Staying busy over college break

After being busy with classes all term and having loads of homework and other obligations, the amount of free time you may have available during break may make you a little stir-crazy. Here are ten ideas to help fill that extra time you have during that much needed college break.

  1. Enjoy the family. Spend time with family. You may be too busy while school is in session and your college break makes a perfect opportunity for spending quality time with the ones you love.

    Some of you have been away from the home for quite some time now and may be getting a little homesick. You got to love being able to get home-cooked meals again. Your family misses you when you go off to college, so be sure to spend some time catching up over break. Have a younger sibling back at home? Catch a movie together or play a board game.

  2. Read a book. Indulge yourself into a new book. This will keep you busy and keep your mind fresh and thinking. Some say the difference between the you now and the you of next year is the three books you will read over the course of that year.

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  3. Take a vacation. Vacation somewhere warm. Free your mind. Yes, your budget may be tight, but you deserve it. This is even better when combined with #1 and #8.

  4. Look for internships. Now that you have a little down time, this is the perfect opportunity to start working toward some kind of career. The internship may be unpaid, but you'll get valuable experience that you'll need. You have to start somewhere and it's a great way to get your foot in the door.

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  5. Work. Whether you already have a part-time job or are returning to an old job you previously had, the extra time you have available is the perfect time to pick up some extra hours. The extra cash will come in handy.

  6. Study. It may sound lame, but this could be a perfect opportunity to get ahead in the classes you are taking once you return to school. This way you will be ready to participate in discussion on day one of class and really stand out as a good student. This will establish yourself as an early expert to fellow students and teachers.

    Nothing to study? Consider learning a new language or taking a recommended free online course.

  7. Catch up on movies. Hey, it's called a break for a reason, making it a great time for a little down time. It's alright to be a little lazy, you've worked hard all term.

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  8. Reconnect with old friends. It's good to stay in contact with your old friends. Get together and meet for coffee. It's important to keep these connections.

  9. Take an online class. While you are on break, you should be able to squeeze in an online class and use it as credit toward your major. The good thing here is you can still go back home for break and still be working toward your degree.

  10. Volunteer. You may not have money to give to charity, but you can always donate your time. By helping others, you'll feel better about yourself afterwards. Plus, you can add the experience to your resume or use it to bolster your list of extracurricular activities.

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Productive Things to do over Break

Besides wasting time playing video games and checking facebook, here are some bonus productivity tips for staying busy over summer or winter break.

  • Do Something Active - For summer break, join a summer league of your favorite sport: softball, volleyball, basketball, etc. For things to do over winter break, go snowboarding, ice skating or whatever you like for better health. Ride a bike to save on gas and get great exercise.
  • Apply for Scholarships - Find college scholarships to help pay for college next year. Break periods are great for taking the time to craft a great scholarship essay.
  • Organize your Computer - Organize your computer's hard drive. It's more than likely full and unorganized. Get your computer ready for a whole new semester of coursework by straightening up your computer files by deleting what you don't need and properly organizing the rest into their proper files.
  • Organize School Paperwork - Organize old homework, reports, and papers from throughout the school year so you can easily come back to it, if needed.
  • Order Textbooks - Buy college textbooks ahead of time online and have them shipped to you, rather than getting them at your college's bookstore.
  • Get Up Early - Avoid sleeping in all break. Tempting yes, but makes it easier to adjust when going back to school. Become an early riser. Get the things you need done in the mornings so you can enjoy your evenings.
  • Go Shopping for College - Buy something cool and useful for the upcoming quarter. Whether it's something for your college dorm room or college essentials that will make school easier for you, the right purchase can enhance your college experience.
  • Learn New Things - Just because you are on break doesn't mean you have to stop learning. Find a new hobby.
  • Build a loft bed for your dorm room - Building a loft bed can be a great summer project when it comes to productive things to do over summer break.
  • Study Abroad - Stay busy over break by combining travel and study for your benefit.
  • Plan out next year's class schedule - Break periods are a great time to plan ahead for your college future.