As I shut my laptop finishing up the last assignment for the semester, I am filled with relief. It won’t take much time to get comfortable laying in my sweatpants with a cup of hot chocolate by the fireplace. As the first week melts away, the feeling of wasted time has already sunk in. As any college student who has an extensive winter break knows it can be hard to manage that time wisely. I am here to help you deal with this feeling and advise you on how to stay on track.
The First Week of Break
I strongly recommend taking a whole solid week to intentionally relax. Whether that means taking less hours at work or sleeping until noon, taking this time will benefit you. Spending time with family and friends is important when you have been going strong for such a long time. Taking the time to mentally reset will benefit you much more in the long run. It may be interesting or helpful to you to grab a journal and write down some lessons learned from the semester or goals and objectives you may have moved forward. Having a physical list will help you begin to feel accomplished and that you are making progress.
Using Your Time Wisely
It is so helpful to set goals for yourself for break and the spring semester before it arrives. For some, taking a winter course is extremely useful to stay in the school-mode without wearing yourself out. This can help you feel less overwhelmed and not jump into panic mode when school starts again. Once you begin to get lost in your time and spend it hiding away it makes the process to go back so much more difficult. What I have found helpful is writing down assignments in my planner the second that the syllabus for each class is available. Looking ahead at expectations I have for myself helps prepare me for what is to come. If you are the type of person who needs an entire month to absolutely nothing, then do it. At the end of the day, you know what works best for you and your own personal work ethic.
First Week Back
Break always flies by and we find ourselves back in the classroom like we never left. The temptation is to do nothing during the first week back is real and strong. I am guilty of this myself but if you start small with assignments and looking ahead at projects you won’t be surprised when your professor announces that the due date is a week away. Trying to keep the fire ignited that you practiced burning over break will be so worth it when school starts. Rather than feeling rusty and overwhelmed, you’ll feel warmed up and ready to go!
Written by: Isabel Gisondi