In the next couple of weeks all across the country college students will be wrapping up finals and coming home for a much needed winter break. If you’re freshmen, these next few weeks of downtime are not only a great chance to rest and recharge for the rest of the year, but also for taking some small steps to make sure you’re still on track for your long-term goals.
With that in mind, here’s a little end-of-the-semester to-do list to help you make the most of your winter break.
Review Your First Semester
In the next few weeks of downtime, take some time to look back at your first semester in college and review how it went. What did you learn about yourself? Where did you grow? What mistakes did you make? How have your college goals changed from when you first set out in August? More than likely, you’ve changed a lot since you set off to school back in the summer. Now’s a great time to see if you’re headed in the right direction or if you need to make some changes before going any further.
Make One Solid Connection
Find someone in your field of study and ask them out for coffee. Pick their brain. Ask them what they wished they’d done in college to better prepare themselves for their career. Ask them if they’d be willing to let you contact them from time to time for advice. See if they know anyone else they can introduce you to in order for you to start building your network. It’s never to early to find a mentor and start building strong, authentic relationships that can help you down the road when you’re looking to land your first job.
Set New Goals for 2015
Back in August you probably had a number of goals for your first semester or even for the entire year. Of course, back then you really had no idea what college would be like. Now that you’re a seasoned veteran with a solid semester under your belt, it’s a good idea to reevaluate your goals for the year and make sure their still in line with your long-term goals for your career. If you’ve taken any classes in your major, how did they go and are you still interested in that particular field? Are their any groups or organizations in your school that you’d like to learn more about and possibly join? What can you do in the coming semester to make sure that you’re starting to build a solid foundation for your career? If the first semester was about discovery, the second is a chance to really start moving in the right direction. Make sure you have some well-defined goals to guide you.
Relax and Refresh
And finally...you've worked hard all semester—so make sure to relax and have some fun! After all, college is a lot harder than high school, and you’re probably a little worn out mentally. Take this time to reconnect with your family. Catch up with old friends who are still in high school and your classmates who are home from other colleges. Use this time to rejuvenate and reenergize before you head back for your second semester so that you can be ready to make the most of it come January.
Happy Holidays and congratulations on completing your first semester! Only seven more to go!