Winter Break To-Dos for College Kids of All Ages

By Lauren Privette

Picture of a snowy day on the JMU campus

You’ve just come back from a weeklong Fall Break that was just as unproductive as you were worried it would be, only to be thrown into two weeks of stressful studying and due-dates. As miserable as the next two weeks will be, you have a nice, month-long Winter Break to look forward to! The problem arising with such a long winter break, however, is what to do. You don’t have tests to prepare for, lab reports to complete, or projects to finish. Below are a list of things to do, depending on your year, followed by an overall list for all years.

Freshmen: You made it through your first semester! Congratulations, only 7 more semesters to go. Here’s a list of possible things to do during your first Winter Break:
• Research different majors! Even if you’re not undeclared, now is the time to make sure you are selecting the best major for you.
• Check e-Campus to see if any of the classes you want, but didn’t get, have a seat open! We all know you guys get the scraps, but conflicts arise in schedules, and people end up having to drop a class. So, keep a look out for those opportunities.

Sophomores: One more semester till your halfway done with your college career! Here are some options for you sophomores:
• Start looking at internships! Even if it’s not for this summer, but one for during the next school year or next summer. It’s always a good idea to get a head start on these as they can be competitive and deadlines creep up faster than you think.
• Read a book! You probably haven’t read a book since the required reading before your freshman orientation week. Reading stimulates your brain and expands your vocabulary—both will help you if you intend on taking the GRE’s for graduate school.

Juniors: You’ve passed the halfway point! Hang in there. Here are some possible things for you to do:
• Apply for an internship! The summer after your junior year is the perfect time for an internship.
• Plan out your next three semesters! You’ll lessen the stress in the long run if you begin planning out the classes you’ll need to take in order to graduate when you want to.

Seniors: The bittersweet graduation is almost upon you! You’re most likely freaking out about what you’ll be doing after graduation; keep yourself occupied with these productive tasks to accomplish over your last Winter Break:
• If you haven’t found a job, start looking. Spending just 15 minutes a day looking at possible jobs is a simple way to ease that particular stress. And, if you see one you like, apply for it!
• Order your graduation announcements! You’ll be doing yourself and your family a favor the sooner you get these out of the way

Last but not least, some overall Winter Break ideas for all years and majors:
• Find a job! Shops, especially around the Holidays, are looking for extra people to hire. Simply call the shop and inquire whether they need extra help during the holidays. This works more often than you’d think.
• Read a book! You probably haven’t read a book since the required reading before your freshman orientation week. It’ll aid your overall intellect, and they can be as entertaining as your favorite movies!
• Explore a nearby city! It’s always fun to do this around the holiday season.
• Learn to read Tarot cards! Random, but I worked on this one last Winter Break, and it’s a fun skill or great party trick.

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