Four Ways to Gear Up for Spring Semester

By Tatianna Salisbury

The weight of final exams, cram study sessions and last-minute extra credit opportunities has been lifted: Holiday break is here. The next four weeks are for spending quality time with family and binge-watching the latest Netflix original series, but too much free time can be a dangerous prospect. Don’t let winter break be overtaken by sweatpants, couch-potato “Peaky Blinders” marathons and pint after pint of Häagen-Dazs ice cream; this is a wonderful opportunity to be proactive.

Here are four ways to make winter break productive and help get a head start on spring semester.


Polish Your Resume

Updating professional experience, employment history and accolades is not an hourlong task. Set aside an afternoon for resume revamping, including proofreading the copy and deleting irrelevant information, as well as adding recent accomplishments. Print out a copy and edit pen to paper; this editing technique is more efficient and improves accuracy. Pay close attention to details such as verb tense, using present tense for current positions and past tense for previous experience. Consider spicing up bland copy with keywords from the job posting and action words.


Establish a Recipe Routine

The school year is for dining hall disaster meals and last-minute dinners; winter break is for inventive culinary creations. The semester may not allow time for a stockpile of staple recipes, but using the break to test new dishes is a great idea. Invest in a meal prep cookbook or a five-ingredient cookbook; practicing healthy, minimal-ingredient meals establishes a cooking schedule and recipe regimine. A recipe routine ensures when the going gets tough, cheesy tater tot casserole or slow cooker chicken tacos will save the meal.



When time gets absorbed by classes, homework and clinging to the small amount of sanity left, dishes, clothes and all-around clutter piles up. Sort through old school papers and toss out anything nonessential. Valuable study guides or notes can be preserved in a file folio or scanned onto a computer for digital efficiency. Sometimes, it may be hard to know where to begin; a decluttering challenge can incentivize and sustain a schedule. Go room by room and make a list of areas to tackle, and be thorough. Research some cleaning tips as well to help turn large messes into cleaning victories.



Every season is the season for giving, but during the holidays there are extensive opportunities to help those in need. Tails Humane Society, 2250 Barber Greene Road, offers a variety of volunteer roles including adoptions, walk and care for pets, events and fundraiser organizing. Safe Passage, the domestic violence agency and rape center crisis serving DeKalb, recruits volunteers to facilitate group discussions, serve as medical on-call advocates and crisis advocates. Safe Passage volunteers assist clients, organize donations, perform administrative duties and stock supplies. If students are not in DeKalb for the holidays, local food pantries and homeless shelters take volunteers to serve meals, package toiletries and assist with events.

Productivity can be hard to conjure when thoughts of TV marathons and takeout pizza dance in students’ heads, but don’t let the comfort of elastic waistbands confine the next four weeks to a couch. Winter break is the perfect opportunity to stay the course and keep grinding.