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Peer Adviser Post: How to Make the Most Out of Your Winter Break

Peer Adviser Post: How to Make the Most Out of Your Winter Break
By Carlos Garcia '14

Ah winter break: the seemingly endless possibilities and yet the short amount of time until spring semester begins. As my final college winter break approaches, I would like to share some helpful tips as to how to maximize the glory of winter break.

1.     Recover: It is crucial to let your body and mind recover after the craziness of finals. Catching up on sleep is a no-brainer, but there are some other ways in which you can work to improve your health. First, diet. Now is the time to recover from all those midnight Hamdel runs, mounds of snacks, liters of energy drinks and coffee etc. Focus on getting the recommended fruit and vegetable intake, as well as getting full meals throughout the day. Second, winter break also offers you the time to invest in exercise: take the opportunity right from the beginning before settling into a sedentary routine. Even if you don’t have access to a fully equipped gym, there are many ways to keep active, from jogging to setting up a regime of home exercises available online. Finally, it is also a great opportunity to reconnect spiritually. Whether that is through meditation, prayer, services, it is a good opportunity to recharge spiritually to begin next semester refreshed and ready to tackle new challenges.

2.     Relax: Needless to say, winter break offers invaluable opportunities to relax and focus on fun. While bingeing on Netflix is great, there is something to be said about relaxing smartly. It is important to set a healthy routine from the beginning of the break, before mindlessly settling into one – once the routine is set it is hard to break it, especially in view of the rapidly approaching spring semester. It is therefore important to set goals at the start of the break, and set a daily routine around those objectives.

3.     Plan: Take the opportunity to think about next semester to make the beginning the academic year much easier. Review your classes next semester and be sure to sign into your SSOL registration time right at the beginning of your appointed time to make necessary changes. E-mail teachers and set up an appointment with your CSA and/or Major advisor. Importantly, take the time to get the required textbooks for next semester; there is nothing less stressful than not having to worry about the mile long lines at the Lerner Mail Center and falling behind on homework. Additionally, this will likely save you some money since buying books online are often significantly cheaper than in bookstores (I personally recommend Amazon Marketplace). Finally, it is the most important time to start looking for summer internships. Take full advantage of LionShare and begin applying for internships. This will take a significant workload off after the semester begins.

And of course, make sure to treat yourself: you have survived fall semester at Columbia!  This is quite an honorable feat. Winter break offers many opportunities – be wise about it and you may have just gotten yourself the best break yet.  

If you have questions or comments please email your Peer Advisers at:


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