6 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Winter Break

6 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Winter Break

Try to squeeze in time for these activities--you'll be glad you did!

Winter break has finally arrived.

A whole month free from the stress of schoolwork. No deadlines, and best of all, no waking up at 7 AM. It can feel so wonderful to sleep the day away, and after a long and exhausting semester, it's sometimes exactly what you need. But do keep in mind that lazing around all day every day is unhealthy, and there are lots of things you can do in your free time to ensure that, once the new semester starts and your adult life kicks back into gear, it'll be your best, most successful year yet! Over this next month, catch up on lost sleep, veg out and watch plenty of Netflix, but try to squeeze in time for these activities as well--you'll be glad you did!

1. Clear out clutter

Get rid of all those papers you no longer need, clothes you no longer wear and electronics you no longer use to make room for the new in 2017! Set aside a day (or a little time each day) to sift through your space and find clutter you can clear out. You may come across items you've been holding onto for years! This is the first step to getting a clean, fresh start to the new year (literally!).

2. Apply for spring internships

Work is probably the last thing you want to think about right now, but the truth is, now is the time to jump at those internship opportunities for the upcoming semester. It'll definitely feel worth it when you've got something awesome to put on your resume.

3. Make some extra cash

First and foremost, of course, you can sell back your used textbooks. But if you're feeling serious financial pain after the holiday shopping, consider selling a service to make a little extra money over break. (Computer troubleshooting, web design, car repair, hauling, tutoring, home maintenance or repair, snow shoveling, etc) There are also survey websites that will reward you with points you can redeem for cash, and apps you can download that will pay you just for doing what you normally do on your phone. Running these apps allows companies collect user data for research.

4. Plan a road trip to visit a faraway friend

It can be really fun and interesting getting to know your college friends' lives outside of school, and it will feel great to catch up in person!

5. Get in shape

There are tons of quick at-home workouts you can do to shed the few extra pounds you put on over the holidays!

6. Spend quality time with your family

As much as you get on each other's nerves when you're home, they'll miss you once you go back to school.

Cover Image Credit: Ari Leo

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Sorry Not Sorry, My Parents Paid For My Coachella Trip

No haters are going to bring me down.

With Coachella officially over, lives can go back to normal and we can all relive Beyonce’s performance online for years to come. Or, if you were like me and actually there, you can replay the experience in your mind for the rest of your life, holding dear to the memories of an epic weekend and a cultural experience like no other on the planet.

And I want to be clear about the Beyonce show: it really was that good.

But with any big event beloved by many, there will always be the haters on the other side. The #nochella’s, the haters of all things ‘Chella fashion. And let me just say this, the flower headbands aren’t cultural appropriation, they’re simply items of clothing used to express the stylistic tendency of a fashion-forward event.

Because yes, the music, and sure, the art, but so much of what Coachella is, really, is about the fashion and what you and your friends are wearing. It's supposed to be fun, not political! Anyway, back to the main point of this.

One of the biggest things people love to hate on about Coachella is the fact that many of the attendees have their tickets bought for them by their parents.

Sorry? It’s not my fault that my parents have enough money to buy their daughter and her friends the gift of going to one of the most amazing melting pots of all things weird and beautiful. It’s not my fault about your life, and it’s none of your business about mine.

All my life, I’ve dealt with people commenting on me, mostly liking, but there are always a few that seem upset about the way I live my life.

One time, I was riding my dolphin out in Turks and Cacaos, (“riding” is the act of holding onto their fin as they swim and you sort of glide next to them. It’s a beautiful, transformative experience between human and animal and I really think, when I looked in my dolphin’s eye, that we made a connection that will last forever) and someone I knew threw shade my way for getting to do it.

Don’t make me be the bad guy.

I felt shame for years after my 16th birthday, where my parents got me an Escalade. People at school made fun of me (especially after I drove into a ditch...oops!) and said I didn’t deserve the things I got in life.

I can think of a lot of people who probably don't deserve the things in life that they get, but you don't hear me hating on them (that's why we vote, people). Well, I’m sick of being made to feel guilty about the luxuries I’m given, because they’ve made me who I am, and I love me.

I’m a good person.

I’m not going to let the Coachella haters bring me down anymore. Did my parents buy my ticket and VIP housing? Yes. Am I sorry about that? Absolutely not.

Sorry, not sorry!

Cover Image Credit: Kaycie Allen

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Why Working As A High Schooler Was the Best Choice I Was Forced to Make

Working taught me that my actions impact others no matter how small.

Nobody necessarily wants to work; however, as soon as I turned 15, I got my work permit and began working at my local frozen yogurt shop. I’ve read so many articles bashing kids whose parents never made them work for what they had and the other way around as well. My mom made a deal with me: no job, no car. So I worked about fifteen hours a week, mostly for clothes and late night Taco Bell runs, while my mom paid for my car and insurance. The job was easy; I got to sit in the back of the store on my phone, work on my homework, and chat with my coworkers. Looking back now, I realize it was probably the easiest job I’ve ever had. Sure - I was never stressed about bills piling up and I got to enjoy my high school experience for the most part. Working during those years when such immense change was happening every day in my life taught me so many life lessons and helped me become the person I am today.

First off, it brought me out of my shell. Before I started working, I was afraid to do simple tasks like call someone or ask a question in class. I remember when I started my job the most terrifying thing about it was having to greet the customer. And Lord - answering the drive through speaker was worse than giving a speech to my peers. Once I got the hang of it, I was using my fake customer service voice every time someone walked into the store and taking orders like a champ. My job also taught me to stand up for myself. Had I not been thrown into the world of customer service, I would never know how to tell someone no. Working at such a young age gave me life experiences I could’ve never gained elsewhere.

Having a job at 15 also taught me the value of money at such a young age when most people are still asking their parents for things that they want. Although, once again, I never had anything major to pay for, I realized that spending money actually meant something. Before working, I’d receive a few hundred dollars for Christmas or my birthday and spend it frivolously during an hour long trip to the mall. It wasn’t my money, so what difference did it make? Once I started earning money for myself, everytime I’d buy something I would think, ‘wow, this shirt costs 5 hours of my life,’ and it would make the decision so much clearer.

Working also made me become a responsible person who is always accountable for my actions. Because I started working so young, I rarely bail on anything. I am always one to show up and be there on time, even if I’m tired, grumpy, or sick. Working taught me that my actions impact others no matter how small they may be and that it’s always important to stick to my word.

Cover Image Credit: Alex Robert

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