There’s no shortage of things to do on campus during the school year. Between academics, sports and the college social scene, students have plenty of options to stay busy. But all that changes when semester break rolls around. Suddenly, the schedule’s not so full.
So what’s the best way to use all that free time? Visit with friends and family? Decompress and vegetate on the couch? Get a head start on the new semester by hitting the books?
Find a temporary job
For students looking for a temp job, there’s no better time than the holiday season. Retailers are always looking for part-time help to accommodate the seasonal hike in business. Working for a few weeks can keep students occupied while providing a financial boost for the semester ahead – and it may lead to a post-graduation opportunity.
Seek an internship
If a job isn’t in the cards, interning for a local business can pay dividends. Even if college credit isn’t available, finding the right position can still provide valuable experience. Networking and making business contacts over the break can provide a critical edge during post-graduate job hunts.
The holiday season is an excellent time for charitable work. Along with the satisfaction of helping the less fortunate, students can polish resumes and graduate school applications by volunteering. Whether it’s visiting a nursing home, organizing a gift drive or working the phones for a local non-profit, volunteering is a good way to help others while sharpening life skills.
Rest and relaxation
While it’s great to stay busy during a break, it’s important to find a happy medium. Students can use the break to catch up on much needed sleep, enjoy time with family and take full advantage of everything about home that they miss — like home-cooked meals. Students can also take this time to resupply themselves with practical items needed on campus — toothpaste, deodorant, clothes etc.
Take a holiday road trip
Once we leave college and enter the full-time workforce, vacation time is scarce — maybe a couple of paid weeks each year for those who are lucky. Adapting to a five day-a-week grind with little time off can be tough. So it’s important to seize vacation opportunities when they’re available. A quick road trip with friends or family can generate memories to treasure forever. It’s also a great way to recharge batteries for the upcoming semester.
While spending a few weeks zoning out on the couch might have some appeal, there are smarter ways to spend your semester break. Whether it’s a job, an internship or some uninterrupted family time, using your break period wisely can set you up for greater success when you return to school.