Winter Break To-Do-List
With three whole months off for the summer, there are always loads of things that students try to accomplish during this extended period of time. From internships, studying abroad, or just going home, it can be difficult to even decide what the best option is. While summer provides all of these opportunities, what is something that you can do during your winter break? A month off across most of December and January can feel like too much time to spend at home but too little time to do other things. Ultimately many people just end up doing nothing but binge-watching their favorite tv show the entirety of break. As the holiday season approaches, here I have compiled a list of some productive ways to spend your break this winter until we are back at UT next semester.
- Get a job
While many believe winter break is too short to hold a job, there are actually many companies that hire seasonal part time workers during the holidays. Managers for many retail or fast food chains begin hiring in the fall around September and October so apply then and contact them to let them know you will be able to work once you come back from school. Especially if you have already held a job at the same company, many places will eagerly hire their previous workers back during breaks because of the high volume traffic usually expected during holiday sales and the fact that they will not have to re-train you.
- Search and apply for internships
Sometimes during school, students have so many commitments to classes and organizations that it can be difficult to find time to actually apply for internships and job opportunities that will help further your career in the field you are interested in. Winter is the perfect time to do this, especially since some positions for the spring and summer will start hiring now.Using websites such as Linked In and Indeed can also help in your search.
- Apply for scholarships and financial aid
Just like with internships, it can be hard to find time to apply for scholarships amidst all the work we have in the school year. There are always several departmental scholarships offered through UT or even through some private organizations that go unused because no one applies. For example, the Cockrell School of Engineering offers an engineering scholarship geared toward only students currently enrolled in that department. If applicable, also make sure to look into financial aid opportunities that you may qualify for. It is important to continue applying for as many scholarships as you can even after being accepted into UT, and winter break is an ideal time to sit down and work on these applications.
- Learn a new skill
What better way to spend your break than to pick up a new skill? The one month that winter break provides is all you need to maybe take a short introduction to coding class, work on some graphic design projects, or perhaps earn a certification you can add to your resume. For example, the Hubspot Inbound certification is very useful to have as a marketing professional and was offered for free through an AMA workshop earlier this month.
- Rest and spend time with family and friends
After you accomplish whatever you set out to do this winter break, make sure you also set aside time to simply relax and spend time with your friends and family. After all it is the holidays and this is the time to be with them. Cheer up and get well rested to return to another wonderful semester at UT Austin!
By Sanjana Reddy