Making The Most Of Your College Break

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Rise and shine, sleepy head! Youre on break for the next few weeks, but a whole world of opportunity awaits you. You can make the most of your time off while catching up on some zzzzs too.

Rise and shine, sleepy head! You're on break for the next few weeks, but a whole world of opportunity awaits you. You can make the most of your time off while catching up on some zzzzs too.

Congratulations! This is the first weekday morning in a long time that you don’t have to get up early, brush your teeth, comb your hair (or not), swig some coffee and head off to class. You are on winter break and, if your school is particularly generous, you won’t be back in class again for a full month.

Imagine the possibilities: all night partying and all day sleeping — the college student’s dream way of spending his break. But, we realize that the majority of students are highly responsible and will keep their fun time under control except on Christmas, New Year’s Eve and other special days!

If you finished up the fall semester and are looking for some direction on how to spend your time you’ll get plenty of that from concerned parents. After all, they’ll want to make sure that you are somewhat productive over the next few weeks so that when the Spring semester starts, you’re ready to buckle down and study.

In the event you still aren’t sure what you’ll be doing between now and then, we offer to you some tips on making the most of your college break:

Find Work – This year it may seem nearly impossible to find temporary work, with unemployment rates edging ever higher. But, the advantage for you is that the work is strictly that – of a temporary nature and expected to end in a few weeks. The month of January means its time to calculate inventory as department stores and other retailers need seasonal workers to help them close the books on the previous year. Expect that the first few weeks of the month will give you a good opportunity to keep busy and earn some decent money in the process. Also consider: ski lodge work, office temp companies, asking neighbors if they need special help with projects, etc.

Volunteer Help – If you are civic minded or have a heart to make a difference in the lives of others, there are plenty of organizations and church groups who could use your help. Habitat for Humanity builds houses year ’round, shut in seniors would welcome your visit while winter rages outside, inner city kids welcome a reading partner, there are so many opportunities for you to do some good! Also consider: helping out at church, visiting a food bank, collecting books and clothing for a consignment shop, etc.

Take Classes – For some students, they’ll be starting class again once the New Year begins though the Spring semester is weeks away. Many colleges offer a three week cram session allowing students to take and complete a course for college credit. These classes are popular for students who need to make up some time in order to graduate on time. Besides, if the choice is studying when it is cold outside or spending your summer on campus, which would you’d rather do? Also consider: taking one class online. Your school may offer an online class which would be perfect for your downtime. No attending classes, no slogging off when winter’s worst weather hits.

Travel Abroad – If  you’re able to travel while on break, why not visit Europe during that time? Sure, it’ll be cold, but you won’t have to deal with the summer crowds. London, Berlin, Prague and Rome are just some of the cities beckoning you. Stay at a youth hostel to hold down costs and return to the states with a renewed appreciation for your world. Also consider: remaining stateside and visiting classmates who live in and around Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle and elsewhere. Learn about their world while finding a free place to kick back and relax for a few days.

Before you know it, winter break will be over and you’ll be returning to school and buckling down for the next four months. Make the most of your time off now and you’ll start your Spring classes rested and ready to go!

Adv. — Are you looking for work? If so, visit SayMyCareer.com to begin your job search as well as to get your free career assessment.

Photo Credit: Andrew Richards

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Categories: Personal Advice