Winter [break] is coming! Finals are nearly over, we have made it to the end of the Fall 2017 semester, and we are ready to enjoy our well-deserved Winter Break.
A couple weeks ago, I was making some pretty intense plans for Winter Break – all of which included tasks dealing with the upcoming Spring semester, work, and volunteer hours. I remember saying to myself, “Winter Break will be a great time to get a bunch of stuff done.” Although I wasn’t wrong in saying that, I was forgetting about the “break” part.
As college students, it’s very important that we manage our time well, study efficiently, work hard, and stay on task, but there does come a time when we need to take a step back and treat our Winter Break for what it is: a break.
Have Some Fun
For someone like me, slowing down and not being busy all the time is somewhat difficult. Winter Break isn’t supposed to be a time of doing nothing, but it is supposed to be a time to take a break. One major aspect of taking a break is just to have fun!
After I get some work done during the first week of break, I will be flying home to Wisconsin this Christmas to enjoy time with my family and friends. Instead of spending my time back home focusing on busy-work, I plan to experience new things with my friends and make new memories. Whether you try something you’ve never tried before like skiing, zip lining, traveling, hiking, or even painting, I strongly encourage you to get some friends together and make new experiences.
Relax and Reflect
This is a big one. This past semester was filled with highs and lows. There were wonderful things that happened (of course), but most of us were pretty stressed out. Winter Break is a great time to take a look back on the semester and think about all the great things that happened during the last few months. Revel in the highlights and thank God for allowing you to have the experiences and opportunities that you have.
It’s also smart to look back on the not-so-good memories of the last few months. Think about the things that didn’t go so well and try to reflect on what could have been done to prevent those things or on what could be done now to change those things for the better.
Relaxing and reflecting are two very important elements of taking an effective break. Thinking about the great things that happened will help you to continue investing in those wonderful things God has placed in your life. On the other hand, thinking about the things that weren’t so good will help you determine what needs to be done so that you can improve. Whether it’s your grades, your relationships, or your time management, reflecting on these things will truly make a positive impact on your life.
Speaking of making a positive impact on your life, preparing is also an essential skill in terms of having an effective Winter Break.
After you reflect on how the last few months went for you, take the time to think about how you can improve for next semester. If your grades weren’t as good as you wanted them to be, start preparing for the Spring semester sooner rather than later. Maybe you could read up on a couple chapters for your classes or start instilling better time management skills. It’s very important to relax and enjoy yourself, but remember to keep your brain active.
With that being said, however, remember that Winter Break is a break! Definitely do your best to prepare, but don’t spend all your time focusing on how to get ahead for the next semester.
Use the time to do something fun that you’ve never done before. Write in a journal about all the highlights and lowlights of the semester, what you’re looking forward to next semester, and what you’d like to do to make things better. Most importantly, spend time with your loved ones. For someone like me who only gets to spend a few weeks out of the year with their parents and friends, this is a big one. Remember how excited your loved ones are to see you and remember to enjoy your time with them.
Definitely Going to Try Skiing (for the first time - ever) this Winter Break