The holidays are fast approaching and for many students that means one thing they’ve likely been counting down to – WINTER BREAK! Woohoo, you’re free! However, not everyone’s winter break looks the same. While some revel in the time off and don’t plan to leave their bed or couch for a solid week or more, plenty still like to stay busy and either get a head start or catch up on various tasks or projects. Here are seven ways you can maximize your winter break to get yourself in a prime position to start your Spring semester on the right foot.
How many times during the fall did you look at a project – whether it be a task list or reference sheet you wanted to make or even just a messy desk or room – and thought to yourself, “one day I’ll get to that in my spare time.” Well, your spare time is here! Between holidays and family time, there will be plenty of opportunities to get to some of those tasks that will help get you organized and ready for the next semester. Do some spring cleaning in the winter and make time to straighten up that messy desk, or set aside some time to get to those project ideas you had a few weeks ago.
December is a prime time to work on scholarship applications for the next year, as many have deadlines either at the end of the month or in the early months of next year. Take a day or two to search through the various scholarships Coastline offers at coastline.edu/scholarships, or simply do a google search for external scholarship opportunities, then make a master list or of all the ones you plan to apply for and what each requires (application, essay, video, etc.). A good idea is to go a step further and set a schedule for yourself of which applications you’ll complete on which day of your break so you can make sure you cross them all off your list!
While those in need can benefit from help no matter the time of year, the holiday season especially presents a number of crucial volunteer opportunities for food banks, soup kitchens, and various charities. Volunteering is not only good for the soul and something everyone who is capable of doing should consider taking a part in, but it can also lead to poignant learning experiences and a leg up on future college or job applications. Pick a cause or two that are important to you and research how best you can help.
Your brain is finally getting a break from schoolwork so of course working is probably the last thing you want to do. HOWEVER, many companies are in desperate need of help right before and/or after the holidays, whether it be through part-time, seasonal positions or short internships. There are quite a few benefits to getting a seasonal position during your winter break:
Check with Coastline’s Career Services Center for seasonal job opportunities or internships!
You’re finally getting a break from school, why would you want to get BACK to school? Because you could get one of your general education or other required courses out of the way in just three short weeks, that’s why! Winter Intersession is a fantastic opportunity to shave off some of the time it might take you to complete your certificate or degree or to lighten your course load in the Spring. It’s not too late to register for Coastline’s Winter Intersession! Classes fill up quick though, so don’t wait and see what courses are available by searching the Course Schedule. Courses start Thursday, January 2nd so register today!
While you may have already registered for your spring courses (good job!), there’s still a lot of planning you could do now to help you have a smooth spring. Are you think about transferring soon? Talk to the Transfer Center and see when you need to get started on the transfer process and applications! Want to make sure you’re on the right track academically? Talk to an academic counselor or academic success coach to make sure your spring courses are keeping you on the right path, or if you’re close to graduation, make sure you’ve got all your requirements addressed and know any important upcoming dates! This is also a great time to look at what you’ll have on your plate during the spring, and determine if you’ll potentially want to look for a spring internship or job, in which the Career Center could point you in the right direction for!
We know we just listed all kinds of ways to fill your time and stay busy during your winter break, but the most important thing you can do during your time away from school is RELAX and RECHARGE. If you’re considering any of the options previously mentioned, that’s fantastic, but always make sure you give yourself time to take care of yourself and avoid burnout. The holidays are a time to spend with your loved ones, be it family, friends, pets, or even just quality time for yourself. Take the opportunity to work on ensuring a healthy balance of school or work activities with quality YOU time, so you can carry that into your spring semester!