17 Things To Do During Winter Break

17 Things To Do During Winter Break

How to enjoy the holidays.
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Exams are over and winter break is here! Time to relax and have some fun, but rather than spending your whole day in bed, even if it does include puppy cuddles, there are so many other great ways to spend your time. If you're looking for fun and useful ways to use your winter break, look no further.

1. Visit Friends

You have a whole month at home and you're bound to want to go out for food at some point, while you're going out, invite some old friends to tag along with you and spend the time catching up with one another.

2. Bake Holiday Desserts

I love to bake and there's no better time than the holidays to do so. There are so many goodies you have time, and the space, to make. You can even package them up and send them to friends and family to enjoy.

3. Volunteer

There's no better way to spend your time than spending it helping those who need it. Look up any places to volunteer in your home town. Especially during Christmas time many places are looking for an extra helping hand.

4. Purge Your Closet

To go along with the volunteering, with all this extra time on your hand, you can spend it cleaning out your closet and donating all your old clothes that you don't wear anymore to those who need it.

5. Gift Shopping

You could spend the time shopping for your loved ones and finding them the perfect gift.

6. Cozy Day In

On those cold or rainy days it can be hard to muster up the energy to get out and doing something. These days are reserved for cuddling up in Christmas pajamas, on the couch, with your hot chocolate and puppy, watching Christmas movies.

7. Ice Skating

At this time of the year, depending on where you live, many cities set up temporary outdoor ice skating rinks. Grab some friends or that special someone and head out one night to enjoy some fun.

8. Christmas Tree Farm Visit

North Carolina is one of the states known for their Christmas trees. If your state is known for Christmas trees, or even if they aren't, it's always fun to walk around a Christmas tree farm or lot and pick out the perfect tree for your home.

9. Pinterest DIYs

Pinterest is basically every girls weakness. During break you could try out all those fun looking DIYs you've always wanted to try. You can also share with your friends whether they worked out or not before they try.

10. Plan a Christmas Party

To catch up with friends and family that you've been separated from for a whole semester, you could plan a small, or large, Christmas party. You could include a gift exchange, cookie exchange, or caroling.

11. Christmas Caroling

As the Code of the Elves states, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all the hear." Grab a few of your friends and go out Christmas caroling in your neighborhood to help spread some Christmas cheer to others.

12. Remodel

If it's time for a new paint color and decor in your room take this time off to spruce up your bedroom so next time you come home you can come home to a pretty, new room.

13. Clean Up

Home all day with nothing to do? Feeling nice? Clean up your house for your parents. They work all day and now that you're gone they don't have as much help around the house. Spend a day a week cleaning up the house to help them out.

14. Coffee Run

Cold (or not so cold) winter days call for some good coffee. Instead of hiding out in your home, go out to your local coffee shop and enjoy a nice cup there.

15. Work Out

Majority of New Year's resolutions revolve around health. So why not start now, that way when the New Year comes around you're already in the habit and it'll be easier for you to keep your resolution. Spend your mornings working out rather than crashing on the couch.

16. Learn to Cook a Good Meal

One thing you should do before becoming a full fledged adult is learn to cook at least one good meal. During winter break you could learn to cook that one good meal and have your family try it out at dinner when they come home.

17. Enjoy Being Home

We don't realize how much we really miss our own bed, our family, and home cooked food until we've gone so long without it. While there are so many fun activities you can do while you're home for the holidays, remember to enjoy your relaxing time at home surrounded by familiar faces and a comfortable environment.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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5 Things I'm Going To Do To Better Myself This Summer

Every summer I tell myself that I'm going to make a change, but this summer is when I'm finally going to do it.

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After years and years of telling myself that I was going to have a summer "transformation", I finally committed myself to it this summer. This school year was a bit rough to say the least. I was sick for six months, in the hospital for a few weeks, my identity was stolen, and I was ghosted by eight different guys... Yeah, you heard me. Eight. So as you can see, my year was a bit shitty. But it took all of that to finally make me buckle down and want to make a change in my life. It's about time that I focus on my mental and physical health and I've never been more ready. Here are 5 of the things I'm going to do this summer to better myself:

1. Kick box

Last summer I started kick-boxing and it is one of the hardest workouts I've completed. Not only was I in the best shape of my life for a couple months last summer, but it also improved my mental health drastically. It gave me an outlet to channel all of my negative energy whether it was in the heat of the moment or if it had building up inside me for months. After the tragedies of this school year, I am more than ready to get back into the gym and get all of my energy out. Not only will I be in great shape again, but my mental health is sure to get back on track in no time.

2.  Practice yoga

Over the years I have dabbled in yoga, but this summer I really want to focus on my practice. I've considered buying a yoga membership but those can get quite expensive, so I'm going to resort to YouTube to practice yoga about 5 times a week. This will not only improve my mental health but also improve my physical health and give me some designated time each day to devote to working on myself in all aspects.

3. Paint and draw

In the past, painting and drawing has been another outlet that I've channeled my bottled up energy. Whenever I've gone through a breakup or had a falling out with a friend, I painted and used my emotion to inspire art from the root of my feelings. The art that I produce when I'm feeling down is some of the best artwork that I create, but if I get in the regular practice of painting, I will have another outlet to channel my energy and focus on the promotion of creativity and mental health. Not to mention, I might have some really cute room decor by the end of the summer.

4. Write

Now I am a writing major, but sometimes I find myself in a rut. However, whenever I get ghosted or whenever I feel self conscious I am completely inspired. I am full of words and thoughts and feelings and there is no better way to channel those thoughts than by putting them down on paper. Getting those thoughts out and making them tangible is a great way to relieve stress and promote good mental health and I plan to focus on that this summer. This will help me to better myself, but also will allow me to enlarge my portfolio, helping me develop professionally in the process.

5. Go to therapy

Last summer I attended therapy quite regularly in the month of August due to my binge eating being at its worst, but I wish I'd attended therapy all summer to help keep things in regulation. This summer I plan to attend therapy every other week, not due to any particular reason, but rather to practice good mental health on a biweekly basis and to be prepared in case of a flare up or an unexpected event. Going to therapy is perfectly normal and healthy and is quite beneficial when it comes to improving mental health and self awareness. I plan to really tackle this this summer in order to ensure a mentally healthy summer and the start of a healthy and happy school year next fall.

I know it's hard to buckle down and tell yourself that you're going to make a change, but I highly encourage you to try it this summer. Even if you only last a week, you still dedicated a week to trying to better yourself and that says a lot. Try kick-boxing or yoga or painting or whatever helps you focus and channel your energy. Even if it's a small start, it's better than nothing, and I guarantee you'll be thanking yourself at the end of the summer.

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