Friday, December 18, 2015

Bring on the Break!

IT’S HERE! The break we have all been waiting for!

As students, we all know how stressful finals can be and the lack of sleep that might stem from those late-night, caffeinated, study sessions. It’s like Winter Break is the light at the end of the tunnel. I can hardly focus by the time I get to my last final exam, because I start thinking about all of the things I’m going to be able to do after I leave that classroom and honestly, my first thought is usually a nap.

Don’t get me wrong, break is a great time to catch up on sleep, but don’t snooze your entire Winter Break away. From a senior’s perspective, I’d like to share with you some of the ways I took advantage of Winter Break in the past, somethings I wish I had done, and a few tips for the best ways to utilize our Winter Break as we look forward to the spring semester.

Winter Break allows you only five weeks to de-stress, catch up, and plan for the Spring semester. With being so close to graduating, I am taking advantage of this Winter Break a little differently than I normally do. For some, Winter Break means the start of Winter Session, which I am currently enrolled in.

It’s a good time for students to take harder courses at a pace that helps them to better understand the material and for others it’s catch up or get a head time! I’m using this Winter Break to fill the rest of my GEPs and to complete my minor so that in the Spring, my course load won’t be so heavy. Studying, writing papers, doing projects, and taking exams won’t be the only thing I plan to do this Winter Break, though.

I am also using Winter Break to gain new skills that could benefit me in my future career (Oh, Hey Marketing and Communications Winter Internship!) and to better organize myself for post-grad life.

Fortunately, I have already contracted with a company for after graduation. This Winter Break I plan to stop into the office to deliver some cookies and to catch up with everyone in the office that I haven’t seen since my internship ended.

Seniors —yesterday was the day to start looking for internships and job opportunities for after graduation. Maybe even finish up those grad school applications and take the GREs. If you get some free time or your Netflix account starts getting old, hop on that career search grind.
Juniors — internships are a great way to get your foot in the door. That’s actually how I received my job opportunity. Special thanks to the Center for Professional Development and Career Experience because it was through their webpage that I found that internship and if you impress the employer, you might just get a job offer.
Sophomores’ and First Years’ — use this time to be proactive and start thinking about careers that interest you and academic specializations/concentrations that will set you apart in your major and ultimately, in your future job search. Someone once told me that you should pick something “hard” and work until you are good at it. It will make you very valuable to any company, especially if you can do that one thing no one else wants to do.

Academics aside, there is still plenty of time to spend with family and friends, enjoy yourself, and to maybe even do a little traveling. In the past, I also used Winter Break to make some extra cash to use for books, gas, and other expenses during the coming semester.

My roommate since freshman year, Mere, and I started what seems to be an annual tradition. Every January, a few of our BU friends get together and go to the Farm Show in Harrisburg. The two of us always try to squeeze in a ski trip and time to build gingerbread houses, too. It’s always enjoyable to spend time together outside of college. Some of my best college memories are from Winter Break. Maybe this year you could start a tradition with your friends.

The only thing I wish I could have taken advantage of in the past during Winter Break would be to take at least one course over the five week period. I think it would have definitely lightened up my semester course loads and would have kept me in my “school work” state of mind. Sometimes going back to college after break it is hard to get back on track and focusing the way you need to be. I think maybe one course over break would have kept me focused a little better.

In the short time we are away from campus, try to keep your goals in eyesight and to make memories that you’ll never forget. Live, laugh, and love. Spend time those around you and enjoy being at home. Make new goals for yourself and be proud when you achieve them. Try something you’ve never done; dare to make a difference somewhere. Catch those extra ‘Zzzs. These might be the same old things you’ve heard time and time, again, but the more I think about graduation, the more these tips make sense.

Enjoy your Winter Break. Happy Holidays and Have a Happy New Year. Thanks for reading!

— Jessica Shiptoski, senior accounting major, professional writing minor, fraud examination concentration #HuskyLife #WinterBreak #memories