You’ve tackled your last assignments and finals week. Now you’re off for a few weeks and plan to spend your time accruing countless hours of couch time. You could binge watch your favorite Netflix series (or two!), or you could use your time more wisely by planning for the upcoming year.
While unwinding after your last semester is encouraged, here are some ideal ways to make the most of your time during winter break:
- Update your resume: Even if you’ve never needed a resume before, now is the perfect time to create one. Not sure where to begin? Check out free templates to help you get started. Make sure to include any significant accomplishments you’ve made, internships, jobs, volunteering efforts, relevant school activities, and coursework. Your school counselor can review your resume and provide feedback on how to improve it.
- Create a LinkedIn profile: Your profile is a great place to showcase your new or updated resume, and recommendations from professors or former work colleagues. Remember to include a suitable photo in your profile. Employers are constantly looking for skills that match open job positions, so including your skills is crucial.
- Set personal goals: With 2020 almost behind us, now is the perfect time to look ahead and decide what you’d like to accomplish in 2021. Jot down a list of personal and academic goals you’d like to achieve, and timelines to reach them.
- Make a budget: You know what your college expenses are by now. Plan a monthly budget of what you can afford after paying your college and living expenses. If you’re looking to add extra funds to your savings in case of an unexpected expense, make sure to factor that into your budget.
- Look for a job: Whether you’re planning to work during the school year or wait until summer, now is a good time to start looking for future employment. Many colleges have career resources available to help students, from resume writing to interviewing skills. Make sure to take advantage of these resources.
- Resell your old textbooks: If you have any purchased textbooks sitting around, there are many online retailers who are eager to buy them from you. Make sure they are in good condition for maximum resale value.
- Search for scholarships: Now is a great time to search for scholarships to help finance your education. Check out Peterson’s scholarship search database to access over $10 billion in private aid. Since many scholarships require you to write a short essay, utilize this time to turn your words into opportunities to help fund your degree.
- Find internships: If you’re looking for a way to gain experience in your chosen field, an internship is a great way to start. Check out Chegg Internships and search by keyword and location to find internship opportunities near you.
- Get organized: Winter break is a great time to go through your room and find things to donate, recycle, or toss. Decluttering is a great way to start the year feeling organized and accomplished.
- Schedule appointments: From having your annual physical to taking your car in for an oil change, now is the perfect time to check some items off your to-do list that you’ve been putting off for months.
- Get fit: The holidays are notorious for overeating and under exercising. From yoga to skiing to walking the dog, taking time out to work out is not only good for your body, it’s a great way to de-stress and form healthy habits. It also promotes better sleep and concentration, both of which are needed when the new semester starts.
- Spend time with family: Take this opportunity to spend quality time with your family to cook together, enjoy the outdoors, watch movies, or revisit old photos.
- Read a book: Wouldn’t it be great to finish that novel you started a year ago? While you probably associate reading with coursework, choose a book you enjoy that relates to your interests.
- Take a cooking class: Even during a pandemic, there are a number of online cooking classes you can take, some free and others for a low monthly fee. Learning basic cooking skills is something everyone can benefit from. Find the class that’s right for you and get some culinary experience without even leaving your home.
- Catch up with friends: Reconnect with friends you haven’t spoken to in a while. Tools such as FaceTime and Zoom make it easy to reach out to friends safely during this time while still feeling connected.
Finding the right balance between relaxing and being productive can be achieved with a little effort. Whatever you decide to do this winter break, we hope you head back to school feeling refreshed and ready to take on the new year.