Winter break can be long. According to a straw poll of folks at the WayUp office, breaks can last anywhere from a measly two weeks (Seriously, UPenn?) to a luxurious six (Bless you, NYU. #VioletPride).
For most people, let’s say, it falls somewhere in the middle. That means you’ve got a month to yourself. And no one’s saying you have to go crazy with work during it. It’s your free time and you totally earned it.
But, at the same time, there really isn’t a world in which you need every hour of a month entirely dedicated to chilling. Plus, in a way, preventing future stress is sort of like relaxing (but, like, in the future tense).
So, with that being said, here are four things to keep on your winter break checklist that are sure to lead to happier, more fulfilling (but still entirely relaxing) winter break.
1. Stay Healthy (And Happy)
That sedentary lifestyle can kick in a little too hard over winter break. It’s cold. There’s nothing on the agenda. Plus, you stayed up really late last night. That’s a recipe for a couch/bed-locked disaster day.
We’re not saying you have to be the guy from P90x or anything, but getting some exercise can really help with your mood and general energy.
We know you don’t have your school’s gym to go to, but see if you can borrow your dad’s YMCA card or a friend’s sports club membership on their off day. A treadmill, a weight room, and an indoor pool all offer much warmer venues for exercise than the great outdoors. Plus, there are tons of workouts you can do at home, no equipment required.
2. Apply For Internships (Or—Yikes—Your First Full-Time Job)
For the first time in a long time, you’ve got time. Use it wisely.
It might be hard to comprehend, but recruitment for many of the summer’s best internship programs (and even entry-level job openings) has already begun. We get it, you were too busy doing school and life and everything else first semester to think about applying for your dream summer position. That’s why now is the time to strike.
Here are a few tips to get yourself into fighting shape for application season (crafting a perfect resume, updating your online profiles, writing quality cover letters, and finding the right jobs to apply to).
3. Read A Single Book (For Fun)
There’s so much to watch. And—we really believe this—there’s no shame in TV or movies. They’re art, too. But scientists (and every English teacher you’ve ever had) will tell you that there is legitimately something different about what reading does for your brain. It makes you more empathetic. It makes your brain work better. Plus, it also makes you more interesting to talk to.
Space it out over however long you decide. Do it before you go to bed or while you eat breakfast. Just get it done. If you pick a classic (or even a modern classic), then chances are you will not regret it.
4. Make Some Money And Beef Up Your Resume
This one’s for the real go-getters. You know how much a semester’s worth of fun costs. You also know how much time a “part-time” job can actually take up—especially a campus-based job. Plus, there’s always your actual school work.
So, winter break might be the perfect time to stock up on some funds AND beef up your resume for all the summer internships (or full-time jobs) you’re going to apply to in a not-so-distant future.
But getting that bread doesn’t have to mean donning the mask of delivery driver for your local sandwich spot, either. There are plenty of ways that college students can make money without putting their entire life on hold. Here’s a quick list of awesome side hustles that will beef up your wallet (and your resume).
If you manage to nail these steps, you’ll be headed back to school in fighting shape. Let the winter chill-but-not-too-chill begin!