How to Get Ahead Over the Winter Break


When you’re buried in textbooks, juggling projects and prepping for exams, the only thing that might be keeping you going is knowing that you’ll have an entire month off soon! All you have to do is get through these last few weeks, and then you can finally breathe.

As much as party-hopping, sleeping in, or working extra hours sounds like the best way to spend the winter break, it’s a good idea to plan how you can get ahead over the winter break.

Review Upcoming Courses

Remembering which courses are in each semester and what they entail can be difficult. To better prepare yourself for what’s coming, take some time to go over what courses you have. Then, check out the descriptions to refresh your mind on what you’ll be learning after the winter break. This will help you get into the mindset needed to succeed in the upcoming months.

Purchase Necessary Textbooks and Equipment

Towards the end of the break, you should have a list of textbooks and the equipment you’ll need for your classes. In some cases, students prefer to wait until the first day of classes to ask their professor what is actually needed and what they can get by without. However, it’s always easier to find good deals on equipment when things are on sale after the holidays. You’ll also have a better chance of finding used textbooks or good deals online before the start of the term when everyone else will also be looking.

If you’re certain you’ll need it, get it during the winter break, and save yourself the hassle of having to do it the first week back.

Plan Out Your Schedule

Once your timetable becomes available, it’s time to get out your planner. Start scheduling in your lectures and study times. If you have a part-time job you maintain throughout the school term, let your employer know your new class schedule and see what shifts you can manage.

Many post-secondary schools also have professors post their instructional plans online. Check to see when projects are due and when exams will be held, and schedule them into your planner or create yourself a chart that can be referred to and updated as needed.

Read a Book

A lot of students struggle to find the time to read for themselves while in school. When you’re assigned more than 100 pages a week of required readings, who has time to read for fun? The winter break is the perfect time to knock some books off your reading list.

Don’t have a reading list? Do some research online depending on what genre you’re interested in. Or considering tuning into some podcasts and audiobooks.

Attend Networking Events

Everyone knows the importance of networking! Even though a lot of people will be attending holiday parties and family functions, it doesn’t hurt to see what networking events are going on in your area over the winter break. This is a great opportunity to get out there and meet people in your field.

Start Hunting for a Summer Job/Internship

It’s always a good idea to start looking for a job well before the term ends; it’s even better to start the job hunt before the term begins. Take some time to look at what’s out there, research the companies you’re interested in and start following them online to get a better idea of what their work culture is like. You can even make a list of people you would like to invite out for coffee in the coming weeks after the holiday madness has quieted down and they’ve caught up on work from missed days.

Rest Up

Many students go into their breaks with big plans to see their family and friends, work insane hours and take on personal projects, but it’s important that you take some time to actually rest. Everyone needs a break now and then, especially students. School terms can be exhausting, so this is the time for self-care!

Considering a lot of students work an average of 19 hours a week, and some who work many more (even up to full-time hours) on top of their course load, it’s a good idea to plan to spend at least a couple days before the beginning of the winter term to simply relax.

Use the break to your advantage this winter to get prepared for the term ahead, balanced with some much need R&R. Your future self will thank you for it!