Eight ways to be productive this winter

NICKI PADAR / AGGIE
NICKI PADAR / AGGIE

How to not completely waste your month-long break

Aggies were ecstatic to learn about the extra week added to winter vacation. With so much time and no classes to attend, it might be tempting to catch up on all of those Netflix series you put on hold during finals. However, there are some ways to get the most out of your four weeks of downtime without feeling like a complete couch potato.  

 

  • Plan a road trip

 

As long as you have a car, a playlist and a couple of friends, it’s hard to make an excuse not to take a road trip this winter break. If you live in California, drive along the coast to check out some of the state’s coolest cities, including Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Hollywood and San Diego. Go visit college friends who live far away from you and pick them up to join in on the adventure. Take a tent and some sleeping bags to camp along the way, or rent an Airbnb for a more glamourous stop.

 

  • Study the subjects you are taking next quarter

 

Rather than beating yourself up during midterm season for not studying sooner, get a head start during winter break. Find some quiet time during the holidays to read up on your Winter Quarter subjects to get your brain familiar with the topics. Instead of watching four episodes of Breaking Bad, take half of that time to read ahead or do some practice problems; you’ll thank yourself later.

 

  • Start a new class at your local gym

 

Most gyms, including Crunch and 24 Hour Fitness, offer group classes for members every day. Whether you’re looking to keep up your cycling routine, learn kickboxing, relax in a yoga class or carve out some abs, a gym near you is guaranteed to have something you’ll like.

 

  • Get outside

 

Get on a bike, a surfboard, a pair of skis or your own two feet and take advantage of the outdoors. There’s no better way to clear your head from the stress of Fall Quarter and mentally prepare for 2017 than being in the crisp winter air — and maybe even seeing some snow. Discover a new hiking trail, go ice skating or just take a minute outside to enjoy the last few weeks of 2016.

 

  • Make plans with high school buddies you neglected to see during Thanksgiving break

 

Since most Aggies are only home for four days, Thanksgiving can be a difficult time to make plans with old friends. With 28 days of winter break, you’ll have plenty of time to reach out to old friends. Try not to let the entire break fly by without seeing your hometown buddies, especially since people only get busier and it only gets harder to maintain friendships.

 

  • Pursue a new interest, or take up an old hobby

 

Four weeks of freedom means plenty of time to learn the saxophone — you know you’ve been dying to do it. But seriously, get some teammates from your high school sports team together for a quick game, learn how to cook, paint a landscape or start a vinyl collection. The list is never-ending and by the time break is over you’ll be able to play the Careless Whisper riff on your new instrument like nobody’s business.

 

  • Read a book…for fun!

 

Don’t worry, interesting books still exist in the world. It might have been a while since you got to pick up something other than a textbook, but it’s never too late to re-read Harry Potter or go a little deeper with Hemingway. Take the plunge and dust off those covers on your parents’ shelves.

 

  • Create a plan for the future

 

Several required courses can be painfully boring and leave you questioning your major and your future, but take this break to get back to what you envision yourself doing after college. Writing down ideas about your academic, career or life plans is a good way to keep things in perspective and remind yourself that all the hard work of college will be worth it. You can even throw in some research on internships, graduate schools and companies in your field. You don’t have to apply for positions tomorrow, but having your plans in one place is a great way to be organized for the future.

Written by: Gillian Allen — features@theaggie.org