College students take on winter break: keep working or just relax?

By Kaolin Sewell, Staff Writer

So you’ve just finished finals and you find yourself asking, “What should I do this winter break?” Your answer could be relaxing, working or both. There are so many activities to look forward to during your highly anticipated winter break.

I’m sure you are reading this guide to get into the holiday spirit that much sooner.

As busy students are preparing for finals, you may find yourself wishing to be back home with friends, family and lots of great food.

Now is the time to anticipate and strategize your plans for the coming winter break. As you carry out business as usual, consider what you need to do to be ready for another jam-packed semester.

So, let’s recap your last break. You’ve just come off Thanksgiving break with a much-needed celebration of free time spent with loved ones. You’ve probably eaten enough food to make you sick to your stomach and simply want to sleep off that stomachache from all of that turkey.

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Whether Thanksgiving stands as a fall tradition for you and your family or if it’s simply the shopping on Black Friday that made everything worth it — the week off of class was needed for all of us.

Now back to reality.

With all of this recollection of Thanksgiving break, how will you choose to spend your winter break? Will you celebrate time with family? Will you choose to enjoy the holiday season with Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or bringing in the new year? Or will you continue to study and work hard at home?

There’s many different ways to spend our next break. For many of us, we are presented with no break at all. Winter break is yet another small semester within the given time off.

We guiltily chose to sign up for a quick winter semester to take that class we forgot about taking during earlier semesters.

This is not the most desired option, but if it means we get to graduate on time, then it makes it all worth it. Just think, you’ll get to celebrate the holidays with loved ones. Isn’t that the most important thing?

For some of us, like myself, we haven’t signed up for classes yet and wait until the last minute to prepare for the following semester.

So, we spend part of our winter break planning for the spring semester by organizing our schedule with classes and extracurricular activities. We order books, buy new binders and sharpen those pencils again.

If you are an upperclassman, many of you have final degree projects that must be completed in the spring for graduation.

Thus comes early planning. You know you still have to complete the project even though you’ve finished all of your required classes, right? This just adds to the list of things to plan for during winter break.

Perhaps you’ll spend break abroad because you’ve planned ahead to “peace out” after the holidays for that highly anticipated winter study abroad trip. Or maybe you are looking ahead fondly at your flight booked in January for a spring spent abroad. Winter break comes as a time to relax with friends and family at home.

That spring break trip you plan to spend in Mexico is going to need some funding, so maybe you’ll apply to some campus jobs over break? Maybe you were even appointed to that executive board position you’ve been vying for.

Whatever it is, you’ll most likely spend a good amount of time over break planning for another successful semester on campus.

Winter break is a perfect time to plan ahead for all of the new activities you’ll find yourself involved in. While you consider where and what you’ll be doing over winter break, just remember it’s OK to carry out some work. But most importantly, you should relax.

Holidays are a time for some much needed prepping and pampering for the coming spring semester.

Whether you are planning a spa trip with friends, traveling somewhere warmer for winter months or just enjoying time at home, winter break is a time devoted to the activities you wish to do but don’t have time for during school.

Soon you’ll have time for those activities you’ve been dying to do. So, moving forward toward the holidays, go for it and have no regrets.

Happy holidays, Illini!

Kaolin is a graduate student in Media.

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