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.

Preparing for College Equals Preparing for Life

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As one of the most important periods in your life, going off to college will be a challenging transition into adulthood that can affect your future. During this time, you’ll have an opportunity to acquire some healthy and constructive life habits, expand your knowledge and gain valuable experiences. From having more personal independence to socialising with diverse people, your college years will be truly enriching. And you’ll encounter more than a few life lessons even before your freshman year.

Self-exploration and self-assessment

When choosing a college, you should keep in mind that, to some extent, you’re choosing your future. This is a major life decision that shouldn’t be made hastily. You’ll need to explore your options and think about where do you see yourself in the future. Of course, you can never know what the future holds for you, but knowing your interests and setting some personal goals will get you on the right track. Thus, the first life lesson that college teaches you is that you should possess a level of self-awareness. You should know your strengths and weaknesses, assess your knowledge and skills and get to know your interests. This will enable you to make the right decision when it comes to college selection and increase your chances of success.

Pre-college preparation

Once you’ve chosen a college, you can focus on preparing for your entrance exam. The sooner you start, the better because you’ll have enough time to prepare, cover the subject in depth and relieve a lot of pressure. Not only will this help you get into the desired college, but it will also provide you with a solid basis for your future studies. Depending on your field of interest, there’s a lot of courses you can take to prepare for the entrance exam. For example, if you want to study the English language and literature, you can take a College English Placement Test and cover areas such as reading comprehension or writing skills. On the other hand, if you want to enroll in medical school, you should prepare and study thoroughly for the comprehensive GAMSAT questions because this is one of the most difficult fields of study. If you’re interested in math, you can take ACCUPLACER College Level Math Test. Starting your studies with solid prior knowledge in the field will greatly facilitate your transition into college.

Starting with a bang

Once your college year starts, you may feel completely overwhelmed by all of your assignments and responsibilities. You’ll find yourself torn between completing your duties and exploring all the excitements of the student life. What you shouldn’t do is neglect your obligations in order to party or immerse yourself completely in your studies without giving yourself a break. Finding the right balance now can really help you both during your studies and later on in life when you’ll need to balance your work and personal life. Even if you spend more of your time studying at first, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to have fun later. If you don’t let your assignments pile up and you start studying early on, preparing for your exams will be a lot easier. In addition, you’ll make a great first impression on your teachers, which can really go a long way.

Independent life

For the first time in your life, you’ll be moving away from your home and have more independence. Whether you’ll share an apartment with a roommate or live in a college dorm, you’ll need to learn to take care of yourself. From doing laundry, cooking and cleaning to sharing a room or a flat with a complete stranger, you’ll come across numerous challenges. In addition, with your family at home and your friends studying somewhere else, you may experience homesickness and loneliness. All of this can be quite overwhelming and stressful, so you’ll need to find a way to deal with it. Apart from learning some basic life skills while you’re still at home, you should find a constructive way to relieve stress. In addition, acquiring effective stress-management techniques now can really help you in the future. Don’t hesitate to call your friends and family when you miss them, but make sure not to become socially withdrawn. You’ll have an opportunity to join student organizations where you’ll meet diverse people with shared interests, attend different events and find great volunteering opportunities. Not only will this make your college years more exciting, but it can also help you improve your career prospects.

Going off to college will be one of the greatest changes in your life. However, by preparing for your entrance exam as soon as possible, learning to balance your studies and your personal life and acquiring proper stress-management techniques, this transitional period will pass without any major challenges.

How to Properly Fuel Yourself for Finals

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Finals week getting the best of a student while studying

Finals time is nearly here, and we can feel it all around campus. Everyone’s got that same desperate look in their eyes. But not us! You know why? Because we’ve learned how to properly eat for all-nighters, tests, final papers, and more! Want to learn how to make your own finals fuel out of the food you can find just about anywhere? Read on to see what you should and shouldn’t eat for the best results!

Long Study Sessions

Distraction is our biggest problem when we’re stuck in the library for hours a day. There’s just too much tempting us to look away from our texts and notecards. But, luckily, there are a few foods that can help us keep our attention!

Get out the guacamole for studying! Avocados are rich in Vitamin K and folate — both of which are essential to improve memory, focus, and energy. While you’re snacking, try some walnuts, too. They are linked to getting rid of that hazy feeling you get when you’ve been cramming for long periods of time.

Exam Day

For tests and quizzes, you need instant alertness and high-power fuel from the moment you get out of bed. With the perfect breakfast, you’ll get through your pressure-filled day with extra energy to spare.

Protein is key when you’ve got a lengthy test ahead of you. Egg yolks are awesome energy-boosting options. Add it to whole grain toast to fill you up and avoid embarrassing stomach rumblings. Another great option with similar results is salmon on a wheat bagel. For vegetarians, swap out eggs and fish for greek yogurt.

Finals paper writing

Paper Writing

Final papers require a lot of problem-solving and critical thinking. And when you’re all tapped out from other projects or your day-to-day grind, you need foods that will help you process all that information.

Green, leafy veggies, like you’d find in a giant salad, are known to help fire up your brain’s processing systems. Add some virgin olive oil or coconut oil as dressing to help fight inflammation from typing for hours.

Study Groups and Projects

Whether you love group work or hate it, you have to admit that, when you find the right people to work with, it all comes together. And having a solid study group is an even better tool. Make the work easier with shareable, natural foods everyone will love.

Let’s talk dark chocolate. You can melt it on pretzels or bake it into cookies. But either way, it’s going to help keep you at peak performance. Not only does it have natural sugars when you get the organic kind, but it also lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress! Our suggestion is to melt and cover blueberries. Blueberries are also natural stress reducers. Instant chill!

Portfolios and Creative Projects

Art, music, design, and theater majors have final exams with different demands. When your finals are more about creating or designing, you need foods that can help you think out of the box.

Before you get to your art, have a sip of green tea, which has lower levels of caffeine and promotes cognition. Then, munch on some sushi that releases dopamine. Finish your meal off with a berry pie. Apparently, Steve Jobs used to go on fruit diets to help increase his creativity in the workplace!

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.  

The Best Places on Campus to Study for Finals

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Notecards being prepared for finals week

Ugh. We can’t believe we are saying this, but the countdown to finals is ON. Overwhelmed? So are we. That’s why we are hunkering down and studying early this year. To make sure we’re prepared, we’ve selected the best places on campus to study for finals. Use this as your guide to finding the ultimate productivity place when finishing your paper or cramming for your exams.

The Sweet Spot at the Library

The trick to finding the best place at the library is knowing what to look for. The first is noise. Stay away from computer labs, classrooms, or group rooms. You’ll never get anything done there and will probably be forced to listen to someone else’s music.

The second thing you should look for is lighting. You’ll want to find a spot that isn’t directly under an industrial type light. Instead, go to the windows where there is plenty of sunshine. Natural light helps keep your energy up. You’ll also want to avoid drafty places or spots by vents where the temperatures can fluctuate and make you uncomfortable. And if you’re allergic to dust, avoid the seats in the stacks.

Empty Classrooms or Offices

First and foremost, check your campus rules on this one. You could be putting yourself at risk if your school doesn’t have an open doors policy. But if they’re cool with you utilizing an unlocked classroom or student office space, it could be your next hidden study hangout.

You’ll want one that is off the beaten path, and you will want to go alone on this one just in case something goes down (like someone breaks some technology on accident). If you can, studying in your actual classroom may help you beat test anxiety!

Classroom reserved during finals week for studying

Coffee Shops and Cafes

Everyone goes to Starbucks, but you can get the same kind of ambiance if you try your student-run coffee shop instead. The drinks are cheaper, and it’s more convenient to your dorm and it makes a great place for group reviews.

If you want a more low-key session, go a few hours before close or right when they open (usually around 5:00 AM). You’ll avoid morning and afternoon rushes and will most likely be able to snag the one table with the power bank.

Reserve-a-Room

Some campuses have rooms students or student groups can rent. It’s the perfect solution if you need a ton of space for all of your notes or room to finish a poster project. And you’ll guarantee yourself uninterrupted quiet time for the duration of your stay.

Some rooms you can rent include dorm room offices or group meeting rooms, spaces at your student union, or performing art practice rooms. You may need an advisor or professor to help you reserve, but it shouldn’t cost you anything to do.

The Gym

A little unconventional, but student-athletes will tell you that sometimes the best way to study is to move around while you do it. And there are some studies out there that show that adding movements to memorization can help you better internalize facts and concepts.

Bring your textbook on the elliptical or treadmill. Download a podcast reviewing the subject area so you can spin and learn. Lift weights to an audio version of your chapters. When finished, you’ll feel great and will be ready to take on whatever finals has to bring!

Let us know your favorite place to study for finals on campus! We hope these tips help you ace those upcoming finals!

Black Friday Deals for Students to Look Out For

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Shopping mall during a busy hour

Fall break is here, and we are thrilled for some rest, relaxation, turkey time, and shopping! Black Friday isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but we’re personally stoked for scoring some major deals. With the holidays on our mind and a budget to keep, we’ve got our eye on eight specific items that are must-buys when you’re in college. Here’s our shopping list to help you get started.

  1. Blankets and Bedding

Snuggly and warm go on massive discounts come Black Friday sales. Score new fluffy pillows for under $10. Maximize your warmth with heated throws for pennies on what you’d normally spend. Freshen up your dorm look with inexpensive quilts and flannel sheets sets. When it’s on sale, you can give your room a makeover.

     2. Summer Clothing

It may not be advertised, but Black Friday is almost always the time when stores push all their unpurchased summer clothes to super clearance. Score on basics like t-shirts and tanks. Find a cute dress or two to add to your wardrobe. And don’t forget about replacing your shower flip flops!

Apple and Mac products on desk

     3. Laptops and Tablets

Here’s a pro tip: this is pretty much the only time you’ll get discounted Mac and Apple products, tech fans, but it won’t be much. Instead, consider standing in line for a very inexpensive, yet durable Chromebook or tablet as a stand-in. It’s perfect for college student needs, and you can often grab one for under $200!

     4. Entertainment Tech

When we think of Black Friday, we think of TVs. But a new flat screen isn’t the only thing we’re picking up this year. Headphones, especially big brand names, are always price cut. And don’t forget speakers, game consoles, and Blu Ray players.

     5. Fitness Gear and Clothes

Ahead of New Year’s resolutions, stores start to push activity and fitness items out the door come Thanksgiving. Popular items include activity watches, workout armbands for your phones, hand weights, yoga mats, and running shoes. At least you’ll work off your turkey calories.

     6. Movies and Games

We sometimes find Black Friday to be a crapshoot when it comes to smaller entertainment items, but not this year! So many stores are putting out deep discounts on movies and video games that we actually want to own. There’s even talk of Cyber Monday deals with downloadable movies from sites like Amazon!

French press and coffee mug

     7. Kitchen Appliances and Utensils

This is the time to replace your mom’s old coffee maker or that rice cooker that’s on its last limbs. With appliances going for as little as $10, you can buy a lower brand model and then replace each Black Friday for the same price or less as an expensive version.

     8. Jewelry and Accessories

Besides cheesy gold and silver mom-type jewelry, accessories don’t get enough hype this shopping season. But if you know where to look, you can find statement pieces that are totally your style. A great trick is to go to a clothing store you love and browse their selection. More than likely, they’ll put a sale ticket on small items like jewelry and you know the style will be close to what is already in your closet.

There you have it – our list of the top deals you should start scouting out for Black Friday! Let us know where you find the best deals and who you were able to cross off of your holiday shopping list!

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!