It doesn’t matter at what level of education you are, winter break can bring happiness and joy by letting go of the past semester’s challenges. For many students, the winter break can last several weeks and bring many opportunities you can take advantage of beyond a part-time job or binging Netflix or Hulu. Here are some simple things to keep productive that will help you during the difficult parts of Spring semester.
Recharge Your Mental Health
Mental health is one of those afterthoughts while cruising through finals week. Now that you may actually have some downtime, it would be good to have some “you” time. Do you have a book you have been putting off? Maybe an old hobby that you started but didn’t finish? Is it finally time to remember that you were once a regular at the gym? Taking your mental health back during this time is crucial to starting your Spring semester right. But don’t take it too far! Sometimes students may develop bad habits, such as oversleeping, spending money they don’t have, and isolating themselves from old friends. For more tips, check out the resources found here.
Set New Spring Semester Goals
No, these are not those goals you set January 1st and drop at the earliest convenience. You may be satisfied with your academic performance from Fall semester, but if you’re finding yourself in shock – and not in a good way - do yourself a favor and truly evaluate why you received the grade you got. Was it from lack of studying? Procrastinating? Not asking for help when you needed it? Honest answers will give you an idea of what goals you need to set. They can range anywhere from studying 2-4 hours per credit hour per week, always doing your homework in the tutoring lab, or making a list of things you would like to get done at the beginning of the week. For more tips, check out these tips on goal setting.
Updating Your Resume
Even I am guilty of this. The dreaded resume that you created when you applied for a job a few years ago and only update it when it’s time to upload a new one to the job application. One common problem that occurs when we delay updating our resume is that we forget of all the accomplishments or skills we have added that could be relevant. If you need some help, there are ways to make it easier moving forward. Lastly, you could also talk to your references, to not only make sure you have the most up to date contact information, but check in to see if they have any leads for future employment.
Researching scholarships takes time, and what better time to do it when you have too much time on your hands? Some common places to look include the postsecondary institutions that you are currently attending or would like to attend the following year, local community organizations, and online tools like AKCIS. There are several other websites out there, but be warned, some of them, unlike AKCIS, which is operated by the state, are for-profit, and may sell your personal information. If that happens, you will soon discover that your email gets inundated with spam. If you’re using these, consider creating a separate email so you can keep your own personal inbox squeaky clean. Also, check out our blog on Tackling Financial Aid with AKCIS.
I do realize that for some these tasks will be hard to accomplish if you’re traveling, visiting family, and potentially working a seasonal job. Even if you are able to check one or two of these tips off your winter break list, you are still being productive and it should ease some of stress when you return for Spring semester.
If you do need any assistance, please come by the ACPE Success Center located at the Dimond Center Mall. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at 1 (800) 441-2962, option #4.
Blog originally posted on December 2018