Many universities around the world have a significant ‘break period’ around the winter holidays. Typically, this is the transitional period between the fall and spring semesters, and many students choose to use this time to work, travel, or take on another beneficial experience.
While of course, you’ll want to use some of your break period to unwind and relax after a difficult semester, there are many ways you can use this time off from classes to your advantage! Especially given that some universities are on break for one or even two months, consider using this time wisely.
In this blog, we’ll be overviewing five ways you can stay productive during your fall or winter break period!
Clean and get organized
During the semester, many areas of your life can become jumbled, messy, and need some serious care! This is especially relatable when it comes to your living area, bedroom, and workspace.
If you’ve neglected staying tidy during your semester, having some time off may be a good time to get yourself organized. Perhaps you seriously need to clean your apartment, or your desk has so much stuff piled on it that you cannot even use it anymore! Or, you’ve been seriously needing to update your schedule for the next few weeks so you can stay on top of appointments, events, and outings!
Many successful people claim that staying organized, and even doing something as simple as tidying your room can help create strong and beneficial habits that will help you in the long run. While it might not be the most exciting thing to jump into a big cleaning project, put on some good music, have a cup of coffee or tea ready, and get going!
Volunteering and giving back to others is an absolutely wonderful way to spend your time. This can make you feel fulfilled and really make a difference in your local community. It can also be a lot of fun too!
If you’re looking to get involved with local charities or non-profit organizations, a simple internet search can help show you the different volunteer opportunities near you. Whether you have an interest in working with an animal shelter, working with children, or another cause – consider giving back to your community!
During winter break and particularly around the holidays, certain organizations such as food banks, homeless shelters, and toy drives are always in need of volunteer support!
Learn a new skill
If you’ve been wanting to learn a new skill, but simply have not been able to find the time during your semester, now is a great opportunity to finally pursue it! Having some time away from classes and being able to focus on learning a skill or pursue a productive hobby is an opportunity you should not let go to waste!
If you’re wanting to try something new, consider a few skills that interest you and also may be beneficial to your career pathway. For example, if you’re interested in the creative field, picking up a hobby/skill like photography, learning a new video editing software, or painting could be one of those skills that have both a personal and professional application! Language learning, technical skills, graphic design, or Google Analytics are a few other examples of skills that can prove to give you an edge on job applications and future career opportunities.
Depending on what skill(s) you want to enhance, you may find certain online or in-person courses that focus on that specific topic. Some of these may have a fee, or maybe you’re lucky enough to find a free opportunity! What matters most is that you sit down, focus, and really devote some time to learning the skill!
Evaluate your finances and make a budget
During the semester, it can be very easy to lose track of your finances and partake in a bit of ‘reckless spending’. Perhaps you have rent you need to pay, bills, tuition, clothes, food, or other expenses that you really should plan out and make a budget for.
Sticking to a budget is not easy, but that’s the whole point of trying to limit your spending on things you don’t need. Take a look at your current income and savings, and try to plan out your expenses for each month. Take into consideration any money that is coming into your account, and any funds that will need to be put towards expenses. Also, watch out for those credit cards which can really contribute to ‘reckless spending’!
There are many great budget tools and templates online that can help you organize your spending, as well as help with creating financial goals and sticking to them!
Gain work experience
Working a job or partaking in an internship during your fall or winter break is an excellent way to spend your time off! There may be part-time job opportunities in your area such as working at retail stores, restaurants, or other businesses. You can also choose to enroll in an internship to gain professional experience, skills, network with other professionals, and build your resume/CV.
If you are someone who is looking for flexible online work opportunities to take on for your fall/winter break, consider joining a remote internship through Virtual Internships! Without the need for travel and commuting into an office, this can be an excellent way to boost your resume/CV, develop crucial career skills, and build your network – all from home!