How to Spend Your Winter Vacation

Did everyone hear that?  That was the sound of one giant sigh of relief.  If your school runs on semesters, you are very likely finished or close to finished with your semester.  Congratulations!  Now is the time we should all relax and spend time with our neglected friends and family.  Right?  If you’re anything like me, you have a hard time winding down after a long semester.  I find it hard to sleep without  deadlines and to-do lists to lull me.  I spend my days wandering around my apartment annoying my dog because I just don’t know what to do with myself.  So, let me help you!  Here is a list of some ideas for how to spend your winter vacation.  Go on, you deserve it.

  • Pick up those hobbies you’ve been putting off.  Sewing, gardening, roller derby skating, whatever.  The world is your oyster! (Until January, at least.)
  • Start on your reading/movie/crafting/video game list.  As a way to procrastinate during the semester, I create a long and detailed list of books to read and movies to watch and projects to complete.  Come the new semester, that list will be down to zero.
  • Take a vacation.  Seriously!  It doesn’t have to be far away or very long, but visit some out of town relatives, see some nearby sights, spend a night in a bed and breakfast.  It’ll feel absolutely luxurious.
  • Do something nice for yourself and loved ones.  I love cooking and hosting dinner parties.  Now that time is on my side, I hope to indulge myself a bit.  Plus, I’m lucky enough to have a partner who picks up a lot of the household slack  during the semester and I’m happy to pay it forward when I can.
  • Volunteer.  It might feel like work, but isn’t! I have wanted to volunteer at my local Humane Society since I moved to Austin, but haven’t been able to fit it in.  What better time to start a good habit?
  • Job search.  You didn’t think I’d be able to get through a whole list of fun things to do without throwing something work-related in, did you?  I know its a bummer, but now is a low-pressure time to get started on a high-stress activity.  Just one application a day will save me a big headache next semester.

What are your favorite ways to celebrate your hard work?

This post was originally published on December 13, 2011.

Cover photo by Ihor Malytskyi on Unsplash

Categories: Honesty

Tagged as: , ,

24 replies

  1. I, too, have a hard time winding down after the semester ends. Thankfully, I have a long list of YA books to read before I start my internship (focused on teen librarianship) in the Spring. After that list gets obliterated, I’m finishing up some artwork for my home. I earned a BFA in Studio Arts, may as well put it to good use! When people come into your home and think that you just moved in, you know you have some decorating to do…


  2. I finished my last paper of the semester on Saturday, and since then I have done nothing productive…unless you count watching the Showtime series Homeland (which is completely addicting, by the way). But my goal for the break is to work on my sewing skills. We’ll see if that actually happens…


  3. Yes! I wrapped up coursework last week, then promptly got the sniffles and my fiancee got run over while riding her bike, so we spent the weekend at the hospital. If nothing that exciting happens the whole winter break, I’ll be very grateful. Now I just have my regular 40-hour workweek, so maybe I’ll get around to the housework I’ve ignored over the end of the semester. I have a four-day weekend and then a three-day weekend! It’s like having a real holiday!!


  4. Our semester finishes up this week… well, technically next Monday, I suppose. But once all my projects are turned in, I’m so looking forward to getting back to my crafting! Mostly knitting and sewing… lots of Christmas baking AND reading my huge pile of books for fun!! Oh yeah… I should probably start exercising again to work off all these stress-induced calories. 🙂


  5. Yep, now only the regular 40-hour work week to tackle for a few weeks. Not that it isn’t nice. Being a part-time student and a full-time employee is a challenge, though. Being a FT student is a luxury–enjoy it if you can! 🙂


  6. These are some great ideas! I am not a graduate student yet, but I am in my senior year of undergrad and am looking for ways to spend my last extended break before graduation. I have mostly been working to create a nice reading list of blogs and websites that I can visit on a regular basis to keep up with library news and start to get connected with others in the field.


  7. I have a slightly different situation — my school runs on 10-week calendars, which means that I’ve been off since the beginning of November and don’t start again until January 19th. I’ve been using the time to slowly pick up HTML and CSS — nothing like a break to develop job skills!


  8. My exams just ended today and i am looking forward to polish my writing as well as oratory skills and play clash royale that i downloaded today at the same and also spend time with my family whom i almost neglected the whole year. Nice idea right : )


  9. I’ve been fortunate enough to finish my semester a little over a week ago…even before finals week actually began! Since then, I’ve read 3 books (and counting), binged watched some Desperate Housewives, and picked up some extra shifts at my GA position and on campus job (but still taking some time off from these over the holiday).

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