Spring Break: Fun & Productive — Thoughts from a Peer Advisor

Thoughts from A. Bogdanow, Peer Advisor, excerpted from Peer Advisor Blog

If you’re like me, you’ve spent the past week reading, studying, writing papers, taking tests — what I like to call “midterming.” It’s been rough – at this point, I’m sleepy, running on caffeine and carbs, and constantly checking my to-do list. Throughout it all, though, I’ve had one thought in my mind to keep myself moving: this Sunday morning, I”ll wake up on a Caribbean island for a week of relaxing on the beach with friends. Pretty nice, huh? My to-do list for THAT week involves sleeping, reading for fun (what? crazy!), and applying lots and lots of sunscreen.

But then there’s this other thought in the back of my mind. What about, you know, school? We may have a two week spring break, but that doesn’t mean we can forget about classes. So, whether you’re going home, staying at school, or traveling, here are some trips to being productive while still having fun over break:

  • Before you leave campus — take a look at all of your syllabi and make a calendar of everything you have due calendar(yup, including reading) for the six weeks following break. Do you have semester-long research projects? Tests? Lots of reading? Looking at this calendar, make a specific list of everything you need/want to get done over break. Break it down to be as detailed as you can – if you have research you need to do, make a list of topics. If you have tests when you get back, figure out what chapters they’ll be on. Then, be attentive and PACK according to this spring break to-do list. You don’t want to get home and realize you forgot your reading or notebook for a class.
  • While you’re away — as soon as you get home, make a plan. You’ll still be in classes-mode this weekend, so utilize all those study skills and make a two-week calendar for what you need to do and when you’ll do it. If you leave everything until the last minute, the weekend we get back to school will not be fun. Tell your parents/friends that you have work to do and see if there’s a way your schedule can fit with theirs. Any friends who are also home from college will have work too, so maybe figure out a time to sit at your local library/coffee shop and do work together (hey, it’s no Pi or Olin, but it’ll do). Remember that you’re definitely not supposed to be working all day, every day, but if you put in an hour or two every day of break, whatever work you have really won’t be too bad.
  • Don’t forget to relax in ways that don’t include just looking at a computer or TV – we spend more than enough time ruining our eyes during all those late nights in the library. If you’re lucky, you’ll be somewhere that the weather is nice. Spend some time outdoors, reconnect with old friends, read a book for fun, exercise – do everything you might not have time to do during the regular semester. Connect with your old support network, whether that means seeing old friends, talking with teachers from high school, or visiting a club/group/organization you used to be involved with.

Have a great break!