winter break

winter break

How You Can Survive Winter Break If You Are Not Going to Be at Home

tress covered in snowFor many of us, Christmas and the holiday season is a time that we like to be at home with our families and loved ones. However, if you are studying abroad, taking December intersession courses, or simply can’t get home for the holidays, this time of year can be a little disappointing for you.

If you are finding yourself away from home this holiday season, we have a few tips to help you survive Winter Break away from home.

1. Celebrate the holidays in an unique way. There’s no way to recreate the atmosphere and events that take place at your traditional holiday celebrations. So instead of trying, why not create a new celebration? Find some friends who are also spending the Winter Break away from home and think of something fun that you can all do together. Maybe it’s volunteering at a local charity, going ice skating together, or having a marathon of your favorite Christmas movies with plenty of puppy chow and hot chocolate. The more creative and festive you are, the more fun it will be.

2. Call back home when everyone will be there. Arrange a time with your family and friends back home when you can talk to each other. This will give you an opportunity to catch up with everyone from back home and tell them what you have been up to as well. You could also open gifts over the phone while you are talking if you have sent them by mail. If you have Skype, this can be even more fun because you will get to see everyone.

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Avoid Buzzed-Driving This Winter Break

drivingGoing home for the holidays can be a stressful time with your family. Everyone is adjusting to being under the same roof again and tempers can fly. One way to avoid this is by getting out of the house and spending time with your hometown friends, and if you are over 21, you might meet your friends at a bar for drinks. Or you might go to a New Years Eve party, or some other social event where alcohol is involved. We all like to cut loose and have fun around the holidays, so there’s nothing wrong with having a glass or two of your favorite alcoholic beverage (spiked egg-nog anyone?).

However, there is something really wrong with drinking and driving, even if you are just “buzzed.”

Last year, around 10,500 people in the USA died from driving accidents where there was alcohol involved. The holidays have had higher incidences of these accidents than other times of the year for a long time. So, instead of ending 2011 with a DUI or even worse, how about taking some of these safety tips to enjoy your nights out with friends and family without ending the night by driving under the influence.

1. Have a plan for getting home before you go out. It doesn’t matter what your plan is, but make a plan before you go out for the evening. If there is someone in the group who does not want to drink, then make him or her the official designated driver. If everyone wants to drink, then look for alternative options for getting home, such as public transportation or a taxi service. Many college towns have a community sober ride program, so check if your city has something like this as another way to get home safely.

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The Best Books of 2010

Winter break is finally here! That means anywhere from two weeks to a whole month of no school, no obligations, and lots of relaxation. This all sounds wonderful, until you are about half-way into the break and realize that the only productive thing you have done during your vacation is catch up with the Kardashians or work on your baseball pitch with your little brother. (Both are worth-while activities, I’m just saying they aren’t exactly “productive.”)

Maybe instead of sleeping in until 1:00pm every day, you could do something slightly productive and that will also prevent your brain from going to mush over the break. Now, let’s not get too crazy here: I’m not suggesting you write a 10-page thesis paper about the economic, political, and social impacts of World War Two, but how about giving your brain a little exercise by reading a book? And not just any book, but one of the best books that were written this year?

Barnes and Noble recently announced the Best Teen Books for 2010. These books range from “nuanced paranormal romance” to “important, more problematic teen issues” to “well-crafted genre fiction.”

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Don’t Getting Rusty Over Winter Break

Many college students look forward to winter break. It marks the end of a semester, the half-way point for the school year and most importantly, you get to spend time with family. Most students get to enjoy an entire month or more of time off from school with no worries of homework or class lectures.

After a few months of intense study and test taking, it can be easy to lose some of what you learned when faced with time off. If you’re looking toward graduating from college, it will be important to retain something from each class and keep yourself from getting rusty over longer breaks. Summer learning loss doesn’t just affect younger students. College students can experience a loss of learning over time as well. Below are some great ways to keep your mind fresh over the holiday break. This doesn’t mean you have to spend the break writing term papers, but you will find it easier to transition back into the college routine once the break is over.

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4 Ways to Have a Better Winter Break

Your finals are over. You’ve turned in your term papers, and you are enrolled for next semester. As you leave campus for the next few weeks, you will find that winter break can lead to laziness. So, before you plan to spend your break on the couch watching TV, read these tips on how to have a more productive and enjoyable winter break.

1. Make some cash: Find a job that will keep your stress to a minimum. Remember that you’re on break so you can unwind from that semester of cramming. Find a job babysitting, walking dogs, serving or other part-time jobs that will keep your work week short.

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Tips for Getting Back in the New Semester Mindset

school workWinter break is amazing. We sleep in until noon every day, catch up on the list of books we have wanted to read, spend most of our days with family and friends, and have absolutely no responsibilities. It’s the second best time of the school year, second only to summer break because summer break lasts three months instead of one.

Sadly, winter break comes to a screeching halt in late January and we have to go back to school. It can be quite a shocking experience. Sunday you are still sleeping in until noon and spending your days completely carefree. Then Monday rolls around: Your alarm goes off at 8:00 in the morning, your first professor passes out the thickest and most demanding syllabus you have ever seen, and you are left wondering what happened to your life?

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Avoid Boredom Over Break

bored friendsGoing home for the holidays is wonderful. You’ve just finished finals, and all you have to do is spend time with family, eat loads of food, and catch up on the sleep you’ve been missing out on while you were at college.

But truthfully, being home for break can be a bit boring. You can only watch the same movies with your little nephew or hit the mall so many times before you the sales ladies start to know you on a first name basis. 

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5 Ways to Prepare for Spring Semester Over Winter Break

planner

Staying organized at school can be a breeze!

Enjoying your holiday break?  Clearly, there are plenty of fun things to do away from school, so preparing for Spring semester may be the furthest thing from your mind.  However, there are a few simple things you can do to prepare that will make your life a little easier later.

  1. Buy Your Textbooks Now.  With a little legwork and Internet access, you can purchase your textbooks for next semester much cheaper than if you buy them in the campus bookstore.  Here are some ways to save money on college textbooks.
  2. Organize Your Calendar. One of the best ways to manage your time as a college student is to keep a detailed calendar of your assignment deadlines. Figure out how you’re going to set up your system now, either on paper or electronically, so that you’ll be set to get organized when the semester begins. Read the rest of this entry »




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