Making the Most of Your Winter Break

If this is your first semester at college, Thanksgiving break was just a taste of what winter break holds. It’s double the holiday festivity, double the cold, and double (or triple) the time away from school. Hopefully you’re looking forward to your winter break, but you can’t forget too long about your life in Bloomington. If this is your first winter break, it’s important to do some things I have listed below regarding the three-week break we have coming up—or even if this is your third winter break, it’s still a great refresher.

Before Break

Clean your dorm, apartment, or house before you leave. I know it doesn’t sound too fun, but imagine coming back to a dirty, dishes-in-the-sink, socks-on-the-floor apartment after an amazing winter break. Since you most likely won’t be in Bloomington on New Year’s Eve, it’ll feel great coming back to start your new year here with a clean and spotless place. This goes along with throwing out old food and food that will go bad over break before you leave. You might’ve done this for Thanksgiving but that was only a week; make sure you toss everything you need to before leaving for three weeks.

Go ahead and sell your textbooks if you have any. Or if you have other plans for your textbooks, do them before you leave. This is a good way to make the end of the fall semester official, plus it will be less to worry about when you get back for the spring semester.

Schedule those appointments. If you still go to the dentist or doctor, or whatever you need to go to, back home then call the offices now and make sure you can get in during your time home. Without much of a schedule to work around, this is the perfect time to get these necessities out of the way.

Make a packing list. If you celebrate the holidays and bought gifts here in Bloomington, remember for the love of winter to bring them home! It won’t be cool realizing too late you left all your gifts here. Or if you have the perfect NYE outfit, pack it! Just remember everything you need to take home, especially if you live far away, and write a note to remember it.

During Break

This one should be obvious, but remember to spend time with your family, not just on the holidays. Your parents or guardians or siblings have probably been excited about you coming home so don’t just blow them off. That being said, if you weren’t able to see all your old friends on Thanksgiving break, winter break gives you much more time to do this. Just make sure you budget your visiting time wisely so that Mom and your best friend both feel loved!

With three long weeks of relaxation, family time, and winter fun, break might be a great time to go back to your old job for a bit if you need some money. Or, if you plan enough in advance, you could get a very temporary seasonal job. With homework and exams not on your mind, this is a great time to spend some hours making money.

Now, we can’t forget about school for too long. Planning out your spring semester during these lazy days will be useful. See if the classes are up on Canvas, look at the syllabuses, and maybe even start getting textbooks. You can also delete fall semester files from your laptop if you no longer need them. Out with the old and in with the new!

After Break

No matter how great of a time you had while at home, it might not be a great idea to get back the Sunday night before classes start. With winter break over, it’s time to get back into the swing of things, and getting back at bedtime Sunday night isn’t going to help that. Try getting back a day earlier if possible so that you can unpack and get back into your school mentality, get all your spring semester textbooks and notebooks, and get a good night’s sleep for the start of the new semester.

With all that being said, make sure you have fun during your break; it isn’t going to last forever. Good luck on your finals and have a wonderful winter break, Hoosiers. See you in the spring!

Emilie Moss

English Major, Class of 2018, Naperville, IL

Hi! I'm Emilie and I'm a senior majoring in English and minoring in Spanish at IU! I've always had a passion for reading and writing, and combined with my love for IU, I look forward to sharing ideas, content, stories, whatever it may be, with everyone else. In my free time I'm usually listening to music or playing piano, cooking, exploring as much as I can, and reading the work of other bloggers and writers.