5 Things Students Should Do During Winter Break

You've studied hard this fall semester, and now it's time to relax for winter break. But does a school break have to mean you can't do anything productive? There are several things you could do to maximize your time while you're away from school for the winter, and this blog offers some of the top ideas.

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Make Good Use of Your Winter Break By Doing These Things

Winter break is a great time to relax and unwind from a stressful first semester. However, it can also be a great time to get ahead, prepare for next semester and start thinking about your finances. Of course, you should take time to decompress and relax, but you should also be thinking about ways to be productive. Read on to find out a few things that you should do this winter break that you may have never considered before.

1. Save Money

Even though Christmas is the time of giving, it can also be the time of saving. When looking for gifts for relatives, think about looking through sales, secondhand shops or even making something yourself. Bake a batch of cookies or give your parents a coupon book of chores and favors they can have you do. Be thoughtful with your gifts, but keep in mind that homemade stuff can be much more appreciated because of the hard work people know you've put in. With the money you save, you can open a savings account or put the money aside for school supplies for the upcoming semester. Those relatives of yours who don't know what to get you may end up giving you a check or cash instead.

2. Get a Winter Job

If you want to increase that cash flow a little, you could look into getting a seasonal job. Malls often need gift wrappers, and Santa always needs an elf or two at his side. If you can't find something in a mall, try going into business for yourself. Offer to shovel snow for people or baby-sit while they go off to holiday parties. With the money you make, you can buy gifts for friends and family without going into debt. You can also save that money to have some cash flow for the new year.

3. Make Sure You're Set Up for Graduation

Even if you're a freshman, it doesn't hurt to start looking toward graduation. Think about what your major might be. If you have a major picked out, think about possible minors and take a look at what sort of classes will be required of you. Pick out your classes for the spring semester and make sure the classes you want are available and that you're signed up for them. If you're missing any major classes or feel like you're falling behind, send your advisor a cheery Christmas message to talk about it. Arrange your finances if you're helping your parents pay tuition or paying tuition on your own, so that you won't be struggling for money when it's time to pay for your classes and books. Being prepared now means being much less stressed later.

4. Get Ahead on Homework

Some classes are a full year in length, and others give a syllabus before the spring semester actually begins. If possible, use this time away from school to get ahead on next semester's assignments. Crack open that English book early and read a few chapters. Start looking over what sections you'll go over in math class, and get a handle on the concepts before the teacher even hands out your first assignment. If nothing else, you can order books you'll need for next semester online and get them early. That way while other students are still headed to the bookstore to pick up their different texts, you'll be able to start studying on the very first day of classes.

5. Take an Online Course

If you feel like you're falling behind in classes or you just want to get ahead, you might want to look into what online college courses are available to you and accepted by your school. Sign up for a general education course so that you don't have to deal with boring or basic material in person, or sign up for a major-related course to get you one step closer to graduation. By getting ahead now, you'll be able to get lighter course loads for the rest of the semester and possibly for future semesters. You'll also be able to take the class on your own schedule in the comfort of your own home (or dorm room). If an online class is not available, you may be able to take a class in person at a local community college or center.

Thinking about ways to be productive next semester outside of class? Why not try to be a resident assistant?

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