Your finals are finished, your meal plan is through and you’re all packed up. Congratulations! The semester is now over. Whether you live at home and commute to school, make a long drive back or have to fly cross-country to head home, there’s nothing like that whole-body sigh of relief when you’re struck with the realization that you’re done for the next month. After a few days, you may find that, as wonderful as endless Netflix marathons and sleeping in are, you want to add something to the agenda for the next few weeks. Even though the last days of the semester are truly insane, it’s still a good idea to put a little thought into what you want to do over break. Here are some ways of filling the void you might want to consider: Go Back to Work Despite the craziness of the holiday season, it may be worth looking into getting a seasonal job if you’d like to make a few dollars. If you had a summer job that you enjoyed, call your boss and ask if they need extra help—most places do during the holidays! Working retail will almost certainly be insane, but a couple of extra shifts a week won’t kill you, and it’ll be nice to like have some extra cash during the holidays. If you like kids and spent your extra time in high school babysitting, give those families a call and let them know that you’ll be home to sit if they have kid-free Christmas parties to attend. Be sure to mention that you’d love to see the kids again! On that note, you can tap into your inner high school student by wandering around the neighborhood on snowy days and offering to shovel driveways and sidewalks for money. Find a Hobby We all have activities that we wish we had more time for. I started painting over the summer, but I haven’t been able to do it very much this semester and, even when I somehow do manage to find the time, I worry that I’m neglecting other things. During my month free of studying, though, I’m planning to work on my art—and hopefully I’ll improve quite a bit, too! Use winter break to pick up an old hobby or try out a new one. Played the violin in high school but haven’t touched it in months? Pick up your bow and practice! Wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo but didn’t have the time, or started your project but couldn’t finish? Challenge yourself to write a little a day! You can start running, knitting, playing chess, geocaching, photography…the options are endless. If none of these sound good to you, don’t be afraid to just Google “hobbies” and see where the Internet takes you! If you still can’t find an appealing pastime, look into volunteering. Even if it seems like a relatively simple project—like sending Christmas cards to soldiers, for example—it can still have a big impact. Get a Head Start After New Year’s, you may start feeling a little stir-crazy and maybe you’ll even find that you almost miss the academic atmosphere of school. To get yourself in gear for the new semester, order your textbooks online. Most of the time it’s cheaper to buy from places other than your school bookstore, anyway. This way you won’t have to brave the lines during the first few days of school. If you’re in an extra-proactive mood—or if working ahead is one of your New Year’s resolutions—email a professor and ask what you can do to start the semester off right. I hope you enjoy and make the most of your winter break, Fastwebbers!