Making the Most of Your Short-Term Breaks

Mid-semester breaks are clear, cool oases in the middle of blistering, assignment-filled semesters. As tempting as it is to spend all of your break catching up on your favorite show, however, it also holds the potential for some serious productivity. There isn’t enough time for a full-time internship or long-term service project like there is during summer and winter breaks — but if you’re creative, you can find some exciting, energizing opportunities. Aside from catching up on homework, here are some ideas for how you can take full advantage of your mid-semester break:

• Earn money: You’ve probably been too swamped with academics to pull any overtime shifts at work, so see if you can get some extra hours during break. If you’re going home for break, see if you can return to your old summer job or babysitting gig.
• Look for a summer job/internship: Most summer opportunities need applications submitted in early spring, so this break (spring break especially) is the perfect time to either start or continue your search. This also may be the only time you’re home before summer begins, so take advantage by physically looking for jobs; walk around, ask about summer openings, introduce yourself and apply in person.
• Exercise: If you’re like most collegiattes, your workout routine has unraveled during the few weeks leading up to break. Take these days off to get back in your fitness habits as well as re-energize for the second half of the semester.
• Catch up with friends and family: If you intend to have a busy summer break, these shorter breaks are invaluable opportunities to socialize with home friends. Enjoy being with people who aren’t stressed over classes or campus drama and just relax. Don’t forget to spend some quality time with the family while you’re home, of course. They’ve probably missed you even more than you missed them, so enjoy a few home cooked meals, go on family outings (without complaining) and catch up.
• Travel: Many schools offer one or two-week trips abroad during breaks, often for credit. These are especially valuable if you aren’t planning on spending a semester abroad; fall and spring break trips are less expensive options if you’re excited to travel and explore. Many colleges also host week-long volunteer opportunities and service projects, so explore your options in the weeks leading up to break.
• Sleep: You should definitely use these days off to catch up on late assignments and get ahead on upcoming papers — but your mental health probably needs some TLC as well. Enjoy sleeping in your own room, and don’t feel guilty about staying in bed past noon

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