Tag Archives: guide to winter break

Out-of-state School Break Tips!

It’s that time of the year! The semester is ending, and preparations for the journey back home (if you dorm) are underway! Coming from the suburbs of Southern California, here are some helpful tips I take in consideration getting ready for winter break!

  1. First of all, make sure to pack wisely! – nuff said! Overweight luggage give you unwanted fees! Most airlines have a limit of 50 lbs. per checked bag, and don’t worry, your belongings are safe to be left in your room!
  2. Make sure you are at the airport/train station/bus terminal early and prepared to board! Major airports can have lines that take up to an hour to go through, so don’t miss your flight by arriving 2 hours before your departure!
  3. Find the best deals for you! – As we all know, traveling can be expensive. By researching thousands of websites out there that are touting the lowest rates. I personally use Google Flights, which monitors pricing and gives you real-time statistics. SUPER helpful!

Brendan’s Guide to Winter Break

As I sit here writing, it is currently “blizzard-ing” outside my window. Oh, January. You look so pretty…but then I’m forced to go outside and I remember how cold-hearted you are. The excitement and joy of December seems like a distant memory. The holidays never seem long enough. However, it is now a New Year. Another year to move forward with your goals and aspirations. Another year to check those boxes off on your bucket list. Another year to live your best life!

Winter break in college is like a double edged sword. You can use it to your advantage, or let it take advantage of you. This break is the perfect time to reboot after a hardworking semester. We all can’t wait to get home and not have projects, or finals to worry about! Its a great feeling.

My first year at FIT, I was new to the “6 weeks off at Christmas through January, instead of one week off like high school, to do whatever you want with no homework or responsibilities.” It was awesome to have that much time off from school, and to be home with my friends and family. That feeling never goes away, I just approach my winter break’s differently now than I did back then.

My first winter break I was basically a blob. My couch and I became even closer than we were before, molding to each others shapes. Netflix was a great friend for those few weeks. And yes, I have wonderful human friends as well. We would get together, get food, go to the local Target, because the options are quite limited in wintery upstate New York. By the time my break was over, I felt gross, out of shape, like I’d eaten two years worth of Christmas cookies. I hadn’t accomplished much on a small checklist I’d made at the beginning of break. I had done my fair share of relaxing, to the point of exhaustion, which lead to more relaxing! A never ending cycle!

But hey, it was my first time and I was learning. That is why I vowed then to make my winter breaks more productive and beneficial to ME. Maybe some people have no problem doing nothing, cozying up in their home and snacking on Xmas cookies. I have now learned that these few weeks are the perfect time to make a list, and get things done. Things you’ve been wanting to do all semester, but may have not had time for. 

SO, if you feel like your break could have been a bit better, I’ve come up with a short list of tips for you to follow. 

1. Indulge in the Holidays

By no means am I saying to not fully relax and soak up the holiday season. Please do!! By that point in our year, we need the family parties, delicious meals and holiday movies on ABC family. Embrace your time with your friends and family who you may not see throughout the year. Give them hugs and tell them you love them! Give back, do something kind, spread the holiday spirit! EAT LIKE YOU’VE NEVER EATEN BEFORE!

2. Set Realistic New Year’s Resolutions

Once the holidays are over, it’s easy to slip into “Post Holiday Depression,” as I like to call it. The hype is over, the Christmas tree is plopped at the end of your driveway. After New Years, write a list of some things you really hope to do within the upcoming year. Big picture resolutions like “WIN THE LOTTERY,” may be a little unrealistic. Think of personal goals you’d like to attain. Say something kind to someone every day, Read more books, Go to a concert. I find that smaller, positive goals are easier to check off my list! That way, when you look back next year you’ll see how much you’ve accomplished. The energy you enter into the New Year with is a great indicator of how your year could turn out. This year I want to take more Bikram Yoga classes and eat healthier foods! I can do that 🙂

3. Find Enjoyable Hobbies

If you live where it snows, you know some days seem longer and more mundane than others. Its too cold to be outside, or the roads are too icy to drive on. Looks like your spending the day at home! This is where hobbies come in handy! I re-learned how to knit this winter, and have been really enjoying doing that. I’m working on some belated Christmas gifts. I also have been pecking away at the “Books I want to Read” list. (Is it obvious that I like to create lists?) Find what passes your time without feeling like you’re just passing time. Make sense?

4. Get a Job

If you’re like me (or most kids my age I know) you’re a typical “broke college student.” I’ve had a job since I was 15, even throughout college. Personally, I enjoy to work for my money. It feels so much better spending it when you know how hard you worked 😉 I understand some may not be home long enough to find, apply, and get a job. Luckily, I have a job that I can come back to whenever I’m home, at a local bistro. Since I’m home for a few weeks, it’s the perfect time to build my bank account back up before the next semester. I don’t have much time for a job in the city anymore, with school and interning. If you have the option to work a few shifts while you’re home, do it! It keeps you busy AND gives you some spending money!

5. Review Your Upcoming Semester

We’ve all had that nightmare where you walk into school (usually in your underwear) and don’t know where any of your classes are, you’re completely unprepared, and everyones pointing and laughing at you. Let’s not make that nightmare reality, shall we? MyFIT has many ways for you to learn about your classes before actually sitting down at your desk. I like to screenshot my schedule on my phone, so that when the first day comes, I have a visual. It’s a big help for locating room numbers, because I never remember! I also enjoy looking at who’s going to be in my class. It’s always comforting to know you have a friend in class on your first day. Log onto MyFIT, click the Student tab, scroll down to “My Courses,” click “Click here to enter,” click on your course title, then click “Members” under Personal Tools. It shows you a full class list! It helps to subdue any nerves and get you excited for the upcoming Spring semester!

Everyone is different. Everyone approaches things differently, even our college winter breaks. Long story LONG, do what makes you happy and makes you feel good during this time! For me,  enjoy feeling like I’ve accomplished things over break. I hope that some of these tips are helpful to you! Please enjoy the rest of your winter breaks, and HAPPY BELATED NEW YEAR!

xx,

Brendan