After the stress of final papers and exams, college students look forward to having a few weeks off from school for winter break. Many students look forward to relaxing at home, enjoying the festivities and home-cooked meals. However, this newfound free time can get old fast. What do you do when you don't have an essay to write or a test to study for? Here's some ideas of productive ways to spend your time this winter break.

1. Get a job

Maybe this isn't the most fun option, but it's a good way to fill some time and earn money.

2. Volunteer

Chances are, there's somewhere you can volunteer your time close to home and spread some holiday cheer.

3. Sort through your clothes

If you're like me, the clothes you took to school comprise about half of what you own, but it's all you really like to wear. Donate or sell clothes you don't want any more to people in need.

4. Organize a messy area

This might be a drawer in your room, a corner of your basement, or any number of places. Maybe you'll find something that'll make you relive some memories.

5. Rearrange your room

You might not be living at home much longer to enjoy it, but it could be a nice change.

6. Clean under your bed

If you're like me, you have stuff piled under your bed from early elementary school. Sort through it and toss some out or simply admire your elementary art skills.

7. Clear your desk and bookbag

The semester is over, so celebrate by throwing out your old notes you'll never look at again and putting new notebooks in your bag to be ready to tackle next semester.

8. Cook dinner or make dessert

Let your parents take a break one night or surprise them and have it done when they come home from work. They'll be happy they don't have to cook, and you'll have learned how to make a new dish.

9. Help clean the house

It might not be fun unless you are like me and somewhat enjoy cleaning, but it needs done.

10. Exercise

Take a walk, ride your bike, or go for a run. If it's too cold where you live, walk around your house, go up and down the stairs, or follow along with a simple YouTube video.

11. Read a book

Some of us like reading more than others, but regardless, it should be everyone's dream to wrap yourself up in a blanket with a good book on a snowy evening. You might just learn something.

12. Create a playlist

Maybe you haven't made any lately or recently became obsessed with a new artist or genre. Make a playlist on your favorite music streaming platform to listen to on your way back to school.