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10 Wise Things to Do Over Your Holiday Breaks

Make your holiday breaks from school count, personally and professionally, by taking on smart tasks.

Ashley Paskill

November 03, 2015

10 Wise Things to Do Over Your Holiday Breaks
College students get very busy during the semester. Between classes, homework, friends, and organizations, it can be difficult to have time for everything that needs to be done. When break comes around, students have a ton of free time. It is important, however, to use this time wisely and to stay focused on the future. There are things that can be done to help you relax and still remain focused on your career path.

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1. Spend time with family.
If you live on campus, you rarely get to see your family. Even if you commute, college life can get so busy that you do not get to spend as much time as you would like to with your family. Holiday breaks are a perfect time to spend time with both your immediate and your extended family. Plan a holiday gathering, a family activity night, or even just a time to sit down at dinner together to reconnect with your loved ones. Tell each other what has been happening in your lives and encourage each other.
2. Catch up with friends from high school.

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While you may have lost touch with most of the people you graduated high school with, there are always a couple that you remained really close with. You may have gone to different colleges, but you remained in touch (thank you, Facebook and texting). Breaks, for the most part, line up so that you’ll be able to see each other at least once. Do something you loved to do together when you saw each other regularly. Try something new together. Fill each other in on what your semester was like and what you are up to!
3. Update your resume.
Life can get crazy during the semester, and you may have new organizations, experience, or jobs/internships that you have not added to your resume yet. Break is the perfect time to add them!

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This is crucial so that you are prepared to apply for other jobs and internships. It is important to update your resume and portfolio so that you look as great as possible when you apply for internships, jobs, or even scholarships.
4. Read a book outside of required reading for school.
Required reading for school is, for the most part, about your major. From textbooks to novels, many of these books are focused on one subject. Reading, however, should be about learning new things and perspectives. Over break, stroll through a local bookstore and find a book that looks interesting but is outside of what you know. Read a novel about 18th century England. Pick up a biography of a famous scientist. While these things may be outside what your major is, you may find something useful that can be applied to your major.
5. Treat yourself to dinner and a movie.
School can get stressful. Between homework, class, studying, friends, and internships, it can seem like you have no alone time or any time to have fun. Use your time over break to spoil yourself. Treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant and go see the movie you have been looking forward to coming out. Use this time to relax and rewind after a long semester of hard work. You deserve it!
6. Set goals for when you return to school.
While you may not want to think about school on break, it is important to keep your mind focused on what you hope to achieve. Make a list of goals you want to accomplish when school starts back up. Think about joining or starting a club, getting an internship, or boosting your GPA. Set a plan for how you hope to accomplish these goals. Make a list of organizations on campus that interest you and make an effort to contact them about joining. Ask your career center for advice about applying for internships. As soon as you get your syllabi for your classes, write out your assignments in a calendar and make a point to check it regularly and study more.
7. Catch up on sleep.
Sleep can seem evasive when you are busy with clubs, class, and homework. Students tend to stay up late, trying to get assignments done that they do not have time to do during the day. Over break, make a point to catch up on sleep. It may be tempting to stay up, and out, late, but catching up on sleep will help you reenergize for the next semester. It is alright to stay up late to do something special with your family and friends, but make it a special thing that does not happen frequently.
8. Do something new.
During the semester, it is easy to have a routine, and it is helpful. Over break, you have an opportunity to break your routine. Go to a store in your town or city you have never been to. Try the new ethnic restaurant that just opened down the street. Doing something new can inspire you to do something you have not done, and can open your eyes to new cultures. This will help you be more experienced in your future and will help you be more open to trying to new things.
9. Pick up more hours at work.
School is expensive. Even if you have financial aid that covers your tuition, it may not cover books, transportation, food, or other living expenses. If you have a part-time job, break is a great time to pick up extra hours may make a few extra dollars. If you do not have a job, many places hire seasonal help, so you can work on break and then leave so you can focus on the semester. Your parents will appreciate your effort to not rely on them for dishing out money.
10. Shadow someone in the field you want to be in.
Break is a great time to shadow someone who is currently working in your desired field. This is a great way to see if it is actually what you want to do and it gives you an opportunity to ask questions. The person may also be able to offer you tips for class, clubs, and internships. Be prepared to take notes about the processes that are practiced in the company and observe how coworkers interact with each other to see how to act professionally in the setting. This will help with future internships because you will learn how to act and what to do in certain situations.

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