Nine things every student should do over the break

Who says holidays are just for relaxing?

9. Do all your laundry before heading home

There are two advantages to this. First, it will help you avoid the possibility of spreading bed bugs—which have recently been reported in residences from Fredericton to Toronto—to mom and/or dad’s. Second, it will make mom and dad think you’re all grown up, which you are, right?

8. Get a head start on the next semester

Take a peek at next semester’s course websites and do some of the readings. Calm down. I only mean readings that you will actually enjoy getting out of the way, perhaps with a rum and eggnog in hand. If none appeals to you then use the time to reevaluate your choice of program instead.

7. Review your financial situation

You’re probably too lazy to actually have a budget but at least look at your bank statements and see where you’re over-spending. Then, do some calculations to see if you have enough for the next four months. If you don’t, start looking for a part-time job or—better yet—apply for a line of credit from the bank and get a parent to co-sign while you’re home. Consider asking for tuition money as a holiday gift rather than a PlayStation 4. (Other people will get PS4s and you can just play theirs.)

6. Spend time with your high school friends

If you don’t nurture relationships with the friends you made in your teenage years, you risk losing them altogether. Make a point to go to a movie together, have coffee or whatever. Also, don’t forget about any international student friends. They might be lonely if they aren’t flying home.

5. Research study abroad programs

You might never again have such a good excuse to travel as you do during university. Exchange programs and semesters abroad only cost about the same as regular semesters plus airfare. They do, however, require planning. You may need to load up on required courses before going overseas because a lot of foreign university courses only count as electives at your home campus.

4. Get your résumé ready

Summer job hunting season starts in January. It feels early but it’s true. If you’re graduating in the summer, you may have already missed the recruiters on campus but, either way, this is a good time to make sure your résumé is in order. Here are some suggestions for résumés and cover letters.

3. Do some career research

Go on a coffee date with someone who is currently doing work that you can picture yourself doing. This could be a parent’s friend or you may even try messaging a stranger on LinkedIn and asking if you can take them for a coffee. Don’t forget to ask if they’re hiring summer student employees.

2. Review deadlines for professional schools and post-graduate programs

Did you know that many teacher’s college applications are due in December? Or that law school applications are due in November? Think about it. If you’re in year three now, you have less than a year to build your résumé and/or study for mandatory admissions exams like the Law School Admission Test. If you’re thinking about college after your degree, it’s never too early to research.

1. Relax

All of the chores listed above won’t take more than a few hours per day. The rest should be spent sleeping, relaxing, eating, drinking and definitely not thinking about school.