Starbucks red cups, trees, carols, decorations and lights, parades, presents, and lots of good food…ring a bell? Actually, maybe a few bells! Yes, it’s already the most anticipated time of year where everything seems colder and stressful, yet exciting. As college students, the holiday season and winter break is the most anticipated time of year for several reasons. However, the main reason for most of us is that we are finally done with classes we might have struggled with. We finally get to go back home and spend quality time with our loved ones, or just simply able to relax and sleep in as long as we wish for a few short weeks!
Unfortunately, for college students who are close to graduation or who have already chosen a specific career path that requires extra internships and preparation, we are not as lucky. For those of you who fit the above description or simply want to get a head start on your career background, this winter break might mean doing a few activities that are not so relaxing. That’s why I’m here and with my top four things to do over winter break, I promise you’ll find something to do!
Whether you choose to do all, a few, or even one item from this list, you will be glad you did and your future employers will too.
- VOLUNTEER. Volunteering is often first thought of as boring and a waste of time but volunteering the organizations that interest you or volunteering with friends and family can be fun.The holiday season is about helping those who are less fortunate which means giving back and making someone’s holiday season not as bad. Plus, volunteering during what is supposed to be your “free month off” looks great on your resume. Consider places like Habitat for Humanity, churches, and soup kitchens.
- SHADOWING. For those of you who may get tired of sleeping in every day (really?), winter break is a perfect time to shadow an employee you know or do not know in your desired field. Sometimes internships can be hard to find and because you only have a few short weeks, shadowing may be the best bet. Shadowing is a nice way to get an image of what a typical day entails for people in a specific career. This can improve your resume and maybe even help you want to learn more or change career paths.
- UPDATE YOUR RESUME. A lot of college kids do not even have resumes started and that’s perfectly okay! Regardless of where you are in your job search or how far along you are with college credits and part-time jobs, this is a perfect time to start or update your resume. Did you take the time to develop a new skill, did you pick
up a seasonal job at your local mall or grocery store? Adding new details to your resume as simple as those are important.
- NETWORK. We all know the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Although some people choose to believe or not believe this specific quote, there is some truth to it. Some people, especially college students, are afraid to branch out due to fear of embarrassment or rejection. That’s okay! But by putting yourself out there shows that even though you may be embarrassed or afraid, you are interested in your field and still made an attempt. Use this winter break to reach out to family, friends, and neighbors to possibly help you get in touch with someone they may know in your chosen job field.
You may choose to do one, a few, or all of the options listed above. Or, you may not. However, if you are sitting in a warm house, drinking hot chocolate during winter break and need something to do or need to prepare a little more for your chosen job field, I encourage you to go for it!
Georgina, aka Gina, is currently a junior at IU, majoring in family studies and sociology. Raised in Phoenix, AZ and South Bend, IN, she couldn’t be happier to be at IUB! Her passions include dance, working out, cooking, and spending time with friends, bf, family, and her cats Shadow and Mocha. She plans to become a Marriage & Family therapist while working with issues like racism and inequality. Fun fact: she can’t start her day without a nice cup of coffee…or three, but who’s counting?