Published: January 9, 2023 by Kesheena Doctor
We did it! After finishing the fall semester, we can now relax and take a well-deserved break. Now is a great idea to start planning ahead for the rest of your time at I’m at school.
I am in my freshman year but intend to use the winter break to better prepare for the upcoming semesters so that I can ensure I meet relevant deadlines and successfully navigate studies superior. As an undergraduate student, I found it difficult to plan and sometimes missed scholarship deadlines and course registration deadlines. With my graduate studies, I focus on being more organized and would like to share some activities you can do to have a more efficient and productive winter vacation.
Decompress after the end of the semester
Relaxation should be at the top of your to-do list. Go out to dinner, enjoy a relaxing bath, get a massage or go on vacation. Just be sure to congratulate yourself on a job well done and give yourself a reward that will help replenish your energy and lower your stress levels. If you have a full-time job like most graduate schools, even staying over your weekend can help you relax and adjust to having free time again.
Reflection on the semester
Once you’ve taken a few days off to rest and relax, writing a reflection on the past semester is a great wrap-up activity. Write down all of your accomplishments, including projects you were proud of, study tools that worked for you, teachers you liked, and subjects and classes that interested you. Then write down anything that didn’t work for you. Did you study better in AM? Were you more productive on weekends? Writing these observations can help you remember the details of the semester and help you strategize for the next semester. In undergrad, I often went from semester to semester with the baggage of the previous semester weighing on me. Having closure is a great tool to help you refresh and move in a positive direction for the next semester.
Update your e-wallet
Although the fall semester is still fresh in your mind, I recommend that you review your homework and decide what you would like to add to your e-portfolio. Copy lesson plans and assignment details that include information on skills fulfilled by the assignment. If the assignment was a group effort, contact your classmates and ask for permission to use the assignment in your e-Portfolio. If there are any class discussions that may meet a requirement, take screenshots while they are available in Canvas.
Compile these documents in a drive, either on your computer or an online drive, although backing them up to both is a good choice! I used Google Drive, organized my files by skill and then created a subfolder by course. However, you can organize your files to best suit your organizational needs.
Once you have compiled and organized your sample skills, review them and take notes on the experience and what you learned. Although skill teachers may require specific criteria in their courses, writing notes can still be very beneficial. You’re unlikely to remember the details of the assignment one to three years after completion, so these types of notes will come in handy once you’ve taken INFO 289: Advanced Topics in Library and Information Science.
Financial aid and lesson planning
If you’re like me and you’re using financial aid to supplement college fees, winter break is also a great time to start planning your financial aid for the upcoming school year. Although filling out financial aid forms and scholarship applications may not seem like a fun task during the winter break, since these documents are due during the spring semester, it is a good idea to plan your aid now while you have the time to devote to these tasks. If you haven’t already, plan your budget for the next school year, then apply for FAFSA and all scholarships and loans. The iSchool has a big list scholarships available, both from SJSU and external organizations. SJSU also offers a comprehensive list of
external scholarships that can meet your educational and financial needs.
Personal care and catering
Finally, take more time to relax, take care of yourself and communicate with your loved ones. While work can limit the amount of time off you can actually take for yourself, relishing in small acts of self-care can help renew you for the next semester. Write down a list of self-care activities you would like to do during the break, from the most important to the least important, to ensure that the essentials are taken care of. I plan to spend time with my loved ones, get a haircut, resume my bodybuilding routine, deep clean my apartment, cook home-cooked meals, read at least one book, and watch TV shows. television. Have a good winter break!