Making the most of your winter break

Making the Most of Your Winter Break

Yikes, what a semester. Winter break has finally arrived, and everyone has certainly earned it.

Tempting as it is to lie in bed for eternity like a SpongeBob meme or sleep the next few weeks away, you may regret doing so when the spring semester quickly arrives and the only memories you have of winter break are the pillowcase wrinkles across your cheeks and forehead. Yes, you most definitely deserve a respite from any obligations for a while, as well as plenty of rest. But I promise you’ll feel better if you plan – just a tad – so that come January you’re not gazing out your dorm room window, wistfully wishing you had done just a little more with your time off.

Don’t worry, it’s mostly fun and games from here, but even if it’s not, future you will be glad you took the advice.

Catch Up on Rest

Whether it’s lying back and watching marathons of your favorite Netflix shows, reading, or sleeping past noon, make sure you spend a good amount of your winter break…. taking an actual break. This is your time to rewind and refresh. It doesn’t mean you should abandon all self-care and laze away the entire break, but a little relaxing and refraining from thinking about schoolwork and the future semester for a good while is of course well-deserved.

Look for Scholarships

A lot of college students might not know this, but you can apply for scholarships while you’re in school and winter break is the perfect time to do so. I know, I know. You don’t want to be tasked with anything during this time, but getting a few productive, school-related things accomplished in between your moments of chill this winter will only help you out in the long run.  To make this financial-prep mission less taxing/daunting, don’t try to do it all at once. Do a little at a time – schedule/set aside an hour each day to spend browsing scholarship websites and city websites for local scholarship opportunities (that you 100% qualify for, anything else will likely be a waste of your free time.)

Best scholarship websites to try:

Again, don’t forget to research local scholarships and remember, even the smallest scholarship helps.


Even if you’re not looking forward to a very Zoom Christmas, or clearing the dishes after a stuffy family dinner, do your best to take advantage of the time you have to catch up with loved ones.  Instead of heading to bed to sleep more or scrolling your phone until you leave again for the next semester, play a game or two with your family, watch some movies together, hang out with mom or dad in the kitchen, or make a coffee date with a hometown friend you didn’t have a chance to see over Thanksgiving break.  Not only will your friends and family be happy to have this quality time with you (and you with them), but it will also feel great to finally have someone to talk to who has zero to do with school, i.e., professors, fellow students, or advisors.

But really, reconnect with those you love because you’ve missed them, they’ve missed you, and these times together are special and unfortunately, sometimes a bit fleeting.

Resurrect Forgotten Hobbies

Spend some of your winter break getting back into your forgotten interests and hobbies. Or explore a new hobby! It can be something as simple as watering your parent’s plants to get into gardening or trying a simple cookie recipe you bookmarked months ago to enter the culinary world of baking. Engaging in something you love is not only a pleasurable way to spend your time, but also a great way to relieve stress. So, if you’ve been missing out on shooting some hoops, drawing, writing poetry, or snapping arresting photos of something other than your face for a selfie, make sure to take advantage of the next few weeks.

Declutter and Sell Your Textbooks Back

All schoolwork and studying typically make for a messy dorm room or bedroom. If you’ll be spending your winter break in the same room you’ve been attending college from, a cleaned-up space should help brighten up your mood, and help you relax. If you’ll be leaving your dorm room for break, tidy it up before you head out. Doing so will help you ease back into college life when you return and gives you a fresh start for the new year.

Take a day over the break to clean out and organize (re-pile neatly?) everything on and around your desk, file or throw away your notes and throw your pens and highlighters into a case.  Clean up your textbooks (remove hardened-on food, stickers…. or dust if you didn’t even crack one open) and sell them back. Pack them up in something water-resistant and wrap/pad them well, to help them avoid any dents or dings during shipping. makes it super quick and easy to clear out and get cashback for the books you were most definitely reluctant to purchase in the first place. We even provide a free shipping label to send them back to us. The whole thing will take minutes and soon enough you’ll be able to enjoy your winter break, with a little extra cash in your pocket.

About the author

Phil Smyres
CEO and Founder of
I graduated from Ohio State University, and I’ve been in Columbus, OH ever since. In 1994, I started buying and selling books on campus with two brick and mortar stores. Those stores have since closed but has remained a premier online retailer for all your textbook needs. During this time, we’ve also added two additional online retailers, and

My interests include spending time with my family, traveling everywhere and watching Ohio State football.