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#GCTopTips 11: 8 ways to keep your brain active this summer

5 July 2018

The summer holidays are almost upon us - or already here for those who have set their GCSE, A Level or university exams this year! While the summer break is a great opportunity to kick back and relax, it's also a chance to learn something new and find some new things to do in your local area. Keeping your brain active over the summer will not only help you prepare to return to school or college in September, but can also help you utilise all the time you have. Here are our top tips:

Top Tip #1: Make a summer bucket list 

We all have things we want to do, so why not start now? Whether it's something small like improving your score in a sport, or visiting a local attraction; something big like visiting a new country; or learning a new skills, summer is a great time to start, with six weeks to dedicate to your list! Think of five small and big goals you think are attainable by September and see how many you can complete during your summer break.

Top Tip #2: Discover a new great read

The summer break is the perfect length of time to get into a good book - or two! Whether you're interested in fiction, non-fiction, cooking, biographies or true crime, our Libraries team has been scouring the shelves for some great books we think you'll love this summer. Discover our #GCSummerReads on social media throughout the summer on our Facebook and Instagram.

Whether you're picking up your Kindle, or reading the good old fashioned way, there are many benefits to reading, including exercising your brain muscles, expanding your vocabulary, reducing stress and boosting your imagination. What's not to love?

Top Tip #3: Go outside at least once a day

Get outside and enjoy the sun (while it lasts)! Not only does getting out in the sunshine improve your bone health, it also brightens your mood and helps you sleep better - just make sure you wear sunscreen and appropriate protection. Going outdoors at least once a day will encourage exercise, which is great for stress and fun if you do it with friends. Get out a football and kick it around, or go for a walk through the stunning Cotswold countryside.

Top Tip #4: Do some puzzles or brainteasers

Puzzles are not only fun, but a great way to keep your mind active. Whether you're doing a puzzle book by yourself, or playing a game with friends, there's puzzles to suit all abilities. If you're a lover of quizzes, why not create a fun quiz for the whole family to do at a BBQ? Or, if you just want to have a go yourself, check out our GC Summer Quizzes - 'Which college course should I study?' or 'Which career path should I choose?'

Top Tip #5: Take a summer class

For those who love to learn, it doesn't have to stop once the academic year is over. Summer classes are an option if there's a skill you've always wanted to learn, or hobby you'd like to try. Not only are they a great way to keep your mind stimulated, but also an opportunity to meet new friends with similar interests. There's loads of different types of courses available over the summer - check out your local youth centre for recreational classes and clubs; search for local adventure camps; or even your local library.

Top Tip #6: Get a summer job

There are lots of businesses that offer summer work for those aged 16+, including cafés and restaurants, tutoring and babysitting. Not only are summer jobs a great way to meet new people and build on your confidence, but they also keep you active and help you start saving money. There are a number of websites that specialise in summer jobs for college students, including Student Jobs. Or why not speak to GC's Student Development Team about and local opportunities on their Job Board?

Top Tip #7: Cut down on social media

Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends, if you haven't had a chance to see them during the day at school or college, but the summer is a great opportunity to ditch the phone and meet face-to-face instead! Not only will you have much more fun catching up with your friends, but face-to-face communication also improved your confidence and language skills. Taking a detox from social media can also have great health benefits for you; studies have shown that social media can lead to issues like stress - it can be difficult to remember that most people only share the positive and pretty.

Top Tip #8: Explore your local area

How many Gloucestershire attractions have you visited in the last five years? It can be difficult when we live somewhere to to motivate ourselves to visit tourist attractions, but there are so many beautiful and interesting places in Gloucestershire; many are worth visiting! Getting out of the house with your friends or family to some of the county's best attractions can create great memories and you may even learn something new.

If you're a fan of history, why not visit some of Gloucestershire museums, or the famous Gloucester Cathedral? Want to explore the local area - why not visit Symonds Yat or Pitville Park? Or, if you're a fan of fun activities, why not try something like Go Ape in Lydney?

Are you getting your GCSE results this summer? If you're still unsure what you want to do, or even if your results are better than expected and you want to explore different options, pop in to our Cheltenham or Gloucester Campuses on Friday 24 August from 10am - 4pm for our Post-GCSE Advice Day where you'll be able to speak to our lecturers and support staff. There's no need to register!

Why Gloucestershire College?

We have a lot of experience offering Apprenticeships and work-related training. We have industry-standard facilities and experienced teaching staff which provide the ideal complement to work-based learning.

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We'll look after you. We have dedicated teams to help you and a great Learning Mentor scheme.