After all the late-night study sessions and long exams, a relaxing holiday break is just what the campus doctor ordered. Time to rest, recharge and raise a glass of eggnog — you’re one term closer to graduation.
But with a whole holiday break’s worth of time before you, it seems a shame not to be at least a little productive.
Here are a few simple things you can do to set yourself up for success in the coming term:
1. Review your college budget
So, what’s the money sitch? Take some time to review your finances. Start by taking an honest look at how your bank account fared the past few months. Do you have a little extra or are you counting out your pennies?
If you had trouble stretching your money, it’s a sign that something needs adjusting. Budgeting while you’re in college can be tricky, since you don’t always know exactly how much your expenses will be. Now’s a great time to update your estimated expenses with actual costs and set a realistic budget for next term.
Consider your sources of income, too. Do you need to apply for more scholarships or get a part-time job? If your parents help out with financial support, sit down with them to talk about what worked, what didn’t and what changes you might need to make.
2. Revamp your resume
Speaking of getting a job, one simple way to attract more money into your life is to always keep a slick, up-to-date resume ready to send out at a moment’s notice. You never know when a dream job prospect, internship or scholarship opportunity might come knocking. You could walk out the door tomorrow and meet someone in your chosen field who says, “Send me your resume, and we’ll talk.”
Take a moment to update your resume with any work experience, volunteering or awards you’ve won over the past term. If it’s still feeling a bit sparse, make a list of things you can do over the next several months to give it some oomph, like joining a student group, taking on a leadership role or taking action on an issue you care about.
3. Apply for additional scholarships and internships
The school year feels like it’s barely begun, but it’s already time to start thinking about what’s next. If you haven’t filed your FAFSA yet, definitely do that — the sooner you turn it in, the better your chances of qualifying for more aid. You can also start searching for new scholarships and internships to apply for. Some of the deadlines are coming up quickly, so stay on top of things by gathering your application materials now.
This is another way your spruced-up resume will come in handy. Juggling a full course load is challenging enough without worrying about application deadlines; the more you can do during your holiday break, the easier next term will be.
4. Take time to relax
Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is just relax. After a busy term, you need to reset before it’s time to do it all over again. So sure, get a few things done. But make sure you also allow yourself plenty of time away from the pressures of college life. You’ve earned it!