Productive Things To Do During Winter Break

Winter Break Blog Final Photo.jpg

Written by Kyle Tsuchiya

For college students, winter break is a time for relaxation; four weeks with no obligations other than the occasional hang out with friends and two hours set aside every night for Netflix watching. But let’s face it… it’s a long break, and it’s a long time to do nothing. Some even argue that it’s almost a relief when break ends and we’re able to get into the routine of the next semester. So, if you find yourself in the middle of break and tired of doing nothing, here are some things that you can do to be productive.

Clean up your resume/LinkedIn profile

Unless you win the lottery and can retire at age 22, you’re going to need a resume. Do your research and learn how to make your resume stand out to employers. If you have a resume already, look for ways to make it even better and more concise. It is said that recruiters spend only a few seconds reviewing an individual resume, so make sure you only list things that are important and relevant. You don’t need to include “7th grade tetherball champion”, no matter how impressive you think that is.

Having a good LinkedIn profile is almost equally as important. It is increasingly common for employers to look at the LinkedIn profiles of potential job candidates. LinkedIn is a great space for job searching and networking that is heavily underutilized, so spending time making your profile look good can put you a notch above the competition. Check out this other CLAgency blog post that explains how to “Reach All-Star Level on LinkedIn.”

Making your resume and LinkedIn profiles look good is easier than you think, but it takes some time. Do it while you have some to spare this winter break!

Look for a job/internship, or get ahead at the one you have

If you’re looking for an job/internship for the spring or summer, winter break is the perfect time to start looking into what opportunities might be out there for you. Identify what your interests are, and look for companies or organizations that are doing cool things with which you might want to be involved. Do some “creeping” on the LinkedIn profiles of people who are doing what might be your potential future career, and don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Start a conversation about what they do, and see if they can point you in the direction of a job/internship opportunity. Your competition for jobs is likely taking a breather during this time, so it’s a good idea to put “feelers” out now.

If you already have a job/internship, feel free to work ahead if you can. If you have any projects that you know you’ll have to do once break is over, get a jump start on them. It will be less work for you to do later when you’ll have various other commitments to manage simultaneously, and it will show your co-workers/bosses that you’re diligent and dedicated to what you do. It’s a win-win!

Read the news

And I don’t mean reading an article on TMZ’s website about what Kim Kardashian ate last night… Be an informed and engaged citizen! Know what’s happening in politics both nationally and globally. Check out reputable, legitimate sources like The New York Times, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Feel free to peruse social media as well, but be careful of bias and clickbait!

Clean your inbox

Are you one of those people with 108725983409345 unread emails in your inbox? It might not seem worth taking the time to get that number down to ‘0’, but you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you it’s worth it. Having an empty inbox means that you’ve dealt with everything and don’t have to worry about it anymore. It’s surprisingly stress-relieving and rewarding to stare at an empty inbox after getting through an unruly amount of unread emails. Develop a filing system that works well for you (for me, it’s as simple as dumping the things that I want to keep in a folder called “Worth Keeping”), and be ruthless when it comes to deleting emails... You don’t actually need that chain email you saved from three years ago that you thought was kind of funny. Since the amount of emails you receive will be at a minimum, winter break is the perfect time to take care of this.

Help your parents with chores

If you’re back at home for the holidays, ask to help your parents with chores around the house. They will undoubtedly be appreciative of an extra pair of hands to wash the dishes, vacuum the carpets, or shovel the driveway. This also may be a good way to soften the blow before you show them how poorly your grades ended up for the semester.

Create something

Winter break is a great time to start a personal project. Take some videos on your iPhone and fire up iMovie to create a montage of the fun things you did over break. Dig out your guitar and write a song about something that inspires you. Grab a sketchbook and draw something abstract. You could even do something as dumb as opening a Google Doc and writing a blog about productive things to do over winter break. The possibilities are endless. And don’t be afraid to share it! Make something you enjoy making, and allow others to enjoy what you’ve made.

Don’t get me wrong… You deserve a break.

Take a good amount of time to sleep in and do nothing… It’s good for you. But if at some point during winter break you wake up with an itch to get something done, these are some ideas for you.

Happy Holidays!