Making the Most of a “Staycation”

Last week, as dozens of my classmates packed their bags and jetted off to Florida, Mexico and Panama, I stayed put in Westerville, Ohio. This was far from my original plan, which involved spending some time in Chicago, where I was supposed to have an internship interview. But a change of heart which led me to cancel the interview meant that I would no longer be headed off to the Windy City. Instead, I spent the week at home, where chilly temperatures made it feel more like Winter Break II than spring break.

But instead of thinking bitter thoughts and complaining about the cold (okay, that did happen a little bit – winter and I don’t get along), I decided to try and make the week productive and fulfilling. As a result, I came back to school feeling accomplished and well-rested. Here’s how I made the most out of spring break and beat the cold-weather blues.

  • Wake up on the right side of the bed. It’s tempting to sleep the day away when you don’t have to worry about making it to class on time, but don’t oversleep just because you can. Set an alarm if you have to (most days, my alarm was my cat meowing incessantly after my parents and brother left for work and school and she thought she was alone). By all means, let yourself sleep in later than you would on a normal school day, but remember that the earlier you get up and get moving, the more you can accomplish in the day.
  • Tackle some applications. Be it for internships, scholarships, or anything else of the like, being at home over break is a great opportunity to get some of those tedious applications and cover letters out of the way. It’s not the most exciting process, but it’s much easier to look for and apply to various opportunities when you have a week of free time, as opposed to frantically trying to fill out applications during your spare hour in between classes.
  • Catch up on homework. I know, I know – this sounds like the last thing you’d want to spend your time doing over break. But chances are, unfortunately, there will probably be some type of assignment to complete, courtesy of that one pesky professor who can’t seem to grasp the concept of a “break.” As for me, I took the time to catch up on some of the notes for my online class. Figure out how long it will take you to finish any homework assignments you may have, then divide it up over several days so you’ll never have to do much at once.
  • Take a day trip. I drove down to Athens with my family one day to give my younger brother his first (unofficial) college campus tour. Even though my own college town might seem like a strange place to go in order to get out of town for a day, it was refreshing to be there without having to worry about getting to class, work, or a meeting. Campus was peaceful and quiet due to everyone being gone for break, and I enjoyed the time I got to spend with my family. If possible, head out of town for an afternoon – even if that means just going for a long drive.
  • Chill out! I’d be lying if I said that some of my time over break wasn’t spent watching Gossip Girl on Netflix with my cat. No matter how productive you plan on being, make sure you take some time to take a break by yourself and recharge. Spring break is not the week you should be burning yourself out.

    cat gossip girl netflix image
    No, really – she WAS the show.
  • Help someone out. My mom is a preschool teacher, so one day I went into work with her and helped out in the classroom. A whole bunch of four-year-olds can definitely be a handful, but overall I had a lot of fun and gained a better appreciation for what my mom does every day.
  • Schedule interviews and other important appointments for break. I ended up doing one internship interview (via phone) over break, which was a lot easier than trying to fit it in sometime during the school week. Having some free time like this also gives you a good amount of time to research the company in depth and learn about the position so that you really know what you’re talking about when it comes time for the interview.
  • Experience something incredible. I saw The Phantom of the Opera the Saturday before I headed back to school. It was everything I thought it would be and more (and I’d had a feeling it would be amazing). I’d recommend that everyone go see it, but if Phantom isn’t playing nearby, get tickets for a concert or go see your favorite sports team play. It’s the perfect way to get out of the house for a couple hours and be transported into another world.
    phantom of the opera ohio theatre image

So don’t worry if you don’t have an exotic adventure planned for your next school break. Spending it at home might not seem ideal, but it really is the perfect opportunity to relax, catch up on obligations, and spend time with your loved ones. However you decide to spend your time off, I hope you have a good one.

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