Rocking College

Making the Most of Winter Break

What you do over your winter break will likely be dictated by travel and family requirements. You may spend your time lounging at home with plenty of free time or jetting around visiting people with little time for yourself.

If you travel, make your plans as far in advance as possible (or encourage your parents to do so, if it’s up to them). This will keep you from missing additional class time. If you are going to miss class, let your professors know as soon as possible in case you need to make up a test, turn an assignment in early, etc. Do your very best to be back in town by the first week of classes (especially if your school has a first day attendance policy).

If you are a freshman (and thus new at the whole college thing), take some time to look at what worked for you and what didn’t during the first semester. This is a good idea at any time of your college career, but it seems that more kinks need to be worked out the first year.

Talk over your semester with friends and parents. They can give you advice on how to do your best when you return, and you can get feedback from mistakes and successes they experienced.

As with any semester, there will be some housekeeping items you’ll need to take care of, such as purchasing your text books and other supplies. Don’t wait until the last minute to get these things (especially if you are ordering online and will have to wait on shipping times).

If you are waitlisted for a class or want to try to get into a class that was full, get with your advisor or registrar as soon as possible, including some time over the break (depending on when such people might have office hours). You don’t want to waste time and stress yourself out on the first week of class trying to change your schedule. You will also miss information from any class you join late.

If you don’t have to do a lot of traveling or visiting relatives to use up your time and are able to relax a bit, you might use your time to get a little ahead in your courses, especially if you’re later in your college studies or are in a difficult major. I know, studying over break isn’t fun, but it could give you an edge. At the very least, you can do some simple preparations, like reading syllabi (if they are available – feel free to email your professors) or skimming texts to see what you might be in for.

In any case, do relax and catch your breath. Spend some good times with friends and family and remember, only one more semester until summer!

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