Most colleges will be heading into a midterm break at some point over the next few weeks, but with a college budget and the current economy, fewer and fewer students are able to get away to some place hot and sunny (*ahem* like yours truly). Luckily, as I come to the close of my rather early winter break I bring you 5 different alternatives to spending spring break if you’re stuck at home instead of under a palm tree somewhere sipping Bahama Mamas…okay, I’m only a little bitter, I swear.
Go on a Stay-cation
With the poor condition of the economy this summer, more and more people were learning the meaning of a stay-cation. But it’s not only for the sunny months, take advantage of your time off to have a stay-cation with a few of your friends. Play tourist for a day or two and check out the local attractions in your hometown or school town. Go to museums, art galleries, theatres, restaurants, any place close by that you’ve always seen but never bothered to check out. Try going for a hike, or snowshoe, at a local trail and finishing up with a cup of cocoa at a local coffee shop. Or how about a dartboard road trip? Grab a local map and toss a dart at it: wherever the dart lands, that’s where you and your friends will head out, even if it’s only that small farm town in the next county over. Pack some sandwiches, a sweet mix CD of driving songs, and your camera for some memories you’ll never forget.
Before you skip over this option, let me plead my case. This is one of those options that pays off later, like a week or two later when all your friends with fading tans are scrambling to catch up with all the work you got ahead on weeks ago. You’ll be so happy with yourself and the best part is an hour or two a day is all it takes to make a big difference. Look ahead at readings, assignments, and upcoming lectures to try to get ahead. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
Get a Makeover
No need to get dramatic (unless you’re up for it) but it will make heading back to school just a little bit sweeter if you’ve got a great new look to show off. Shop for a new outfit, makeup, or accessories for spring, and don’t be afraid to try on things outside of your comfort zone, you may find something you love. Head to the spa for a mani/pedi, facial, or massage (or all three!) Get a new haircut; maybe try bangs or some soft highlights around your face. If you want to try something at home, pick up a box of drug store colour in a shade or two darker than your natural shade for a sexy, dramatic change. Or use a colour that matches your natural shade to amp up colour and shine. But, don’t try lightening your hair with boxed colour: this leads to unnatural shades (think peach, pink, and beige, yuck!) If you’re still hung up on Cuba, fake it with a skin-safe spray-tan: my bff tried it for the first time and said it is a little scary in the booth, but turns out really natural and lasts for weeks.
Start a Good Habit
If your New Year’s resolution fell through (or is in need of a resurrection), the break is a good time to recharge your batteries and start establishing those habits that seemed to overwhelming to take on at the beginning of the semester. Start drinking more water, eating less fast food, going to yoga class, being more organized, getting better grades. The break is a perfect time to refocus on what you want to accomplish this term or year and start taking steps to achieving your goals. Even if you only go to the gym for a couple weeks, it’s something you might not have done at all if you didn’t take the time to push yourself.
Get a Job
Okay, I’m not suggesting you spend 4 days getting a job to spend 3 days working (although you could do this if you really wanted to) but it’s never too early to start looking ahead. The rest of the school year tends to fly by and before you know it, you’re in a scramble to get a summer job. If you want to avoid flipping burgers or flogging lemonade for another year in a row, start preparing now. Update your resume with any work or volunteering you’ve done, or awards you’ve received since last summer. Start researching potential positions or internships, particularly ones in your field of interest. Even answering phones at a PR company will look better on your resume when you graduate than Burger King. See how early you have to apply and what is required: some competitive internships actually start accepting applications for the summer in March and April, so scope out what you need to have an start applying. With any luck, you’ll have a great position waiting for you at the end of the term and can focus on acing your exams rather than scrambling to find a job for the next 4 months.
I hope you’re inspired to do something other than watch reruns of Jersey Shore all reading week, but if that’s what makes you excited, go for it. The important thing is to come back from the break feeling relaxed and refreshed: this is what reading week was designed for, so take advantage of it. What do you plan to do for reading week? Are you lucky enough to go on vacation, or are you staying home? Leave a comment and let me know!