The Bucket List to Fight Your Winter Break Boredom

In the academic homeward stretch between Thanksgiving and winter break, pretty much every college student is fantasizing about being able to go home and sleep and catch up on Netflix for the next month. After the rush of finals, the joy of the holidays and some much needed rest are out of the way, though many people find themselves growing restless to the point where they begin counting down the days until they can go back to school. Whether you love everything about your hometown and are still attached at the hip with your high school bffs or you hate being away from college, anyone can experience boredom and even struggle with having downtime after a fast-paced semester. If you are looking for plans either for your group of friends who is caught in fruitless brainstorm of things to do or you want to find individual activities to go to solo, here are a few accessible and fun ideas to give yourself the restful and interesting break you deserve.

1. Go to the movies. Especially if you haven’t seen Bohemian Rhapsody yet!

2. Visit your favorite restaurants. Who else’s local Applebee's holds a special place in their heart?

3. Visit a tourist attraction near you, especially if it is seasonal! The Ice Castles in NH are definitely on my list.

4. Pamper yourself with a spa day. Whether you go to your favorite day spa or purchase 10 face masks at Target, a little self-care goes a long way.

5. Support a loved one at one of their events. From a sibling’s sports game to a relative’s art show, it’s rewarding to show the people around you that you appreciate their skills.

6. Go tubing or sledding. Unleashing your inner child is one of the easiest ways to make the most of cold weather!

7. Take a road trip or day trip. Taking the day to go out-of-state to your favorite shopping town or spending a weekend in Canada with your friends can create sweet memories that last a lifetime.

8. Explore somewhere new. That restaurant you keep seeing people from your hometown going to on Instagram? That bookstore you keep passing while driving that you’ve always wanted to check out? As Shia LaBeouf once said… JUST DO IT!

9. Scrapbook! Find all of the polaroids, programs and sweet notes from your besties from this past semester and keep them in one, very aesthetically pleasing place.

10. Attend a religious service. Whether it’s to get more in touch with your roots or higher power or just to make your grandma happy that she has a new church buddy, consider going to a religious service if you grew up practicing a certain religion but have lost touch with it! Even better, ask a friend from a different religion than yours if you can tag along to one of their services. The world would definitely be a better place if we had more of an understanding of where the people around us are coming from faith-wise.

11. Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. That girl you had like 5 classes with senior year of high school and probably would have failed without her? The coworker that could make you cry from laughing that you lost touch with after going away to school? It can be daunting to reach out to people, especially people who were more your acquaintances than BFFs, but it is always great to catch up with people that you have not seen in awhile and to reminisce about the fun you had together! They may also be able to answer questions you have about what your other ex -coworkers and classmates are up to now!

12. Look for internship and work opportunities. Never too early to start researching your dream job!

13. Visit an animal shelter. Time and love are animal’s favorite gifts, especially when they don’t have an owner regularly giving it to them.

14. Have a game night. Throwback board games like Sorry! and video games like Guitar Hero are a must!

15. Go out to breakfast. The best way to start your day is a good meal you don’t have to make yourself!

16. Surprise someone you love at work! An easy way to make a friend or relative’s day!

17. Have a TV show or movie marathon. Make some popcorn and hot chocolate and you have the perfect snow day activity!

18. Go to a food or wine tasting. Wine? Food? Pretty self explanatory.

19. Take a bubble bath. Especially if you got some bath bombs for gifts!

20. Pick up some hours at an old part-time job! You’ll get to catch up with your favorite regulars and have a little spending money over break!

21. Immerse yourself in nature. As cold and harsh as winter can be, it’s also beautiful! Try going to some parks and nice spots and embrace Mother Nature.

22. Go to your nearby city. Even if it seems boring, especially if you go to school in a big city, there are a lot of hidden gems like small businesses and cafes waiting for you to discover them!

23. Buy a polaroid or disposable camera! A great way to preserve winter break memories or something you can bring back to school spring semester!

24. Download a dating app just to see who is around. You can see what people have been up to and maybe finally talk to your high school crush.. Or take a look at his profile and be glad you never did.

25. Make a gingerbread house! A ~holiday classic~.

26. Try a random act of kindness. An added twist: keep it anonymous!

27. Pay it forward: As shown on social media, sometimes this can even cause a chain reaction of many people paying it forward!

28. Go hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, etc. It’s hard to notice the cold as much if you’re moving around!

29. Do a winter photoshoot. Don’t let the snow-covered landscapes and pastel sunsets go to waste and get your Instagram layout ready for winter!

Photo courtesy of We Heart It

30. Wine night! With your mom? With your friends? With YOURSELF? All good plans, tbh.

31. Bake something. This gives you something fun to do and something to have fun eating later!

32. Make a meal with a parent. This allows you to bond, show them your appreciation and learn some family recipes passed through generations!

33. Write down your spring goals. New Year's resolutions, anyone?

34. Have or go to a paint night. It’s ok if, like me, you suck at painting. Sometimes it’s the journey, not the destination that matters (or at least that’s what I tell everyone when my paintings turn out terribly).

35. See a show. Musicals, plays, dance performances, a concert.. All great ways to get CULTURED.

36. See friends from school. Just because you aren't away at college together doesn’t mean you’re any less attached at the hip. Try to see friends who are near you, coordinate to meet at a midpoint with faraway friends, or even plan a road trip to visit a bff that’s long distance over break.

37. Go ice skating. Whether it's on a pond or in a rink, live out your Ice Princess dreams!

38. Build a snowman. Alexa, play “Do You Wanna Buy a Snowman?”.

39. Take a walk-in class. If you’ve ever wanted to try Yoga, Zumba, SoulCycle, etc. now is your chance!

40. Get in touch with old hobbies. Play a pickup game of a sport you used to play, dig your band instrument out of your mom’s closet or take a walk in dance class at you old studio. You may be a little washed up, but you’d be surprised at how much you’ve managed to retain.

41. See Christmas lights. Take the time to notice the creativity of the people in your community!

42. Do a Pinterest craft. You’ll either get a cute decoration or a laughable #PinterestFail!

43. Go shopping. Hit your favorite thrift spots and go to the mall on a sale day and treat yourself to your favorite brands!

44. Host a get together. The best way to ensure you have a good time is creating a good time!

45. Visit a coffee shop to catch up on some reading. A perfect way to relax and enjoy reading that’s NOT for school.

46. Try journaling. Winter break is a great opportunity to take some free time to reflect on your past semester and journaling is one way to do so.

47. Write letters. Everyone, including friends, family members, coworkers and professors, love handwritten sentiments!

48. Spend time with or call relatives, especially older ones. There is so much you can learn from quality time spent with older relatives and you will always cherish your time with them.

49. Go to the beach. There is nothing more beautiful than a winter beach sunset!

50. Make a new playlist. The best way to start a new year is with a kickass playlist!

I hope each of you has a relaxing and fun break and hopefully some of these tips put you on that path! HCXO!

Photo courtesy of Worthington