You can watch my YouTube video on this topic here: Budgeting & Breaks from College.
Breaks from college are a literal godsend. This is the time where you can finally not write papers, eat gross food and sleep in a small dorm. When I returned home for my first winter break freshman year, I didn’t make any plans except for binge watch Netflix, eat my mom’s food and spend endless time with my dog, Bella. BUT as good as that sounds, I got so bored so fast and by the end of break I was ready to rip out my hair. Since that first break, I have always made some kind of rough plan in my head on what I want to do over summer and winter break (I’m not necessarily talking about the small breaks, like midterm break or Thanksgiving or Easter. For those breaks you most definitely need that veg. time). So, I’m going to talk about the following on what I have found to be the ingredients for a well-spent break, free of boredom:
1) Get a job, seriously.
Like I said, My first winter break I did not realize how long it was. I think my freshman year it was about 5 weeks long. That’s too much time to watch Bravo TV and Netflix… Every break since then, I have worked. It might seem like working sucks, but once you have all of that money and actually have some kind of purpose, reason to get up each day, you start to feel pretty good.
When deciding on where to apply, do so at least 2-3 weeks before break. If you wait until you go home, or the week before (also finals week, yikes), then I’m sure most temporary/ seasonal positions will be filled. Start looking early!
2) Learn to cook.
I don’t know how to cook and I have a pretty weird feeling that I will never actually learn. My mom is an amazing cook, but I for whatever reason, just get stressed out and it truly doesn’t interest me. Don’t get me wrong, I can make a great grilled cheese, roast vegetables—and I am a vegetarian so that does make things a bit easier. But, besides the simple things, I am not the best. With that being said, try to learn from whoever cooks in your house. Write down their recipes, cook with them and learn all of those good cooking techniques. I try to learn something from my mom each time I go home, and I’ve been learning– slowly. Also, enjoy getting free food because once you get to college you’re going to quickly realize how much good food really costs (excluding Mickey D’s, of course).
Especially if you can’t work, having some kind of routine that involves exercising is great. If you already exercise on a regular basis at school then don’t stop! When you exercise you feel better, more energized and you’re being healthy. Think of break as being a break from academics and school work, but NOT a break from being healthy and productive.
4) Spend tons and tons of time with family.
Sitting down and eating dinner together, even watching a movie, value it. There’s nothing better than being around people who love and support you. Especially while getting a break from the stressful college life. Although this is sad, it’s true: as you get older, getting that simple-hanging-out-with-family time is going to become less. After college you’ll be working, brothers or sisters will either be in college and working, and having those times when you’re all together will become less frequent. With that being said, value every minute!
5) Read books!
I absolutely love reading books. However, when I’m at school, one of the last things I want to be doing is reading more words after typing a paper or reading a textbook. Resorting to turning off your brain in front of a TV is far too tempting. So, when you’re home try to read at least two books. Go on the New York Times Bestseller lists and look through your favorite genre, go to the bookstore and scope out books to read over break. Netflix and TV can get boring, let’s be real, so I guarantee picking up a book will be refreshing.
If you don’t consider yourself to be a big reader, then get the book on audio and listen to it before bed or while cooking or working out!