How to make the winter holidays work for you ?
The actual holidays are only three days of your winter break. Instead of being lazy, use the rest of your time off from school to get ahead.
Finals are over and you’re probably heading home for the holidays. You worked really hard this semester and now it’s time to relax. Or is it? The winter holidays are a time for celebrating, sure, but they can also help you get ahead on next semester, or make up for time lost in the semester that just ended. Here are three ways to make your time off work to your advantage.
Get some extra practice in major areas.
By now you should have seen your grades from last semester. For better or worse, now you know what areas you need more work in. If you didn’t do well in some of your general education credit areas that aren’t related to your major, don’t worry. Move on. However, if you’re missing skills or mastery in subjects related to your major, schedule at least a little bit of time to study those subjects. Do a couple of practice problems, talk to friends who also took the class that you missed, and see what kind of work you can do to amp up your skills.
Start looking for a summer internship.
It sounds too early, but believe it or not, once the semester gets going, those deadlines are going to fly past you. You might even miss a deadline for your dream internship if you don’t start applying right away. Take this downtime during the holidays to start asking around places you might be interested in interning if they might have anything available. Start gathering the materials you’ll need for your application package. That way, when the time comes for you to start submitting applications, you’ll have it all ready. If there are any internships already accepting applicants, go ahead and start applying. You’ll be one foot in the door before your classmates even make a move.
Interview a few people doing the job you want.
You’re not the only one taking a break during the holidays. Most people slow down and take a few days off during this time of year, meaning it’s prime time to get their attention. Aim to meet in person with at least 2-3 people doing the job you’re considering pursuing after you graduate. Meet either at their office if it’s someone you know personally, or at a coffee shop if you don’t know them (safety first!). Prepare some questions ahead of time that will guide the interview and make you look like you’ve done your homework. This exercise can be especially helpful if you just found out you didn’t do as well as you thought in some of the areas for your major. Interviewing someone in the field can help you decide if you want to keep going that route, or choose something else when you get back to school.
The average winter break for a college student is about three weeks. That’s plenty of time to make some good choices about where you want your college career to lead in the next semester. Follow these three tips and you’ll be well ahead of the curve come January. Happy holidays!