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How College Students Can Stay Productive Over Winter Break
| by Pauline Flores

With nearly a month of no school, college students get a lot of downtime during Winter Break. Here are some suggestions for them on how to make the most out of break!

Catch Up with Friends and Family

The holiday season is the perfect time to reconnect with friends and family. If traveling is too much a nightmare to deal with, a simple phone or video call to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins will do. Don’t be surprised to see your college kid’s old high school friends at your house every day of break! People are happier when they have strong relationships with friends and family. Let your college kid be as social as they want during this time.


Volunteering is a great way to make Winter Break more productive. During the holiday season, a lot of people don’t have the privilege to spend time in a warm house with friends or family.

Encourage your college kid (or better yet, the whole family) to volunteer at a local soup kitchen, food bank, or homeless shelter. If your college kid is interested in helping animals, the environment, or other organizations, there are numerous resources – such as Volunteer Match – to make the search for volunteer opportunities easier.


Traveling makes any break memorable! While family vacations and visits to Grandma are nice, college students feel a great sense of accomplishment when they travel without their parents. It’s a personal-growth experience for them. If your college student wants to go on a road trip with college friends or even on a long-haul trip to a foreign country, don’t let “NO” be the first word that comes to your mind!


Winter Break can’t always be filled with adventurous activities. For those lazier days, reading a book is a great way to explore topics they’re interested in or be engulfed in a different world. If your college kid is not exactly a book worm, maybe the fact that reading improves writing ability, memory, intelligence will convince them to pick up a book!

Start the Internship/Job Search

During the semester, college students are buried deep in homework, projects, papers, and assignments. Winter Break is the exact opposite.

Encourage your college kid to gain a competitive edge by applying for internships and jobs during break for the spring or summer. Experience is the #1 thing employers look for in an ideal candidate, so tell your kid to get on it!

Learn Something New

It’s always fun to learn something new! This could be learning how to play a musical instrument, how to play chess, how to change a tire, etc. The possibilities are endless. If you know a skill that your college student would like to learn, teach them! This would be a great bonding opportunity for the both of you.

Master a Skill

In conjunction with the last section, there may be some hobbies that your college student already has, but hasn’t quite mastered yet. Are they good at music, cooking, or writing? Feed your kid’s passions and encourage them to keep improving their skills! Offer them constructive feedback and your honest opinion so they can continue to improve.

Head Outdoors

Holing up in their bedroom is not a great way to spend Winter Break. Encourage your college student to go into nature! Plan a family hike, a skiing trip, or even a walk around the local park. With work and school dictating our everyday lives, soaking in nature’s serenity is a great way to de-stress.

Cook a Family Meal

Does your college student like challenges? If so, challenge them to cook a meal for the whole family on their own. If not, cooking a family meal together is another good option. Cooking together makes for great family time and a delicious reward in the end!

Start a Project and Finish It

There are a lot of ways to keep your college student’s boredom at bay, but if none of the options above fully accomplishes that, maybe a Winter Break project is in order.

What is a Winter Break project? It could be any of the activities above as long as it results in a tangible end goal. This could be restoring an old car, learning a new language, writing a book, or painting a masterpiece. It all really depends on what your kid in interested in. If they have a project in mind, give them the resources to complete it!


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