How to Make the Most of Your Time During Winter Break
Nov 13, 2012
Winter break, which will be here before you know it, is a time to relax and forget about your college career for a while, right? Not quite. Instead of kicking back all winter break, there are a few things you can do to help yourself get a head start on next semester and even on your future after college.
Winter break is generally the midpoint of a college student's year and is also one of the best times to relax and not stress over school stuff. Sure, you still have to buy gifts but it's hardly the same as taking tests and writing papers. So, in other words, this seems like the perfect time to just kick back and do as little as possible. Unfortunately, that's probably not the best use of your time. This is actually the perfect time to keep working a little on things that will be important in the next semester and your life further down the line. So consider doing a few things to make the most of your winter break.
Get a Job
Because the holiday shopping season is in full swing during December, this is one of the best times to get a temporary job. Malls are always looking for people to wrap gifts or promote sales as the holidays grow ever nearer. Even if you have little or no work experience, they will still be likely to hire you just for a few weeks.
But why waste your time on a silly job when there's so much relaxing to do? It's very simple. After college you will need to get a job. There's student debt to pay, apartments to afford and of course food to buy. Having work experience on your resume before you start looking for a job will give you a leg up on the competition. Not to mention, the extra cash you'll make while working there can certainly put a dent in those holiday gift expenses.
Even though you might not be a rising freshman anymore, you can still find some financial aid for your studies. There are tons of scholarships out there for everyone, even seniors in their final year of schooling. It may even be easier for some students if they have been in college a while, because they have years of study and accomplishment under their belt that they can show off and try to gain money with.
The reason for doing this rather than kicking your feet up is pretty self-explanatory. Less debt means a better and easier life after college and a few extra dollars during college to spend on food and study supplies. And maybe an extra pizza run here and there too.
Research Life After College
Once college ends, you have several options on what to do with your life. Have you considered these options yet? If not, now is the perfect time. While there are the less chosen options like the military, Peace Corps or moving abroad, most students will decide between getting a job and going to grad school. Consider these choices, weighing what would be best for your particular future and what is financially feasible.
If you decide to go to grad school, start doing some Internet searches to pick one that is right for you and look into writing letters and preparing your application. If you want to start working after college, look into what jobs are available for someone with your major.
Set Up a Savings Account
This is something you can do in a single afternoon, so there's really no reason not to. Go to your local bank and check to see if they have any special bank accounts for students that offer better interest or other perks. If you already have a savings account, check about upgrading it to some sort of student account that might be a better deal.
The reason for doing this has everything to do with money and your future. When you're a student you can sometimes get better deals than what you'd get after you graduate. Signing up now also forces you to start saving up money that you'll need after college and gets you used to being more financially smart for the future.
Purge your Closet
Tis the giving season, so why not give away some of those clothes you don't wear? Go through your closet and pick out clothing and shoes which either no longer fit, are too tattered to wear or you just don't wear that often. Then either have a garage sale or just donate what you have to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Purging your closet of excess stuff will give you more space and can even earn you a little extra cash for the holidays.
Doing this is something simple that can take only an afternoon and should not take more than two days if you put your mind to it. Making empty space in that closet will give you more room for stuff you might get as gifts over Christmas. It will also make moving easier after college has ended and you're either off to grad school or looking for your own apartment.
Want to make some money after you get back to college? Look for the perfect on-campus job!