Make the most of winter break

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Northern Star File Photo

The East Lagoon at NIU will sit empty the first week of the Spring 22 semester. NIU announced the decision to begin online starting Jan. 18. NIU expects to return to normal learning Jan. 25.

Parker Otto, Columnist

With finals week rapidly approaching, students are eagerly anticipating winter break which lasts from Dec. 12 to Jan. 17. However, while there is a desperate need to relax during this time, it’s important to make the most of your break while celebrating the winter holidays.

Compared to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, Millennials and Gen Z spend less time reading, according to Statista. With Baby Boomers either retired or close to it, it makes sense that they read more compared to young college students taking 18 credit hours and engaging in extracurriculars. With the extra time winter break provides, now is the perfect time to tear yourself away from social media and bury yourself in a mountain of literature. Chances are “The Great Gatsby” or “The Dark Tower” series might have something better to say than a comment war on Facebook.

The same goes for quality films, television, theatre and music. It’s easy to let these pleasures go by the wayside in light of an intense workload, but you can make time for them with a newly cleared schedule.

Spending time with friends can also be a great way to embrace the spirit of the holidays, especially if you haven’t seen them in a long time. As the familiar song “Auld Lang Syne” suggests, old friends are the ones worth keeping around. It may be hard to keep in touch during the school year, so make the time during break. 

One of the most useful things to do during winter break can be improving yourself through personal projects, whether that be learning a new skill or setting yourself up for future success. Maybe you can finally learn to play that guitar that’s lying in your closet. Maybe you can update your resumé. Just do something. 

While relaxation is nice, if unfiltered, it eventually collapses into boredom which is the worst kind of tedious. So, in the midst of rewatching the Christmas classic “Die Hard” and taking extensive naps, I will be working on keeping my mind sharp by writing, reading and working on my professional life. All of this in spite of a break commanding me to do otherwise.