Your Winter Break To-Do List

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students playing video games

One of the many perks of being a college student is the extended winter break. Given that you probably still have a few weeks left before a new semester, check out this list of fun and enriching ideas to get you through this long winter break at home:

Plan Ahead

School may be the last thing on your mind. But now is a great time to create goals -- both academic or personal -- that you want to accomplish in 2020. For instance, if one of your goals is to network more on campus, browse campus events for career fairs, seminars, and other fun campus events; make sure to register now, so you don't forget once the new semester rolls around.

Prepare Yourself

Take a look at your schedule for this upcoming semester. Look up your professors and start your hunt for books early and stay ahead of the lines at the bookstore. Browse on student forums for anyone looking to sell their old books; now that competition is low, you are more likely to strike a good deal with your fellow peers. In addition, your friends might have notes, study groups, or insights on how to succeed in your course -- reach out to them now and ask to talk through their experience of the class, before they get busy with the start of the semester!

Enhance Your Skills

If you're like me, you can spend countless hours on YouTube, and before you know it, you've wasted hours of your day. So why not interrupt those celebrity interviews or gaming videos for some learning? Think of something you want to get better at -- Excel functions, writing tips, staying organized, coding challenges etc. Set aside some time everyday to look up educational videos and and soak up something new. It doesn't have to be much; just 1-2 videos or articles each day will give you a good foundation for a new skill by the time you go back to campus!

Read for Fun

We know you are already reading a lot for your classes. Now that you don’t have a ton of assigned reading, it’s the perfect time to catch up on all the good books you have been meaning to read but didn’t get the chance to during the school year. Here are some suggestions from Jopwell’s Campus Team:

  • Erin:The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • Alvin: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • Jaime: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
  • Via: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • Annie: Circe by Madeline Miller

Schedule a Coffee Date

Use this time to invite someone on a coffee date -- someone in your professional network you admire, a high school friend, or teacher you haven't caught up with in a while. If they are also on on winter break, you can go to a coffee shop during work hours to avoid the morning crowds. If you are meeting a professional, you will have the flexibility to travel to them, given that you're on break. Make sure to keep the other person’s schedule in mind and find an arrangement that works best for both parties.

Shadow - Intern For a Day

If you made a connection with someone who works at a company you’d one day like to work with, or if there are any headquarters near your area, reach out and ask if it's ok for you to come see the office. Some companies offer externships that align with college students’ winter breaks. These experiences can range from an office tour and informational meeting to a day of shadowing/interning!

Boost your Brain

Give your brain a break from all that reality TV and stimulate it with some fun games. Try a puzzle, coloring books, or even host a trivia night with your friends. Games like these are proven to help your memory in the future and a sure way to have a fun night!

Boss Brunch

Who doesn't love brunch? Gather some of your closest friends while you are home for break and plan a Boss Brunch -- a brunch with a theme of sharing your future plans and goals. We share so much with other professionals who we think are the only ones who can help us get ahead, and we often forget to collaborate and share with those who are closest to us -- our friends! Sharing your dreams out loud in a trusted circle helps you gain support and encouragement


Start the year on a great note by volunteering! Give some of your time to a cause you care about. Grab a group of friends and organize a park or beach cleanup. Reach out to the local schools in your area and ask if they need any help with gardening, after-school tutoring, or mentoring. Studies have shown that volunteering can contribute to a better sense of well-being!


Let’s face it, staying up super late watching TV and eating snacks is NOT self care. Self care is often confused with those things that help us feel good in the moment, but these things often include overspending overeating, which are not actually good for us! So take a day and detox from your phone, take a long walk, hike and truly practice something that you will thank yourself for in the long run. January is the best month to find deals for online classes and food recipes that will help nourish your mind and body. After all, winter break is all about taking the necessary time to refresh yourself!

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