College Winter Break (Survival) Tips

Take these tips into consideration after the holidays wrap up, and not only will your break fly by, but you'll have something significant to show for it.

You have successfully made it through fall semester, finals are over, and you’re home for some much needed rest and relaxation. Many public colleges and universities across the country have a long winter break lasting well into the end of January. You might be psyched at first to have four or more weeks off, but you’ll probably be itching to get back to campus quickly if you don’t occupy your down time well. If this sounds like you, take these tips into consideration after the holidays wrap up, and not only will your break fly by, but you’ll have something significant to show for it.

  • Take an online class. If your college or university offers online classes, check to see if there is a winter term class available for which it’s not too late to sign up. It will most likely cost extra money, but if you are behind on credits or need a class that isn’t offered throughout the year, it could be a great option to help you graduate on time.
  • Volunteer locally. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved around the holidays and it’s a great talking point for your résumé. Check out the Corporation for National and Community Service website for opportunities that match your interests and location. You may pick up a new skill or discover an interest you never knew you had, and you never know what opportunities could arise post-graduation from networking with new people.
  • Find a short-term job. This could be tricky because an employer isn’t likely going to go through the trouble of hiring you for you to leave a few weeks later. Although if you have a local summer job that you go back to each year, call your boss ahead of time and ask if they could use more help for a few weeks. He or she might be willing to put you on the payroll since you already have a history with them and won’t need to be trained. You could also ask around for babysitting, dog walking, or snow shoveling jobs. They may not be glamorous, but you’ll be happy when you have a little extra money heading back to school!
  • Take a trip. If you’re not strapped for cash after the holidays, consider changing up your routine and jet-setting (or driving) somewhere new. If you live somewhere warm, consider going to a colder state and taking a ski lesson. If you live in a colder part of the country, try to escape to warmer climates for a few days and catch some sun in a southern state. Maybe you have family in another part of the country that you could visit for a few days and only have to pay airfare. Maybe you have a friend that attends college in another part of the country who already went back to school.

Winter break is a great time to catch up with high school friends, hang out with your family, and regroup from college life. It is called a break after all, so give yourself time to relax and wind down your brain before heading back to campus for second semester!

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About Kristen Healy

Kristen Healy

Kristen is an Assistant Editor at Wintergreen Orchard House, a sub-division of Carnegie Communications, where she manages data for Midwestern colleges and universities. She graduated in 2010 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a double major in Journalism and Communication and a minor in Political Science. She is psyched about blogging about Public Colleges and Universities seeing as she is a proud product of one. She hopes that her four years at the Massachusetts state flagship campus will help her to bring new light to a broad range of topics that can relate to attending a public college or university. Her college career was spent writing for the news section of UMass’s Daily Collegian, volunteering at the university television studio, and enjoying the sites and activities of downtown Amherst. Kristen loves to travel and spent part of her junior year studying abroad in Galway, Ireland, where she gained perspective of what it is like to attend a large university in another country. She hopes her experiences in public higher education will help guide readers through their own college journeys!

You can circle Kristen on Google+, follow her on Twitter, or subscribe to her CollegeXpress blog.


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