It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Most of you are out of school for at least two to three weeks on winter break. That either means your teachers did not assign you homework or they did and you’re probably going to put it off until the Sunday before school gets back into action. Just because you’re on a break, that does not mean you should sit around and be lazy the entire duration! Many students lose their motivation this time of year. By keeping yourself busy during winter break, you won’t lose most or all of that motivation. Here are some things you can do this winter break to keep yourself on your feet and productive.

Get some service hours

There are some less fortunate people every holiday that would love to sit and talk so someone. If you are able to, please visit a Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital, children’s hospital, or homeless shelter. This past summer, I visited a VA hospital and the volunteer coordinator told me that most of the veterans don’t have family members and would love to see people not just during the holidays, but year round (anywhere from February-October). Go spread the holiday cheer and make someone smile. Also, our furry friends need some love too! Many animal shelters run solely on volunteers and probably need some during the holiday break.

Prep for the New Year

Remember when you realized that maybe you should be writing down all of your homework? Or maybe you lost multiple homework assignments this school year so far? Take the time this winter break to organize your school materials; you can go out and purchase new schools supplies like a folder or planner to help you out (and they don’t even have to be expensive). This break, I decided to write out a “to-do” list every day in my planner; this way, I have at least one productive thing to do each day such as, studying for chemistry, reorganizing my bookshelf, or deep cleaning the bathroom. Take your time and figure out what system would work best for you so that the new semester isn’t an unorganized one.

Do some college and scholarship research

If you are not a senior in high school and beyond, I highly suggest that you do some college and scholarship research. If you’re a freshman (9th grade), then you don’t need to go in-depth with your research now, however, you can research to see if your dream college has a summer high school program that you could potentially apply to. For you sophomore and juniors out there, you can search up scholarships that colleges, organizations, and companies have to offer. By doing this, you’ll know about your deadlines earlier.

Read a book

This may seem random out of everything else on this list, but you should definitely read a book this break. Most people don’t have the time to sit down and read but now you do. By reading, you’re expanding your vocabulary and keeping your brain busy. Maybe you can finally finish that book series you’ve been wanting to read.

Prepare for your AP exams

Winter break is the perfect time to start preparing for your AP exams! Although you may not have covered everything in the course, you can go back to your old notes and projects and study off of those; or, you can purchase AP prep books to practice DBQs, FRQs, and other exam material. This break, my AP Calculus AB teacher provided a 35-question multiple-choice packet that must be completed; she included questions that she knew would be on the AP exam. Also, you can go ahead and make a study schedule for your AP exams; this is a great idea if you are going to be taking multiple exams.

Maintain a regular sleep schedule

This one may sound a little weird, but maintaining a regular sleep schedule will definitely help you stay productive. Instead of staying up all night, you can get a good night’s sleep and wake up early to complete any daily tasks you have. Also, keep in mind that by maintaining a regular sleep schedule, you probably won’t be zombie-like the first day back to school after break.

Deep clean your study space or room

Was this past semester a stressful one? Look around your study space or room! If you spend a lot of time in one spot, you should take the time to clean it out to maintain a stress-free zone. Throw away any trash, old files (that you know you don’t need), and any other unnecessary items. The first day of break, I spent 45 minutes deep cleaning my room so that by the New Year, I have a “fresh start”.

Try something new

Lastly, this break you should try something new. Whether that is knitting, surfing, or simply taking a spa day, you could possibly find a new hobby that you’ll enjoy for a lifetime. Personally, I got a new job in the food industry that I thought I would never do. Now, I’m meeting new people every day, saving money, and eating a lot of food during my breaks.

To wrap it all up

This is just a rough list of things you can do during this winter break. There are a countless number of things you can do to stay productive. Do not be afraid to try something new! All it takes is a little motivation to keep your brain active. Make sure you have fun staying productive!

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