsuit (unless it's a nude beach), and about £1.50 for a 99 Flake.

22. Read

Take at look at our our 50 best summer reads. Or if you're fancy bringing out your inner geek, check out the reading lists for your units next year and do a bit of advanced ready in preparation.

23. Appreciate some culture

There is a feast of exhibitions being held across the UK this summer. Bristol Museum is hosting Banksy's biggest ever exhibition, The O2 is holding their Body Worlds exhibition, and the National Portrait gallery is holding Beatles to Bowie – with rare photos of 60's legends.

Don't forget about those school trips you went on but never really appreciated as a child - The Royal Observatory in Greenwich, the Tate Modern, the Natural History Museum, Zoos, Aquariams and Castles. They're much more fun without a guardian.

24. Have a barbeque

A summer classic. If everyone brings a small selection of different foods it doesn't cost much, you just need a garden, and of course a barbeque.

25. Make the most of it

You've heard it before and you'll hear it again, but you really won't fully appreciate all this free-time and lack of responsibility until it's gone. So make sure you have fun and don't put off the things you want to do this summer, because you'll never get a chance again like this one.