12 Ways To Be Productive Over Winter Break
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12 Ways To Be Productive Over Winter Break

It's more fun than you think.

12 Ways To Be Productive Over Winter Break

We all know that inevitable feeling when we've been home just a little too long.

We run out of things to do, people to see, and Netflix to watch. After an ample relaxation period post-finals, now is the time to do something productive! Here are a few ideas to get you out of the boredom slump.

1. Go to the gym

Let’s start with the most obvious. We are now post-Thanksgiving, post-finals, and about to enter the Christmas season of cookies, eggnog, and peppermint bark. Don’t wait until after the new year to start working out again. Get a jump on that fitness! Do it -- it's good for you.

2. Curl up with a good book

Reading is one of my favorite activities, and it happens to be both relaxing and productive at the same time. Although it may seem like a waste of time, reading helps keep the brain sharp, makes you more intelligent, and may even help you sleep better. If you have any worries about the holidays or the upcoming spring semester, reading has been proven to reduce stress levels, too.

3. Learn a new skill on Lynda

Lynda is a tool that I definitely do not use enough. Most universities pay for this service for their students so that students can learn new software skills on their own. Tutorial subjects range from design and Photoshop to business to audio and music. It's a great resource for learning the basics of many skills that can advance your resume. Check your school’s website to find your login.

4. Apply for jobs/internships

It's tedious, but necessary. Many large companies who are looking for summer interns have already released applications. If you are graduating in May, job postings are definitely already out there. Although probably not the most exciting prospect, take advantage of your free time and submit a few applications.

5. Make a plan for spring semester

It is easy to fall into a trap when starting a new semester. Without planning, your schedule can quickly become overloaded with activities you thought you had time for. Take a minute to plan out your meetings, work schedule (if you have one), study time, and anything else already given. This way, you know what else you can commit to and how to best manage your time before you go back to school.

6. Clean out your inbox

I cannot begin to explain how therapeutic (and productive) it is to delete massive amounts of emails. De-cluttering is important and will help you with organization. Delete all of the useless junk from your inbox, and if you're feeling crazy, unsubscribe from those newsletters you don’t want anymore.

7. Make a meal (or a dessert)

Making a delicious meal or dessert is just so satisfying. You gain a sense of accomplishment as well as yummy food to share with your family and friends. Plus, it's always good to work on those cooking skills before going back to school.

8. Start learning a new language on Duolingo

Every year, learning a new language becomes more difficult for our brains to process. Knowing multiple languages is such a valuable skill, so why not start learning while you are still young enough? This isn't something that can be accomplished over winter break alone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn't start now!

9. Volunteer

The holidays always seem to make us more willing to give. Embrace that feeling and volunteer over break. Whether it’s ringing bells for Salvation Army, making dinners for homeless shelters, or just helping out around your community, every little thing matters. Brighten someone else's holiday season. It's easier than you think.

10. Donate your clothes

Now that a new season is upon us, it's time to clean out the closet. Donate any clothes you don’t think you will wear this winter. Whether it’s because of fit, style, or boredom, cleaning out your closet is always refreshing. Plus, it gives you a chance to go shopping!

11. Brush up on current events

After studying for two weeks straight (plus the one week of post-finals hibernation), it’s time to emerge and brush up on what’s been happening recently, not only in the U.S., but nationally as well. It’s always important to be informed with what’s going on. Bonus: You will have talking points other than "what's your major again?" when you visit family over Christmas break.

12. Prepare for the new year

I'm not saying you should make resolutions, but reflection on the last year is always useful. Think about what happened in 2015, what was great about it and what could have improved. Now make plans for what you want to accomplish in the new year.

If you are at a loss for what to think about, here are some suggestions: budget for the new year, social media cleanse, cooking more and eating out less, new places to explore, learning something new. How will you make these things happen?

Of course when you're not feeling quite as productive, there's always a nap and Netflix waiting for you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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