Winter break is long and much-needed. It is a time to relax, rejuvenate, and reflect on the semester. In this post, I will give advice on how to make the most of the next few months, but I recognize that you know yourself best and should choose to spend your break in whatever way makes you happiest. Without further ado, here are my takeaways from the last 3 winter breaks:
- TAKE A BREAK
It’s called winter break for a reason. We all need a break after months of hard work, fun, and activities. Even though winter break is a few months long, it flies by, so make sure you take time to binge watch Gossip Girl, pet your puppies, and sleep in until 5:00 PM if it feels right.
- Plan your semester
Course registration is chaotic and if you are upset with how it turned out, remember that a lot can still change. As someone with an unbelievably slow computer, I have been locked out of classes many times. However, I always end up getting in whether it’s through emailing the professor, adding myself to the waitlist, or waiting until enrollment opens again on January 23, 2023. Over break, you can finalize your schedule and set goals for yourself both academically and in terms of activities. You should think of what you enjoy and plan the next few months accordingly.
- Engage in Wintersession
Wintersession is legendary. It is full of research opportunities. For example, you can take a course researching the urban education system in Newark, NYC artwork, or the history of bubble tea. Wintersession also includes a “Professional Growth” sector which has courses such as Princeton Startup Bootcamp and Bioengineering Entrepeneurship. These classes may last for a few days and are a great way to learn a new skill as they are not for a grade. Wintersession offers a range of opportunities and some of them are once in a lifetime. I myself am going on the Whitman ski trip, participating in indoor skydiving at iFly, and am leading a NYC Food Tour. I definitely suggest checking out the offerings and signing up here. It is first come first serve, so many events are now full, but there are still openings for some and you can always add yourself to the waitlist! Wintersession runs from January 16th to January 29th.
- Apply to internships
As we all know, it is very difficult to balance school work with the job application process while on campus. Thus, winter break is the perfect time to focus on applications that are not pressing or graded. You can still make a virtual appointment at the Career Center here. You can also use the break as an opportunity to work on your resume or explore new career interests.
- Get ahead on independent work
For seniors especially, winter break is the perfect time to get ahead on your thesis. You may draft your literature review, run a survey, or even just schedule your thesis timeline for the rest of the semester. The Writing Center is open for virtual appointments and you may also schedule zooms with advisers in January (while of course allowing everyone to enjoy the holidays before then).
- Do nothing
It may seem crazy to suggest doing nothing over break, but sometimes doing nothing is doing everything because it is exactly what you need. You shouldn’t feel guilty doing absolutely nothing over break because we all need time to recharge and maybe come back even more productive next semester.
All in all, you should spend winter break in a way which makes you happiest, whether it’s getting ahead on your work or visiting the movie theater. I hope that you all have an amazing break and I will see you all next year!
— Ryan Champeau, Social Sciences Correspondent