Ahh, the fall semester is finally over and we’re all looking forward to going home and binge watching our favorite Netflix series in fuzzy winter-patterned pajamas, downing questionably large amounts of our mom’s homemade hot chocolate and avoiding the polar vortex at all costs. While it’s important to relax and take a breather after a crazy semester, it’s also important to make sure you use your winter break in a productive way so that you’re not behind when it’s time to come back to campus.
Winter break is the perfect time to get started on job and internship searches, and accomplish things that you haven’t had time to over the course of the semester. Here are ten tips to staying productive over your winter break.
1) Catch up on Netflix/other TV shows.
You probably weren’t expecting that to be the first thing on the list (if you were even expecting it on here at all). BUT, winter break is a time to relax and unwind, and we’re not going to tell you otherwise. It’s hard to stay caught up on your favorite TV shows during school, so why not catch up now? This will increase your productivity by getting rid of something that’s been nagging at the back of your mind–we know you’ve been dying to know what’s been happening on the latest adventures of The Walking Dead. Now, your curiosity can be satisfied.
2) Organize your room at home.
If you’re like us, you probably didn’t bring all of your belongings to school with you. It’s time to go through your bedroom at home and figure out what you can donate or get rid of. The graphic t-shirt from 2008 hanging in your closet that’s no longer funny can probably go.
3) Research and apply for jobs or internships.
Well, of course this is going to be on here. Utilize your MyCCO account and other websites out there to look for jobs and internships. The job research and application process is time consuming and exhausting. It’s hard to find time to research all of the possible internships out there, and even harder to find the time to complete the applications. Some places will have you take cognitive tests or write essays. It’s better to get these things out of the way while you’re not taking classes so that you aren’t stressing yourself out, trying to find time for them when you come back.
4) Work on your professional brand.
Now is the perfect time to spruce up your resume, write cover letters, add to your portfolio and, clean up your LinkedIn profile. Haven’t had time to update your stuff this semester? Add any valuable experience you may have had to your resume or any new projects to your portfolio. Also, use this free time to write personalized cover letters for all of the companies you want to apply to, even if their application hasn’t come out yet. You most likely already know what you want to say, so you may as well do it while you have the time to write a good cover letter. Be sure to check out our Pinterest for a lot of good tips and tricks.
5) Read a book (for fun).
Reading takes up a good deal of time, and nothing is more captivating than getting caught up in a good book.
6) Find ways to earn extra money.
After Christmas, you’re either extra broke from buying presents for all of your friends and family, or your bank account is feeling extra happy after all the gift money you’ve gotten. Either way, look for ways to earn a little extra cash. This could be something as simple as babysitting your cousins or shoveling your neighbors’ driveways. Having some extra money saved up will take even less stress away once you get back to campus.
7) Get in shape.
Healthy body=healthy mind. If you aren’t looking to drop some extra cash on a gym membership, look up ways to stay in shape and exercise at home. With all the free time you’re probably not used to having, why not try to get in shape? Some extra push ups here and there will help to keep off those extra pounds from all slices of Aunt Karen’s pie you’ve eaten over the holidays.
8) Apply for scholarships.
Did you know there are thousands upon thousands of scholarships out there? And you can get them for something as simple as being a girl, taller than 5’10? Do some research and apply for scholarships that may be applicable to you. Applying for scholarships is another time consuming thing that is often forgotten about during the school year, but can be very helpful once you sit down and put some effort into it.
9) Brush up on some old hobbies/ practice some new skills.
Is there anything you’ve been dying to try, but haven’t had time? Or maybe you used to play the piano, but haven’t had time to keep up with it? Now is the time to start practicing again! Been meaning to make some of the recipes you’ve seen on Pinterest? We’re sure your parents wouldn’t mind letting you take the reigns in the kitchen while you’re home. Winter break is the perfect time to try new things or practice old things.
10) Don’t sleep all day.
While it’s important to catch up on sleep, and it’ll be nice being able to sleep in your bed at home without your 7:30 AM alarm buzzing in your ears, try not to devote too much time to sleeping this break. Not only will it mess up your sleeping schedule for when you come back to school, but it’ll make you less productive during the day. Try to find a happy medium and be consistent over your break.
Follow these tips and you’ll come back from break fully refreshed and organized. We’ll be open during break during normal drop in hours, but if you’re going home, you can always stop by when you get back to have us check over your freshly edited resume and cover letters. We’re happy to help. Have a great winter break, Boilermakers!