10 ways to make the most of the holidays

Most students have about four weeks’ holiday every year. The changes to routine that come with holidays can cause some young people to feel stressed. Desire Mbabaali digs up what one can do to make their holiday productive.


BY Desire Mbabaali


The holidays can be a great time to have fun! You literally seem to have all the time in the world; to sleep, watch movies, and deliberately do nothing. But what if you turned that time into doing something more useful? We share 10 constructive things one could throw themselves into during this holiday season.

1. Learn new practical skills
Since one has less demands like school assignments and attending daily classes, they can spare this time to learn new skills that interest them. Flavia Namata, a student of Muteesa I Royal University, says she has already started learning her new passion; baking.
“I have always wanted to learn how to bake cakes and other confectionaries and it’s what I am doing this holiday. It is going to take me only three weeks,” Namata says.

2. Take short courses/ trainings
You will use all the professional and soft skills you can get in the near future so seize such opportunities. Moses Walugembe, a finalist at Victoria University, shares how attending short courses and professional trainings and conferences have given him a clearer vision of his accounting profession.
“Learning never ends and one of the avenues to acquire knowledge is attending such events. It has helped me to network with people in my profession, and interact with the real challenges and issues in the field,” he says.

3. Dedicate yourself to spiritual growth
“Spiritual growth is a very important aspect of everyone’s life that requires consistent nurturing,” Fr Benedict Lumala of Kirombe Catholic Parish, says. Regardless of one’s religion, holiday time creates a good opportunity for one to get invested in nurturing their relationship with God. Vivian Arinitwe, a student at Uganda Christian University, notes that this may mean attending prayers, seminars, teachings and camps, among others.

4. Volunteer
“During holidays, I do voluntary work at a children’s home around my village, and that is what I am doing during my vacation,” Agnes Mwine, a senior six leaver, says. Volunteering may be for charity in different NGOs and charity organisations or in professional organisations. “Volunteering helps one gain experience in the field where they volunteer, and is a platform for socialising with people and creating contacts,” Mwine says.

5. Help with family business
For people whose families own business ventures, holidays are a great time to get absorbed into these.
“Since I finished my examinations, I joined my family at the family farm in Mityana. In addition to helping my family, I have since gained skills in poultry farming and other farming basics,” Sarah Kulabako, a student of Makerere University, says.

6. Take on a part-time job
“Often, I am called upon by a family friend who does outside catering to go work with her. At the end of the day, I go home with about Shs100,000, depending on the job. Imagine if you do this just twice a week!” Ahmed Katongole, a student of Makerere University, says.

7. Have a short term goal
Catherine Amia, a counsellor at Kawempe Youth Centre says instead of waking up without a purpose, have a short term goal, something to work towards every day during holidays. “It can be focusing on exercising, losing weight, reading a book, improving one’s writing, researching about something, learning a new language, among other things,” Amia advises.

8. Get guidance on your career
Furthermore, Amia advises that one can utilise this time to get a mentor or someone to guide them on their career path. “The time can be used to observe, watch and learn from that person. They may as well give you an opportunity to practice as they watch you, and guide you accordingly. One can also get career counselling and guidance from their mentor,” she says.

9. Devote time to family and friends
“Since I am always in hostel, holiday time is the only time I get to stay at home, visit relatives and my old friends. I have already started doing that by spending the whole of last week at my sister’s place,” Joseph Barigye, a student of Mubs, says.

10. Utilise the Internet
The Internet is one of the best things that has happened to millennials, so utilise it to your advantage. “I have always wanted to get a scholarship and I have seriously embarked on that project. One of my brothers got his post-graduate scholarship online so I am also borrowing a leaf,” Shanitah Nanyonga, a Makerere University graduate, says. One can decide to devote their time on developing a personal blog about what they are passionate about, take online courses, do online jobs, boost following on their social media platforms, among others.

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