Careers, Studying

Have a Productive Break

It’s finally here, or almost here! The one thing we have been looking forward to—Winter break! This is the part where you throw your hands in the air (like you just don’t care) and run…straight to bed. Ahh sweet sweet bed, free from all readings & power point slides.

While the idea of snoozing in bed is quite tempting, this break should not be a hibernation. Why of course, take the first week off, sleep until noon, catch up on all of your favourite television and indulge in your favourite meals—as they say, calories don’t count on vacation. But after you’ve got in a good snooze, make your break productive!

Make your weeks off worth while by:

Getting On That Workout Schedule

Crunches

“I just can’t find time for the gym. When I get home I have to write my essay and in the morning I have to get up and go to the library. It’s not that I don’t want to go, I just seriously have no time.” — sound familiar? This is your time to change that.

Throw the excuse in the garbage & become best friends with your running shoes. We all know that once new years hits, it’s everyones resolution to “be more active” or “eat less sugar” but instead of leaving your goal til 2014, make the last weeks of THIS year count.

Whether you want to get more active, by throwing some music on in your bedroom and strutting your stuff in your mirror in privacy, or you’re training for the Yonge St. 10k, make sure that your goals are met.

And if you don’t know when to try out that awesome workout you found while stalking your best friends boyfriends sister, than do it in the morning. As a wise person once told me (AKA. a post I saw on Tumblr said):

Exercise in the morning before your brain figures out what you’re doing.

Applying For Summer Internships

For the past two summers of my life, I’ve been an intern. The number one question that people ask me when I talk about my internships is: how did you land that? My answer: I just applied. And that’s the truth.

Internships are something that will give you real life experience,  get your name out there and leave a good mark on your resume. They’re also a really fun way to spend your summer. Interning at a place you potentially hope to land a job in the future couldn’t be more exciting. So don’t sit back and say…oh I’ll just apply later. Do it now. Find the contacts, write the cover letters & update your resume.

Apply

My big hint to getting internships & making them worth while are:

Update: Your resume. Always make sure that you’re adding new things and deleting old things. Did you work as a camp counsellor in the summer of grade 9? Or participate in your high school spelling bee? Is that relevant to your future career? If not, remove it. Make sure your resume is always up to date & ready to send out on the fly. The last thing you want is to hear about your dream position and have to spend the weekend updating your resume. You want to be able to send it as soon as you hear about the job.

Work Hard (& Connect): The two things you’ll need when you finish school and start applying to real life work places is a full resume and good references. If you do land your dream internship—it might be unpaid, but work your hardest & make sure that you’re true work ethic is shown. The last thing you want is to leave a bitter taste in peoples’ mouths and be known as the lazy intern. Instead enjoy what you’re doing, get to know the people you’re working with and really act a part of the company. You may only be an intern, but that’s a bigger role than you realize. Often times interns are the pieces holding the puzzle together.

Take advantage of the fact that you’re a student. Many places only allow interns who are enrolled in school. This means that once you graduate, some places may drop off your possible internship lists. So search up places you want to get involved in, contact someone through a professional email and start finding out what their summer applications look like. You don’t want to apply once the snow starts melting & get an email back saying “I’m sorry, we actually just did all the hiring!”  — so start now, while you’re free.

Also, don’t be afraid. Apply everywhere. Even places you think you don’t ever have a chance of actually getting an interview at. That happened to me once & I scored an amazing internship. It’s a crazy way this world works, but guts will get you somewhere. Don’t let your fear or uncertainty rule your actions (unless in a totally unsafe situation of course).

Cleaning Your Dorm Room/House/Apartment/Bathroom

Messy Room

During the semester, especially the last weeks, you were probably too busy to give any cares about the space you were living in. Is there dust behind your desk & clothes all over your chair? Don’t live in your own filth—take some time and clean up!

Now that exams are over you’ll likely be having some more people over…maybe bringing your date home. Do you want them to see this mess?

And if you’re going home for the holidays, do you want to come back to filth?

Take a day & have some fun with the swiffer and vacuum. Nothing feels as good as an organized space. You’re life is less cluttered since school is out, your living space should be too….and maybe you’ll find that iPod you thought you lost in November.

Reading Ahead

Books

I know that school is done; dead and gone for the next few weeks—but if you already know what you’re taking…you could always get ahead on your readings!

Email your professor if you’ve had them before or talk to someone who took the class previously. If you could get the textbook and start reading ahead, you won’t feel like Elle Woods on her first day at Harvard. Getting ahead = less stress later on.

This option isn’t for everyone, but if you’re this kind of person—go ahead, read on, your peers will be jealous of your ability to participate in lecture and your free evenings when January rolls around.

Having Fun

Laugh

Okay, this may not make sense in the productivity category, but I personally think that having run is a priority on school breaks. Catch a few movies (on Tuesdays if you’re on a student budget…or on Netflix), eat out (or have a dinner party and wear your fanciest clothes), make hot chocolate (with extra marshmallows & whipped cream) , dance in the rain (or I guess the snow) and just relax.

While we want the break to last forever, January is coming & it’s coming fast. Make sure that you’ve spent your winter break enjoying yourself. School doesn’t really allow for much of a social life these days, so take this time to catch up with friends in different programs or at different schools; call your cousins in different countries or spend an afternoon with your parents. These are the things you don’t get to do when school is happening, so take advantage of your time off & make memories that aren’t: highlighting cue cards.

I hope you all have a lovely lovely break. I’ve already started mine & I have to say, while I’m working all day, I’m enjoying my nights off. I’ve already updated my resume & I’m about to get started on an application for a school program. I saw a movie with a friend who’s back from Queens & just went to dinner with my family. I’ve also hit the gym & planned to clean my room tomorrow, even though I don’t really want to. Not having school has really allowed me to focus on a few other things & it’s absolutely wonderful.

What are you looking forward to most this break? What are you going to do that screams PRODUCTIVITY? Let me know in the comments below.

Have a wonderful winter break & I wish you all the happiest of holidays.

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