Oh winter break. Four weeks of mom’s homemade food, dad’s corny jokes that you actually kind of missed, and seeing your siblings and pets and hometown friends. Appreciate these four weeks before they’re gone. I know you’re probably thinking, “I want to go back to school and my friends,” but trust me, you’re never going to be able to be this unproductive and relaxed without consequences ever again. (Okay, until maybe next winter break). Personally, this last semester absolutely drained me and I couldn’t wait to run out of my dorm and jump into my warm, comfy bed back at home. And now that I’ve spent one week burrito’d up in my blanket, sleeping, eating, bingewatching Scrubs, and repeating, I decided to be slightly more productive, and I thought I would share things I plan on doing this break/recommend doing. So here’s how you can win at conquering winter break.
- Visit New York City
For those of you who haven’t already driven into the city or taken the train to see the Rockefeller tree, I definitely recommend going into the city. The Rockefeller tree is up and lit until 8 pm on January 6, but even besides that, NYC is just so magical during the winter. Bryant Park offers a free ice-skating rink surrounded by a bunch of cute, small holiday shops that sell everything from handcrafted jewelry to delicious hot chocolate. There are Broadway shows to watch, new restaurants to try out, and street music and performers to be awed by. Go with friends, with family, or even just with your camera and see New York in all its lights, bustle, and wintertime joy.
2. Plan a trip to somewhere new and fun with your family
One of the perks of being home for a month is that now you can rely on your parents to fund your entertainment and food and transportation. So take advantage of it! Spend a weekend driving up to the Poconos or take a longer break and drive up to Vermont and hit the slopes. Or if warm weather and sunshine is what you seek, get away from NJ’s cold, rainy environment and soak up some sun in Florida. Or simply just go to Princeton and spend a day having lunch with your family.
3. Look up the syllabi for next semester’s classes and finalize your schedule
Yeah, I know this break is hibernation from all college-related tasks, but your future self will thank you if you look ahead into your classes now, make sure you know what you want and what is expected of you, and buy any material you may need while you’re at home. I did this just this week and also emailed some of my professors for the upcoming semester asking them just what is expected of me for their classes, and it definitely helped me clarify my tasks for next semester. There is nothing wrong with planning ahead especially now that you have the free time to do so.
4. Apply for Summer Internships/Look into Research Opportunities
If research or experience in a field is something you are interested in, you should definitely use this free time to look into it. Search for internships in your field, send out some emails, and see where your searches lead you. Look into Rutgers’ ARESTY Research program as applications will go live in the spring. ARESTY is something I am currently involved with right now and I highly recommend looking into it.
5. Do Anything and Everything You Didn’t Have Time to Do Before
Whether that’s read the stack of books on your desk that has been collecting dust throughout the semester or open up your sketchbook again or yes, even finish the ten seasons of Friends, do it now. You’re going to get so busy again in four weeks that you will regret not taking advantage of this time now.
And with that I wish you well on your four weeks of conquering winter break.