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    In about a month I will have finished my yr 13 exams and will have possibly the longest summer holiday of my life. While that sounds great to most people, in my last long summer (from yr11 to yr12) I felt really down, developed an eating disorder and started self harming. I'm currently dreading having to start this summer holiday.

    I guess I was just wondering if anyone who feels the same has any tips on how to remain happy through the summer holidays? (I'm aware I sound like a completely boring nerd!)

    Hey, I'm sorry that you spent your summer that way. I would suggest that you start planning your summer as soon as you can, I'm doing so now.

    First of all I would organise something productive, work experience would be great if you can get it through family or friends etc but there are also a few useful links below:
    Put together a CV of your extra curricular stuff and predicted grades and just start sending emails!

    This is a great think that will be invaluable in later life when you are applying for a job.

    Also, I would look into getting a summer job or two, such as working in a local cafe etc, ask around your area there is no harm in trying. This will also give you funds for next year and towards the rest of your summer.

    Next, I would plan something with friends. I'm not sure whereabouts you're from but there are festivals all over the UK, do some research, many are free and these will really make your summer heat, they are so much fun! If you can't get together friends to camp,go to a day festival they are just as good.

    I would compile a list of things and goals you want to get done this summer, that will make it easier to get things done and give you something to work towards and to look forward to!

    The more you have to look forward to and the busier you are the less likely it is for you to feel bad about yourself.
    The sooner you start planning the better!


    Well done on completing Year 13 I'm sure a well deserved break is in order, however you may feel about having so much free time on your hands.

    I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties you experienced last summer, and I hope you're feeling better now. Just remember that this year is a new, and, most importantly, different year, and you deserve to enjoy your time off, especially after working so hard!

    Although I haven't experienced exactly the same difficulties as yourself, I do empathise from the point of view of someone who is currently recovering from mental illness.

    I would advise that you spend your time doing everyday things that you enjoy, as well as giving some thought to activities which will benefit both your physical and mental wellbeing.

    You could do something educational, like take up an evening class (though perhaps you'll have had enough of education for a while after your exams!). Or perhaps you'd like to do something more social, maybe join a local society or group? Another thing which can prove highly rewarding is voluntary work - even if you only give up a couple of hours of your time, helping others is a great way to boost your confidence and self-worth.

    I guess my suggestions so far have been pretty activity-oriented, but what I really want to say is surround yourself with people who love and care for you, spend time doing things that you enjoy and never be afraid to seek help when needed (I've learnt that that's what STRONG people do).

    Take care, wishing you an enjoyable summer x

    P.S. You are FAR from a 'completely boring nerd'
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