How to survive college winter break after the holidays

Leading up to winter break, you may have had awesome expectations of lazy days and late nights, of home cooked meals and long visits with family members. However, as reality sets in, you may come to realize that living back at home offers not only cramped quarters but also seems quite boring without the excitement of your college social life. And, after the holidays come to a close — and you ring in New Years 2013 with a bang — you may find yourself wondering what you are going to do with yourself for the next month. Fear not! Just check out these tips on how to survive college winter break after all of the festivities are over.

Earn some extra cash

What better way to return to school than with some extra dough on hand? If you haven’t already looked into it, consider working part time during the remainder of your break. Not into retails jobs? No worries.

An article for the Education section of U.S. News & World Report written on December 18, 2012, by Julie Mayfield and Lindsey Mayfield, “5 Ways for College Students to Earn Money Over Winter Break,” offers “a little out-of-the-box thinking” to turn your boredom into extra cash. Here are some great ideas that won’t have you trekking to the mall:

  • Babysit, pet sit or house sit — If you are staying in town during break, contact friends or make flyers to advertise your services. With so many people traveling and daycare centers closed, this opportunity could turn into a gold mine, especially if you can snag multiple gigs.
  • Take down holiday decorations — Trees, lights and decorations in general are tedious to box up, so offer your services and get to work.
  • Contact previous employers — If you worked before you left for college, chances are your previous employers will be more than happy to put you on the payroll again. The upside for them? Even if you can only work for a month, you are already trained and familiar with the business.

To find out what opportunities are available in your area, visit SnagAJob.com. Here you can search for seasonal positions by state, zip code, industry, category or company and find employers searching for everything from house cleaners to delivery drivers.

Prepare for next term

Okay, getting ready for next term might not seem much better than another visit with your great-uncle Joe, but it can be rewarding. In fact, according to “Returning for Spring Semester,” an article on Scholarships.com, students who don’t prepare before returning to college tend to have a difficult time readjusting.

The article explains that, “These students find that they are overwhelmed and unprepared to begin class. Time seems to move more slowly for students: Classes feel longer, homework becomes an increasingly tedious task and it feels as though there is an eternity stretched out between now and summer break. With a little preparation beforehand, however, students can avoid feeling doomed before the semester starts.”

Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to put hours into your studies. It might be wise, though, to complete a few of the items on your back to school to-do list, such as:

  • Registering for classes and writing down your schedule.
  • Getting supplies early and ordering your textbooks as soon as you can.
  • Organizing your priorities and setting your goals for the upcoming term.

Have fun

Even if you have a part time job or plan to prepare for classes, don’t forget that this is your winter break. You deserve to take some time off and relax. In a post to Onward State, Ally Greer highlights “10 Things You Should Be Doing Over Winter Break“:

  • “Sleep late” — definitely something you may not get to do with that 7:00 a.m. English class.
  • “Meet up with a friend from school” — high school or college.
  • “Go to the movies” — and remember to get your student discount.
  • “Pamper yourself and get ready for the new year” — you won’t have time for this once you return to school, so take full advantage while classes are on hiatus.

Now that you know how survive after the holiday cheer has come and gone, you’ll be even more prepared to go back to school. If only there was something you could do about that roommate…

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