The long-awaited winter break, a time we look forward to but often don’t take advantage of. If you’re like me, you spend hours lounging on the couch, catching up on sleep, binging your favorite Netflix show, and doing absolutely nothing. Although it is nice to embrace our inner sloth, there are things we can do to truly make the most out of our winter break.
First and most importantly, relax! You’ve endured five months of intense brain engagement and finals week. Your body and brain need time to just relax. It is scientifically proven that relaxation reduces symptoms of mental health problems and stress. How this looks for each individual will vary, but do what works best for you. Light a candle, take a bubble bath, retail therapy, meet up for coffee with a close friend, etc.
Second, analyze how your previous semester went and make adjustments accordingly. If you found yourself running late to your 8:30 A.M. class, perhaps go to bed earlier or choose a class that starts later. If you had a hard time keeping up with deadlines, invest in a planner that caters to your needs. Perhaps you spent a little too much money on food this past semester, learn a few recipes to cook for yourself and create a budget. College is all about evolving as a person. Winter break is a great time for self-reflection.
Third, pick up a new hobby. Most importantly, don’t give up if you don’t master the art of your new hobby at first. Stick with it, you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish. This past winter break I rekindled my love for crocheting. It was difficult at first to re-learn, but I soon found myself crocheting hats that could double as a Christmas present.
Fourth, shadow an employee in your field of interest. This is the perfect chance to establish connections for future jobs. Branding yourself, building relationships, and networking in your desired field will be integral in the job search process. Shadowing also affirms if this is the career path you want to go into through hands-on experience.
Fifth, plan exciting trips for the summer. The best motivation to finish the semester strong is a nice vacation to look forward to. Additionally, by planning early you’ll be able to start saving and budgeting in advance. I suggest going somewhere out of your comfort zone. For some that may be studying abroad; others, it could be a flight to the Virgin Islands or a road trip through the states. Whatever it may be, I guarantee it’ll give you the extra boost to keep moving forward when the second semester comes around.
Sixth, catch up on current events. Whether it be reading the newspaper, watching the news, talking to someone, it is vital to be educated and informed on events going on outside of campus. Knowledge is power and we can use our voice to educate others and speak up about topics going on in our society.
Winter break can be a great opportunity for all the things you’ve been wanting to accomplish but never got around to doing. No matter if you choose to work, pick up a new hobby or just catch up on sleep and lounge around, there will always be ways to make this time intentional and beneficial. Free time is something we as college students aren’t able to enjoy frequently, be sure to make the most out of it.
Fort Hays State University