It’s the time of year we’ve all been looking forward to; finals are over, no more stressing over homework and school, and maybe even the excessive consumption of holiday cookies. While the next few weeks are a much-needed break from the stress of classes, don’t let your break go to waste and all the hard work you’ve put into your classes slip away. While it is probably unrealistic to think of sitting and re-reading your notes over the holidays in order to keep yourself sharp, there are definitely other ways to stay on top of things. Here are 5 ways to make sure you make the most of your 2017 winter break:
- Spend Time With Family and Friends
- To begin with the most obvious, the holidays are about spending time with loved ones, whether that’s family, friends or both. Destressing with them is a great way to recharge after the semester has wrapped and your brain is fried from all of your finals. It can be tempting to spend a lot of time sleeping or watching Netflix that first week after school wraps, but don’t let that take up all of your time. You’ll benefit from the socialization and it’s always good to make more memories.
- Take a J-Term Course
- The University of Wyoming Winter Session (J-Term) provides a great opportunity to catch up on classes, or even get ahead. Each winter break UWyo offeres a variety of classes in a variety of formats; online, face-to-face, and hybrid (mix of online and face-to-face), Wyoming based field (travel to specifc Wyoming locations), or internation and domestic travel. Why not spend spend a small portion of your break learning? This term the College of Business is offering online Human Resource Management (MGT 3410) which could be the perfect opportunity to fill a much-needed COB requirement. Find out which J-Term offering is right for you here.
- Get a Jump on the Career Search
- Especially if you’re a senior, and even if you’re not quite yet, why not scope out your career possibilities? Where do you want to work, what industry, what is your ideal position? During the chaos of the semester, it can be hard to find time to focus solely on what you want after graduation. Now your time is uninterrupted! Why not grab a latte, sit down in a coffee shop and check out the Johnson Career Center's resources to start your search. Handshake is a great resource for viewing available jobs and internships.
- Delve Into What you Want to do After Graduation
- Not so sure about your career path? Building off the last one, why not take the time over the next 5 weeks to map it out? Figure out some goals of what you want to do and where you want to be. Studies show that by mapping out where you want to go you’re more likely to succeed. According to a Business News Daily, “It will take you much longer to get where you want to go if you don't know how to get there. That's why many career experts recommend taking the time to create a formal "career plan" to guide you through your professional life.” Harvard Business Review's article by Bill Barnett, A Tool for Mapping Your Career Goals and Resolving Indecision, also offers a great guide to help you layout your future. You’ll find that having a plan might just take some of the stress off of your spring semester and give you a clear mindset.
- Enjoy the Outdoors
- Don’t forget to get some fresh air after all of that research. Grab some friends and take a winter hike at Vedauwoo or the Snowies if you’re staying here in Laramie. If not, discover somewhere new in your hometown. Snowboarding and skiing also provide a great workout and a fun way to socialize with friends. Being outdoors is proven to reduce stress levels, improve physical health, and there’s even a correlation with stronger academic performance according to a Huffington Post article by author Jill Ferguson. Don’t let the fact that it’s cold outside stop you from enjoying the outdoors
- Take up a New Hobby or Skill
- Is there something new that you’ve always wanted to try but never seem to have the time to start? Why not begin now? You have 5 uninterrupted weeks to dedicate to a new craft, so why not start? Studies show that new hobbies help to keep your brain sharp and ready to learn by stopping burnout and bringing new challenges that aren’t stress related like work or school according to this Huffington Post article by Dr. Kurt Smith. Whether it’s playing the guitar, scrapbooking, or maybe even learning a new language you have enough time over break to get a solid start and your resume will benefit from it.
With these 5 simple activities, you can make the most out of your winter break and come back to Laramie for the new year refreshed and ready to take on your classes, and your career.