The holidays are quickly approaching, and while to some that means the stress of finals is looming, for others it means it’s finally time for a much needed break! The holidays are great for many reasons; whether it’s spending time with family or being able to sleep in every day, college students all look forward to the month of December. It seems like the most ideal holiday break would consist of doing nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, except for eating and sleeping. But I do also think that nothing feels more rewarding than having a balance between productivity and relaxation. Since most of us have such a long break, I think it’s reasonable that we can find that balance. So, how can we actually make use of our free time? Here is a list of some valuable things that we can do over holiday break:
- Try to set up some informational interviews/shadowing opportunities.
- Hopefully you have some connections to people in your hometown who work with companies or departments that you’re interested in, and it would be a great use of free time to either go meet with them or offer to shadow with them. TigerLink is a great resource that connects Clemson students with alumni, where the alumni themselves reach out to students to offer opportunities. (This is a lot less awkward than messaging random people on LinkedIn, although that works too). This gives you a lot more networking and learning opportunities than you’d think and shows that you are ready to take initiative, even on your break.
- Do some job/internship research.
- Holiday break is a great time to dedicate to researching companies, open positions and internship opportunities. Clemson JobLink and CareerShift are two great resources that Clemson provides for us, and they are also very accessible. Doing research goes hand-in-hand with the first bullet, because talking with people in the workforce may be considered part of this research.
- Find some volunteer opportunities.
- Volunteering is very valuable not only for personal growth and development, but also for resume building! Since holiday break is filled with free time, volunteering is a great way to make use of that time. And another great thing about volunteer opportunities is that they are everywhere, and typically they serve others, which is great to get you into the holiday spirit.
Holiday break should be filled with lots of food, sleep and quality time with our loved ones. But, I think it also might be beneficial and rewarding if we utilize our time off of school to further our career development. There is definitely a way to do both, and I promise if you find that balance, you will come back to school feeling accomplished and confident.
-Grace Brown, UPIC Intern