That’s it! The semester is over, save for finals, and we can all take a deep breath of relief. So congratulations, Princetoniennes, you made it! Whether this is your first winter break of your Princeton career or your last, here are some tips on how to make the most of this interval between Week 12 and Reading Period.
Take a few days off!
First and foremost, you should dedicate some time to yourself after all the hard work you put into this semester. Whether that is by treating yourself to a manicure or watching an entire season of your favorite show in one sitting, find a way to relax and de-stress. The last few weeks have been hard, and your body needs to recuperate from everything you’ve demanded of it. So sleep in and don’t feel guilty about it… you deserve it!
Figure out a game plan
Hopefully you have already begun thinking about Dean’s Date and Finals Week, but if not, fear not! Winter Break is the perfect time to gather your bearings and figure out how the heck you’re going to tackle all the work you still have ahead of you. Use a semester calendar to visualize what you need to do and by when. It can also help to set your own deadlines. For example, if you have three Dean’s Date papers, try to get at least two drafts of them done by the time you come back to campus. Also, don’t forget to sign up for a Writing Center appointment! They fill up fast before Dean’s Date, so make sure you’ve got one if you need it.
Stick to that game plan
Sometimes you can make an awesome 3-week plan, but you have a hard time sticking to it. That’s why it’s important to make SMART Goals, or goals that you know you can accomplish in a Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely manner. To get motivated, try setting aside a block of time each day to dedicate to studying. If you’re like me and have trouble concentrating at home, check out these study strategies that really do help in overall productivity in the long run. If you really need some motivation, ask a friend to keep you accountable to do work over break. Chances are you’re not the only one who needs to get stuff accomplished.
Catch up on life
Regardless on whether or not you still have a bit of work to do in the weeks leading up to Reading Period, don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Winter Break is just that—a break from the craziness of Princeton life, so treat it that way! There’s no need to be up late studying until the wee hours of the morning. Take advantage of being surrounded by family and friends whom you haven’t seen in a while; they’ll definitely appreciate your attention. Plus, if you dedicate more days to catching up with family and friends rather than studying, don’t fret: that’s what Reading Period’s for anyway, right? Have a great break!