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Student Blog: What to Do Over Holiday Break

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There are an infinite amount of activities you can pursue during your time off, but I strongly encourage you to focus on yourself.

It's the most wonderful time of the year - holiday break, that is. Whether you celebrate one of the holidays during December or not, it's finally that time of year where we get a chance to take a breath and relax. You may be home from your fall semester of college, on winter break from school, or just a break from work. No matter what the circumstances may be, you're finally getting a moment to yourself to decompress and appreciate what you have around you.

I know personally I have looked forward to this break for a long time. College isn't the easiest thing and this semester was certainly not an exception. Along with everything else going on in the world, there are a lot of personal obstacles everyone has been facing and sometimes we wonder when we will finally catch a break. Thankfully this season comes around every year, so we eventually get that long awaited pause from some of our stressors. Though not everyone gets a full month off, including myself, like some other college students, we still get a piece of time to enjoy the winter season.

During this time, I have some suggestions for what to do to still keep yourself entertained but not overworked. Of course, my first suggestion is to catch up on any sleep you lost and enjoy those "lazy days" where you can sit on the couch and watch Netflix. Another important thing you should do is take a moment to yourself to do some reflection and maybe focus on what you hope to do in the new year. It could be the simplest thing of going to bed earlier or changing around your daily routine a little bit. Maybe look into some jobs or internships you've been interested in exploring - but don't stress yourself out about it. Try catching up with some old friends or family members you haven't seen. If you do that, maybe share what's been going on in your lives or reminisce on some of your favorite memories with each other.

The cinemas have also had some great movies come through recently. So far, I have seen House of Gucci and Spider-Man: No Way Home and I can't wait to see West Side Story. Especially since we had the time where the cinemas weren't open - now can be your chance to go out and transport to a different world for a few hours. Or maybe your thing is cooking or baking - take advantage of the time you finally have and make that dish you've been waiting to accomplish.

There are an infinite amount of activities you can pursue during your time off, but I strongly encourage you to focus on yourself. We don't always have the time to do a bit of self-reflection, but I feel it's something necessary we should all do. The holidays aren't everyone's favorite time of year, but it still gives you some time to reevaluate what may or may not be going so well. One thing I've found myself doing is thinking about how I've acted over the past year and how I want to change. Taking that one step forward, I also evaluate how I acted in the past and how I have changed for the better and how I can continue to improve. One big thing that I have started to focus on is advocating for myself. It may be intimidating, but once it's over you may have a giant weight lifted off your shoulders. You can self-advocate in many ways - emailing a teacher about a grade, reaching out to a professional if you feel you need help with something, establishing boundaries, removing yourself from a situation that was bringing you down - whatever is impacting you or has been on your mind can be addressed in some way and it can be a huge relief.

Maybe you've been feeling in the giving mood but don't know how exactly to help. Search for volunteer positions in your local area. One of my favorite things to do is help others find Christmas gifts at the Salvation Army. Food drives are also constantly seeking assistance. If you like animals, there could be a shelter nearby that is looking for help. There may also be community events and activities going on that need an extra set of hands. Not only does this help others, it also makes you take a step back and appreciate the things you have (another form of self-reflection).

There is always something to do around this time of year and you have that choice to do whatever you want. Even in such unprecedented times, the holiday spirit seems to lift everyone up. I hope everyone enjoys the holiday break and remember to take a moment to focus on yourself to prepare for the next year.


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From This Author Student Blogger: Olivia Murray