The finals are almost over and I’m glad you have four weeks off for a well-deserved break. This is a time to rest, recharge, and do things you enjoy before preparing for the spring semester. Here are some ways to make the most of your winter vacation.
Navigate the transition
When you are used to living on your own and being more independent, it can sometimes be a big transition when you return home for a while. If you can, communicate with family members about your expectations or plans for the winter break. This can include helping out with chores or other responsibilities while you’re home, or letting family members know ahead of time when you have plans with friends.
Sometimes it may be necessary to have important conversations with family members. Whatever the topic, review these tips for making the most of a difficult conversation.
do something you love
For many of us, winter break is a time to slow down and rest after a busy semester. In addition to rest, I encourage you to do things that you enjoy and that you don’t always have time for during the semester. Maybe it’s spending more time with family and friends, reading books or TV shows, cooking, going out, or doing craft projects. You could also take the opportunity to work a few extra hours at your part-time job or work on a project that you are passionate about. Whatever you choose to do, be intentional about how you spend your time.
Get ready for spring
After taking time to rest and recharge, start thinking about your fall semester. First, celebrate your accomplishments and reflect on what went well for you, both inside and outside the classroom. Maybe you got an excellent test score on a subject you found difficult to learn. Or maybe you tried something new and stepped out of your comfort zone. Maybe you’ve made some new friends or found a new stress-relieving hobby that you love. I encourage you to be proud of your accomplishments, whatever they may be.
As you reflect on your experiences, I also encourage you to reflect on what was difficult or what could have been better. What lessons can you draw from these experiences? Also, start thinking about some goals for your spring semester. Maybe it’s finding a new study schedule to avoid procrastination, finding new ways to get involved on campus, or landing a summer job or internship. You can use the time during winter break to start making a plan that will help you reach your goals and get in the right mindset.
Buffs, I hope you have a great winter break and I’ll see you in the new year!
Acting Dean of Students and Associate Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs