As spring break looms nearer, our motivations start to wane. Being so close to spending an entire week doing nothing is enough to disrupt anyone’s drive, but before you put on the brakes, consider using spring break as an opportunity to get ahead rather than slack off.
Instead of watching entire episodes of “The Walking Dead,” try getting yourself out in the world and network with companies or businesses that are associated with your chosen career path.
Lots of companies like J.P Morgan and Goldman Sachs offer internships during spring break that often lead to summer internships. Check with your local businesses to see what is available. You may even be able to job shadow for a week instead. By putting yourself out there and showing employers that you’re willing to learn the ins and outs of their company when you could be enjoying your break instead, you’re promoting yourself as an ideal candidate for later.
“I job shadowed in high school as a requirement to graduate. I really enjoyed the experience and found out it was exactly what I wanted to do. They even offered me an internship once I was in college,” said Travis Geiser, a senior sports management major.
You could also use spring break work on your resume. With new trends and the existing job market, it definitely pays to spend more time on your resume than ever before. Stop by the Office of Experiential Learning and Career Management (ELCM) for quick resume advice before you leave. They offer resume critiques by appointment or during their walk-in hours from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
It might also be a good idea to begin working on future assignments for your class. For papers, it’s a good idea to gather the research and make an outline. Sites like homeworktips.about.com help you create a paper timeline, which is a timed strategy for finishing your paper. They suggest you spend 50 percent of your time researching, ten percent of your time sorting and organizing, and 40 percent of your time writing, formatting, and revising.
Request or pick out your books from the library now so that you’ll have time to fully utilize them over break. If you’re stuck with where to start or finding research for your paper, you can chat with the librarians online, and they’ll help put you in the right direction.
Spring break is also a great time to catch up or review previous material.
“I’m going to keep up with my Spanish class by studying the vocabulary and my past quizzes over break. This way, I’ll know the terms from before the break and won’t have to catch up later,” said Ashley Davis, a sophomore sociology major.
Even if you don’t study like you would if you were still at school, a quick ten minute review every day will help keep the material fresh in your mind. It’s usually better to look over your material at night so you can retain the information better, so shoot for right before you go to sleep.
Staying motivated when you don’t have to do work will probably be the toughest challenge while you’re on break. To stay motivated, set a goal for the break and take steps, big or small, to achieve it. If you get excited about your goal, you are more likely to complete it. So let’s get excited about spring break and all you can achieve with that precious week off. Remember, it’s up to you to seize the opportunity.