Classic Spooky Movies to Get you in the Halloween Spirit

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Ready to get into the spirit of Halloween?  If you’re totally over studying and class or just looking for something fun to do with friends, breaking out the Halloween movies is the perfect way to kick back.

On the hunt for the perfect list of classic Halloween movies to get your Spook-tober in full swing?  Look no further – we’ve rounded up our top 10 favorite Halloween movies to help you get into the spirit of the season.

HALLOWEEN

Ah, the classic of all modern classic horror movies.  Halloween is definitely one of the best movies to watch to get you into the spooky spirit of the season.  And the best part?  You can totally hit up the new movie coming out and compare how scary it is.

SCARE FACTOR – 8/10

HOCUS POCUS

Who can forget the Sanderson sisters?  Hocus Pocus brings all of our favorite witches to the table with a not-quite spooky story and a fabulous song and dance number that will get stuck in your head all season long.

SCARE FACTOR – 2/10

SCREAM

Not quite a “classic” in terms of how long it’s been around, Scream is definitely on our list of favorite scary movies.  A play on the classics, this movie packs a suspenseful story and our favorite 90’s actors.

SCARE FACTOR – 7/10

IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN!

One of our all-time favorites and one of the greatest Halloween classics is definitely It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!  Short and sweet, this baby packs in everything you need for a happy (not quite so spooky) Halloween.

SCARE FACTOR – 0/10

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE

Not the remake, but the original.  Made in 1974, this scary movie really brings the scares, keeping you freaked out and on the edge of your seat from start to finish.  Just be sure to watch with the lights on.

SCARE FACTOR – 9/10

THE ADDAMS FAMILY

Not too scary as much as silly, The Addams Family is definitely on our list of seasonal favorites.  This story brings the spooky Halloween spirit and jokes that are still funny, even today, all wrapped up with fantastic acting and great costumes.

SCARE FACTOR – 1/10

THE EXORCIST

If you’re not a fan of possessions, stay away.  This movie is super creepy and will have you hiding your eyes almost as soon as the music starts to play, with a story that can and will haunt you for days.

SCARE FACTOR – 8/10

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW

Maybe not your definition of a classic Halloween movie, but this one is perfect for helping you get into the spirit and maybe chase away some of the leftover fear you have from watching one of the scarier flicks.

SCARE FACTOR – 2/10 (unless you’re afraid of men wearing fabulous eyeshadow)

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

Really looking for a movie to scare you out of your mind?  A Nightmare on Elm Street is totally it.  Just be sure to watch this with your roommate or friends – you may find that you won’t ever want to sleep again after watching it.

SCARE FACTOR – 7/10

THE CRAFT

Another great hit out of the 90’s, The Craft is definitely on our list of Halloween movies.  Preppy outfits, classic 90’s makeup and hair, and a spooky story that isn’t too scary, this movie has it all.

SCARE FACTOR – 4/10

 

Let us know what you think of our classic Halloween movie list! Do you have any favorites that didn’t make the list?

April Fools Jokes to Play on Your Friends

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Clown preparing for a performance

Hey pranksters — the best day of the year is here! April Fools is the celebration of all things pranks and jokes, and we can’t be more pumped for it. This year, we’re going all out by targeting our friends and roommates. Here’s our list of the best jokes for college students. Have fun watching their faces…

The Sweet Switcheroo

This year, April Fools timed up with Easter giving you plenty of opportunities for some great mischief. “Gift” your friends chocolate eggs with grapes inside instead. Fill Oreo cookies with mayo instead of frosting. Frost a balloon and have your friend “cut into it.”

The Beauty Blunder

Like the Switcheroo, there’s a lot of pranks out there about soap and shampoo. Our favorite is painting a bar of soap with clear nail polish and listen as your frustrated friend can’t lather up. But outside of shower items, you can add flour to a hairdryer or offer to share a new facemask you swear by that’s really kid’s slime.

The Fake Out

What’s every college student’s worst nightmare? A failed paper. Set up an email account with an address similar to a professor’s. Send a stern email to your friend about how disappointed you are and how they need to redo the paper all over again. Send back the assignment with a big note that says, “APRIL FOOLS.”

The Fake Out 2

What’s the next best fake? A good parking ticket. Every driver dreads getting hit with a huge fine for something silly like “parking like a jerk” or “parking on the seventh Tuesday of the 13th month.” Do a google search for fake tickets to print out and enjoy as they rant and rave about unfair parking rules!

The Traps

College students are excellent at trapping their roommates and friends inside their dorm. I’ve seen students saran wrap doorways for unexpecting friends running late for a study group. There’s also the popular post-it everywhere method. But our hands-down favorite is placing cups full of small amounts of water all over the floor from their bed to the doorway. It’s worth it to see them try to get out without spilling.

The Freeze (Or Jell-O) Out

It’s relatively easy to inconvenience someone! We love freezing their keys in a bowl of water or wrapping their school supplies in saran wrap and then placing in Jell-O mix. Leave your roommate with a dull knife or a chisel. You don’t want to be too mean…

 The Scare Prank

Sometimes the best pranks are the ones that get your heart racing. There are few easy ones you can do that won’t induce heart attacks but will get a scream out of your unsuspecting friend. Try tapping a celebrity’s scary face to their ceiling when they wake up or to their window when they pull up their blind. Add a fog horn to their chair. Tape balloons to the side of the door where the hinges are. And if you really want to get them good, send them a bill for their student loans!

That’s a list of some of our favorite April Fools jokes. Let us know your favorites and if you were successful!

Make Your Own Shamrock Shake for St. Patrick’s Day

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Forget March Madness. There’s only one season that matters this time of year — Shamrock Shake season! That’s right. March is here, and McDonald’s finally has the uber delicious Shamrock Shake back on its menu. Since it’s only around for a limited time, there are not many chances of scoring our favorite green, minty dessert drink. Luckily for us, we’ve found a few DIY versions that hold up to the original. Here’s how you can make your own Shamrock Shakes for St. Patrick’s Day (and beyond).

What You’ll Need

For any kind of shake, you’ll probably want a drink mixer, blender, or hand mixer (if you’re okay making a mess with it). But blenders and mixers can be hard to come by if you’re in a dorm room. Most residence hall rules forbid them. If that’s the case for you, we recommend grabbing a mason jar and canceling your arm workouts for the week.

As for ingredients, your base is simple: 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream (full fat and with sugar is best), 1 cup of whole fat milk, ½  teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 3 tbsp chocolate syrup. To get the green look, you’ll want green food coloring or green sugar sprinkles. If you’re all about the toppings, the classic recipe also has a generous amount of whipped cream and a cherry. You can find all these ingredients at the grocery store.

How to Make

To get the best consistency, let the ice cream sit out for five to ten minutes to soften. You can microwave to speed it up but only do it for a few seconds at a time.

Then, place the ice cream in the blender with the milk, vanilla, and optional food coloring. Blend for ten-second intervals until smooth and drinkable. You don’t want to see chunks of ice cream leftover. If you’re blender-less, place everything in a mason jar with a tight lid and get shaking. It will take a while, so be prepared to feel sore in the morning (it will be worth it).

Add the chocolate to your glass by swirling it around inside before pouring your shake. Top with the whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherry for presentation. We recommend a giant straw to go with it.

Ideas for a Healthier Version

It’s not impossible to make a low-fat version of the shake. After all, eating healthy shouldn’t be eating boring! And besides, who wants to skip out on a Shamrock Shake?

It’s all about finding the right alternative ingredients that still give you the same great taste and flavor. We recommend replacing your ice cream with a low carb version like Halo Top or Arctic Zero which boost low fat, low calorie, and high protein offerings. Mix it with skim or 0% milk for even fewer calories.

Go ahead and skip the toppings, including the chocolate, while you’re at it. But if you still want to make it decadent, let yourself splurge on melted dark chocolate which is rich in nutrients and great for a treat.

After all, everyone should be able to indulge in a Shamrock Shake for St. Paddy’s Day!

Tips to Stay Healthy This Semester

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Getting back into the groove of school can be challenging after winter break. You just spent a few weeks kicking back, enjoying the holidays, hanging out with friends without a care in the world. You’ve conquered finals! Nothing to worry about until new classes start! You earned a bit of relaxation.

Except now that break is over, you’re back in the real world: back to hectic schedules, walking across campus, and constantly braving the cold. The average undergrad student spends about 3 hours getting ready and walking to and from class. There’s hardly any time to focus on school work, let alone think about staying healthy — and I’m not talking about hitting the rec center.

We all get sick this time of year, but there’s a reason that college campuses get hit particularly hard. Freshmen, in particular, are vulnerable. It wouldn’t have been that bad to get sick over break — but now, just when you’re starting to get back into the swing of things? A bad cold can make it difficult to study, and bad flu can set you back a few weeks. How can you stay healthy this semester?

What Everyone Knows But Doesn’t Do

Stop it before it even starts … Diseases spread more during winter months because everyone holes up indoors. That means that all those communal surfaces have more germs than you’d think. The average desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. In order to prevent getting sick, follow some common sense advice!

  • Wash your hands thoroughly, regularly. If you live somewhere with cold, dry air, make sure to moisturize afterward.
  • Carry hand sanitizer for sticky situations. Many schools will give small containers out for free, so be on the lookout at career fairs and the like!
  • Don’t share straws, silverware, or pencils that have clearly been chewed on.
  • Don’t touch your mouth or face after spending time in class, the library, or any high-traffic area.
  • Get a flu shot. Most colleges offer these for free! Since this year’s flu season is going to be particularly bad, make sure you get yours.

Yeah, you might know all this already. This is just a friendly reminder to actually follow the advice this year.

Advanced Advice

Alright, those are the basics, but what else can you do to prevent from getting sick? Well, there are a couple of habits that make college students particularly vulnerable.

Are you getting enough sleep? And, no, in class doesn’t count. You probably need around 8 hours a night. That might sound like a dream, but without proper sleep your immune system is vulnerable. If you just can’t make it to 8 hours during the night, though, don’t be ashamed to take a nap. Better you lose a few hours of studying than a few days of class.

Naps can also lower your stress level, which is hugely helpful towards maintaining a healthy immune system. Make sure you are taking time to relax. Too many college students are too busy multitasking and resume-building that they work themselves to bed.

Be aware of your surroundings. This is one of the hardest things to monitor but by far the most helpful. Many college dorms are cramped spaces filled with as many people as possible. This is the perfect environment for bacteria and viruses to spread. If your roommate says they are not feeling well, stock up on antibacterial wipes and vitamin C!

Know When to Get Help

Too many college kids are so worried about saving money that they spread disease and get worse when they should’ve gone to the doctor. Your college probably has a clinic on campus, and they will work with you to cut down on the cost! There’s no reason you should continue to languish in misery when there are medications and treatments to help you get back on your feet.

If you’ve been sick for more than a couple days, consider that you might have something more serious. That sore throat might be strep — the differences between the flu and pneumonia aren’t as obvious as you’d think — and having a fever for multiple days is a definitely a cause for concern. If you’re worried that this could be something more, go to the doctor and encourage friends to do the same.

Staying healthy in college is more challenging than most people think. Between classes, work, and juggling a social life, you’re stressed enough as it is. This is just one more thing to think about. However, if you’re health lags behind, you can’t really juggle anything else. Staying in tip-top shape needs to be a priority this winter. So bundle up and use your head!

Preparing for The Spring Semester

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University during the spring semester

We hate to do this, but we need to talk about how the spring semester is only a week or two away. Ugh. Reality bites, but it’s time to face it. We want this semester to be the best one yet, and that means being as prepared as we can be. Here’s the checklist we’ve made to ensure we’re going to rock our spring classes.

Grab Extra Supplies

We’ve got leftover pens and notebooks, but that’s not enough. We need to pick up the little things like notecards and highlighters so we’re not surprised when we run out mid-semester. No last minute runs to the office supplies store means less pressure and more time at peak studying mode.

Bookstore

Rent Your Books In Advance

We’re all about a good bargain, especially when it comes to expensive textbooks. That’s why it is critical that you reserve your textbooks way in advance from third-party sites like Amazon or Barnes and Nobles. Even your bookstore may run out of rentals if you wait until the last minute to get it done.

Change Out the Wardrobe

Clothes are just as important as supplies or books, but we continuously forget this step! Winter break is the time to replace your fall flannel and summer shorts with snow boots and thick cardigans. Come spring break, change it out again for your warm weather clothing. It will save you space and laundry back at your residence hall.

Review the Last Semester

Your grades for the fall semester should be in by now which means it’s time for a reckoning. Where did you struggle? Where weren’t you challenged? It’s time to do a realistic and honest intervention for yourself, especially if your grades weren’t pristine.

Tranquility of yoga alone on the mountains

Cut Out What Doesn’t Bring You Joy

We’re all about making this year the year of minimalism. That means taking the things that didn’t make us happy, smarter, or more productive last semester and cutting them out. It’s tough to say goodbye to a favorite club or activity, but if it’s not getting us to where we need to be, there’s no reason not to say goodbye before the spring semester begins.

Set SMART Goals

Was #4 too real for you? Then you probably need to rethink your semester goals. If you want to be more successful, try setting SMART Goals. SMART stands for “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.” Every goal should be within your reach, as specific as possible, able to be reviewed at a particular time. For example, set a SMART Goal of getting a B in Chemistry 101 by midterms.

Read Through Your New Syllabi

Our biggest pet peeve is when a professor assigns a homework assignment while we’re still on break! But it happens, so we need to be prepared by making sure we’re not behind on the first day. Take ten minutes out of your days off to read through the syllabus, add due dates of papers and projects to your planner, and note any major exams that you’ll need to put some time aside for.

These are just a few of the things that we thought of that can help you get the spring semester off to a great start. Let us know if you have any other tips that you personally find helpful during those first few weeks!

9 Activities for College Students Between Christmas and New Years

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Taking time to relax at home after finals week over Christmas break

Winter break is, by far, one of the best times of the year. Of course, we’re off school and finally relaxing after a stressful finals marathon. There’s also the holidays to celebrate with presents and treats to keep us occupied. However, in between Christmas and New Years is a blank space where nothing much happens. Instead of being bored, we’ve made a list of the top 9 things you can do between Christmas and New Years that will make the most of your winter break.

  1. Winter Wardrobe Updating

The best time to shop for deals on winter clothes? Right after Christmas! Everyone’s got great deals on dresses, pants, coats, hats, etc. And you’ll want a new outfit for your NYE party anyways! Go splurge a little and do some wardrobe remodeling.

      2. Get Yourself on Track

You could wait till the New Years to start a workout routine, but that’s kind of a waste. Instead, beat the crowds and get to the gym when it’s still quiet and deserted. Your body will thank you for the jumpstart.

Enjoying the winter wonderland over the holidays

     3. Pamper and Primp

To us, there’s nothing more relaxing than a fresh new manicure and an awesome haircut. Stand out of the crowd on NYE by gifting yourself a mini-makeover. Spa day required!

     4. Friendmas

There’s Friendsgiving and Galentine’s Day. Why not Friendmas? Get your hometown gang together and hold a white elephant party with gifts you’d rather not have gotten. It’s the perfect excuse to throw a little party.

     5. Prepare for the Inevitable

Spring semester is coming faster than you think. And before you know it, you’ll be on a flight or car ride back to campus. Don’t be left unprepared. Take a day and buy your books and supplies beforehand. Review over the syllabus of your new classes, and take care of any holds on your accounts. Most colleges are open for business.

     6. Volunteer Some Time

After the Christmas rush, many organizations have a dead spot of no volunteers between holidays. Pick up the slack and help others in need by taking a shift at your favorite charity. You can even visit Grandma’s senior home or spend time with some adorable, adoptable puppies.

Time around the fireplace can make for great family memories

     7. Make More Family Memories

While it might be a bit tempting to spend time out of the house, our time with our families is short and always dwindling. This week gives us precious time to spend just a few more hours with the ones who love us most. Do some baking with mom, go on a hike with dad, head over to the mall with younger siblings… it all matters.

     8. Catch Up on Oscar Contenders

Awards season is near! That means that movie theaters in your area are packed with blockbuster hits and indie award nominees. This is the perfect time to get to the theater to see each and every one of them! Make a day to marathon through your top picks, or just choose one or two at random if you’re looking to be surprised.

     9. Refresh and Renew

Pampering isn’t for everyone. Some of us would rather refresh our minds and bodies by connecting with nature, hitting a quiet art museum, or taking a yoga class. After the rush of the holidays, pick an activity that speaks to you, and enjoy the peace and quiet it gives you.

Christmas Decorations for Your Dorm Room

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Christmas decorations on a tree

Seasons greetings! The holidays are almost here, and we are so excited! And sure, we’ve got our minds on vacay, but we’re also dreaming of all the fun ways we celebrate. One of our favorites is decorating. That’s right — just because you live in a tiny dorm room doesn’t mean you can’t get into the spirit. Here are 8 ideas to make your dorm room festive and bright.

Twinkling Lights

The easiest way to give your dorm room a makeover is to change up the lighting. Grab a few strands of Christmas lights and go nuts! Line the ceilings! Make a cool ceiling display above your bed. They’re so inexpensive and easy to find that you can do just about anything with your favorite lights!  

Mini Trees

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree! Grab a mini-sized one from your favorite store and add on tiny ornaments. If you’re more of a DIY-er or want a fun party game, you can cut out a large-sized tree and ornaments using felt fabric. Play pin the star on the tree or make ornaments featuring the faces of your friends.

Door Decor

If your residence hall encourages you to customize your dorm door, this is your time to shine! Grab some rolls of wrapping paper and gift wrap it up. Add stockings full of treats for your neighbors or make a chalkboard snowman for friends to write messages on.

Fake Fireplace

You can’t beat a decoration you just turn on! While you can’t have a space heater, mobile fireplace in your dorm room, you can bring in the ambiance by turning your TV into a cozy hearth. Netflix and Youtube offer countless different versions of hours-long fireplace videos complete with soundtracks and carols — perfect for parties or long nights studying.

Snow on the Windows

If you’re a transplant from colder climates or you love the look of snow in the winter, you can make your own using snow spray or frosted aerosol that wipes clean when you’re done. It gives the room a cool, chilly glow, even if it’s still in the 70s or even 80s outside.

Nothing rings in the holiday season like the smell of pinecones

Smelling Like the Season

You can’t talk about the season without discussing all the awesome smells that make you think of holidays at home. From cookies to cinnamon, everyone’s got their favorite holiday scent. Bring in a few flameless candles or use a wax warmer to bring in that homey vibe.

Custom Wreaths

Wreaths are an easy way to decorate your room while also allowing you to show off your personality and creativity. Purchase a base wreath from a crafting store and then use a glue gun to add tinsel, ornaments, pictures, wooden monograms, ribbon, etc. It’s your look, so make it reflect who you are!

Christmas wreath decorations

Burst of Christmas Color

When we think of Christmas, we think of red, green, and white. You can add these pops to a dorm room with throw pillows, area rugs, window hangings, and wall decor. You can also add jewel tones like silver and gold with ribbon wreaths, desk accessories, and lighting. Visit Pinterest for even more color-based inspiration!

Finals can take their toll on your holiday spirits. Ensure that you enjoy some holiday activities and keep the spirit alive by decorating your dorm room. You can keep it within a budget and have the best room in your hall!

December College Students’ Checklist

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Checklist for college students when they get home on break

December is a notoriously busy month, especially when you’re a student. It’s the time of the year when we look back at what we have accomplished so far but also plan for the holidays, prepare for New Year’s Eve and take the time to sit back with our friends and family and enjoy a little well-deserved rest. Unfortunately, it’s also the ideal period to become lazy and spend most of our time laying on the bed. Instead of wasting time, a better idea would be to take advantage of every free moment you have and use it to finish up on the more pressing matters.

Apply for an internship

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

A lot of students and job seekers either don’t know about this, but one of the best time windows to apply for scholarships and send internship and job applications is before and during the holidays. Of course, you don’t have to spend your entire winter break sending applications day and night and completely miss out on all the holiday fun. Setting aside a couple of hours a day in order to commit to sending applications shows initiative and ensures that your application will be among the first ones to hit the hiring managers table.

Do your holiday shopping ahead of time

Photo by Rita Morais on Unsplash

You’d be surprised just how many people do their holiday shopping at the very last moment. Whether it’s due to commitments or procrastination, we often forget at least someone or something on our shopping list and have to run around like crazy to find a shop that’s still open or a service that won’t take a couple of days to deliver the goods. Doing all your holiday shopping a couple of days earlier means you don’t have to deal with the last-minute rush or break your head trying to find anything decent because all the best items have been sold out.

Don’t forget about your health

Photo by Nick Hillier on Unsplash

Staying healthy and in shape during the holidays is often difficult to accomplish. Who wouldn’t want to sit around the house and munch on the delicious, homemade food all day? Instead of doing what millions of people already do and make a New Year’s resolution to become healthy only to forget about it after a couple of days, it’s better to start working out before the holidays begin to instill habits that will carry you through the break.

Organize your holiday

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

Although holidays are supposed to be the time of year when people sit down and relax with friends and family, most of us take this far too literally and spend our time doing nothing at all for most of the week and try to accomplish as many activities as we can in a day or two. However, you can easily accomplish twice as many things you would normally would simply by making a timetable of your activities and sticking to it. You don’t want to be overwhelmed with commitments the moment holidays are over and with some basic scheduling, you can easily avoid this.

Start sending thank-you notes

Photo by Daniel Lee on Unsplash

Holidays are the time when we should feel grateful and say a heartfelt thank you to those who have done us a favor and helped us during the year. And what better way to show your gratitude than to send someone a handwritten thank-you card? You might think that sending a real letter might be a little outdated, but the look of surprise on those who receive them is absolutely priceless and you can even tie it in nicely with the National Letter Writing Day which falls on the December 7.

Lastly, take the holiday time to recognize your own efforts and accomplishments, no matter how trivial they may seem. You’ve made it through another year of hardships, tests and all-nighters spent studying so take the time to consider what are your greatest strengths and weaknesses and look for ways to improve yourself even further. Get some much-needed rest, but also try to work on accomplishing yourself and any commitments you might have.  

How to Plan the Ultimate Friendsgiving Event

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All the steps needed to plan a great friendsgiving event

Pre-Party

  • Planning your space is crucial to hosting a successful event. Make sure that you have enough seats for everyone around a large table.
  • Creating an event page allows everyone to RSVP quickly and easily.
  • A list with who is responsible for what dish is key to getting a wide variety of foods.
  • Extra utensils are paramount – don’t let anyone eat without them!
  • Everyone loves leftovers, and it reduces cleanup on your part. Have everyone bring extra containers

Party Time

  • The day of the event is sure to be hectic, creating a checklist to ensure you don’t miss a crucial item can help to reduce stress
  • A dress code can make things more interesting, but a dress code with your friends is certainly not a requirement
  • Carving a turkey can be a tricky (and dangerous) process, read or watch a few tutorials ahead of time to help the process go smoothly when it hits the table
  • Activities with friends are always more fun. Football, board games, scavenger hunts, or a pie eating contest can make the occasion especially memorable.
  • Holiday playlists make everything feel more festive. Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube have thousands of playlists to choose from.
  • Party favors can be a gag gift, or something more traditional. They always make the occasion a bit more special.

Post-Party

  • Photos of your Friendsgiving should be shared so you can have an even better event next year!
  • Take those leftovers and you’re all set on food for a few days!
  • Prepare for some Black Friday shopping and scout the deals you want to score.
  • Clean up, or save it until a bit later!

3 Winter Break Alternatives

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Winter is not just for relaxing after finals (although that’s all you’ll be thinking about after finals week!). There’s a lot of great opportunities to fill your winter break, but you have to start planning them now! Everything from plane seats to movie tickets sells out quickly during the holiday season, and especially if you’re going to try to coordinate a group effort on a college kid’s budget, you need to start planning … yesterday.

Study Abroad!

Many programs offer small “winter session” programs that you can do over the holidays. Yes, you could probably do this at your own university, but that wouldn’t be nearly as exciting. If you do study somewhere else over winter, it can be a great way to both be productive and travel.

It’ll also cost significantly less than a whole semester abroad. There are definitely benefits to spending half a year in a foreign place; most importantly, you have more time to learn about the culture, the people, the language, and just explore. However, not every place is for every person. Maybe you can’t stand to be cold or hate humidity, or just don’t want to be away from home for that long. Studying abroad during winter intersession can be a great alternative.

Additionally, just because it’s cold in the US doesn’t mean it’s cold everywhere else. The seasons are flipped in the Southern Hemisphere, so places like New Zealand are 50-75 degrees during December. That’ll seem like heaven after going through winter at school! Take advantage of the time and go somewhere a little warmer than where you are at.

Something like traveling abroad takes a lot of planning and precautions.  You need to get your passport, apply for the correct program, and get your health affairs all situated.  It takes time to get your vaccines up to date and verify your insurance coverage.  So it’s important to get started as early as possible if this is something you’re interested in! Go down to your study abroad office now and get this started, even if you have to wait until spring break or next year!

Travel in the US

There are plenty of great places in travel in the US as well. This has the benefit of not being quite so plan-intensive or expensive. Sure, you’re unlikely to practice a new language while you’re traveling locally, but you will still learn something! Depending on the snowfall where you live, a road trip might not be possible, but you can still travel in the nearby area or by plane.

And because you know the country, you might have a better idea of what’s available to do in each location. Lots of universities have community service programs over winter intersession, and they are hosted in nearby communities or across the nation! If this sounds more up your alley than just planning a relaxing trip willy-nilly, then ask your student council if they offer any programs like this.

Job Shadowing

What? Who wants to work over winter break? That’s why it’s a break, right?

That’s true, and you can certainly spend the entire three or four weeks sleeping in and watching Netflix. If that sounds appealing to you, then this section might not be very useful to you. However, if you want to get ahead in your future career or just get a better idea of what you might be getting into, then consider interning for a company briefly or just shadowing one of their employees.

Now, obviously, not all companies offer these sorts of programs, so it’ll behoove you to call well ahead of winter break and set that up. Not only will this give you a definite plan, but it will also give the company some time to consider what to showcase. It’ll give you a great experience, and it will look stellar on your resume. Winter break might not be when you want to think about resume building, but the sooner you start thinking about it, the better. No one wants to submit only a few lines as a resume.

Winter break is the perfect time to relax, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t accomplish anything over those few weeks. Whether it’s discovering someplace new, helping out your community, or even gaining career experience, you shouldn’t waste the whole break. The only part of it— make sure to sleep in a little!