Making The Most Out of Holiday Boredom

 

Auburn University students get a whopping 4 week break for the holiday seasons.  A “month between two months,” there is a lot of time for students to get the rest they need after a long, relentless fall semester.​

For the lot of us who lack the money and resources to constantly enjoy the snow wonderland of winter, what starts as a much needed three-day hibernation period can quickly dribble down to monotonous days being cooped up inside the house to escape the cold. A lot of free time can lead to boredom; to combat that, here are some productive and fun things to do over Christmas break:

Read a book. All the way.

 

 

Pros: Book + hot chocolate+ fireplace= HEAVEN

Cons: It may be hard to get into the groove (we’re so used to things being fast paced!)

Now you may be thinking, “Ari, who in the world reads anymore?”

 In which I will reply, “You do, every day, in small chunks.”

Believe it or not, we are all readers in some way or another. Let’s be real, we stare at a screen every day and not only to watch videos or look at pictures. Why not do the exact same thing with a book?

This winter break, challenge yourself by taking the same amount of time you spend browsing and reading on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to reading a really good book.

Not only is it a great break from the blue light that emanates from all of our screens, but it is something that you can do to keep your mind sharp and creative.

“Where can I find a good book, then?” you ask, halfway in disbelief because you’re even considering this.

In which I respond with:

Goodreads.com – a website dedicated to book recommendations, top read lists and more. If you are overwhelmed and have been out of the reading loop for a while, this website is a great tool to find that perfect book to start reading.

And of course, you can get your hands on a book from Barnes & Nobles, Books-A-Million, your local public library, local bookstore and Amazon.com.

Look for scholarships.

Pros: While everyone else is busy not looking for scholarships, you’re making bank (money)!

Cons: It will require a little work, but that can be curved easily!

“Oh my gosh, Ari! First you suggest I read and now you want me to look up scholarships!?” you may be thinking, but trust me on this one.

There will be plenty of days in which you will sum what you have done to one word: nothing. I get it, you totally deserve it after 4.5 months of pure torture, but believe me, staying active in your academics pays off.

A lot of students are going to have the same idea as you which is to just totally forget about school. Take that opportunity and apply for scholarships while no one else is. Your chances will be higher and you can save a whole lot on school expenses in the long run.

Websites to check out:

 

Your AUSOM application for the 2017-2018 year. For more information, go to http://www.auburn.edu/scholarship/.

Okay, now you know where to start the search, now how can you get into action?

Tip:  Set a goal to at least complete 2 applications a week. 

Write a good general scholarship application essay, that way you can cut and paste or tweak it for as many scholarships possible without having to write a completely new one.  Now a lot of people say not to, but the key to writing a good general essay is to include the following elements stated in the link below.

http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/the-scholarship-coach/2013/01/31/4-ways-to-make-your-scholarship-essay-stand-out

Start there, then when the time comes to edit for each application, change the “audience” portion of your essay to meet the criteria.

Volunteer

 

Pros: You’re giving back to the community.  You get to make great connections that can further your academic career or just life in general. Looks good on your resume!

Cons: Your time, but that’s the point, isn’t it?

Take this holiday break to help those in need. It is a great way to get in touch with the people in your community and to spend your time. Why not bring joy to others in the things you do? The fun thing about volunteering is that you can practically do anything—there is a wide range of organizations and charities geared to helping the needy during the holiday season.  

Tips: Check out your local United Way office for opportunities or your local library bulletin board.

Try the soup kitchen, Downtown Rescue Mission or city churches as well for ideas.

Your city website may also have volunteer opportunities listed.

Beat boredom by being productive this winter break. War eagle and have fun!