Holidays: Winter Break

Make the most of opportunities during the winter break

By Andrew Osegi (@AEOsegi)

mother and daughter at sewell park

Spend time with family and friends over the winter break! Share your plans and ask them for ideas.

Once students turn in that final project or test, feelings of freedom can be exhilarating until school starts again in January. It’s tempting to coast through the time off, but the winter break is an ideal time for students not only to recharge, but also to look for opportunities to advance themselves academically and professionally.

First and foremost, if you have a chance to visit family and friends during the holiday season, do it. Spending time with people you care about is beneficial to the weary mind of a busy student. Friends and family are powerful generators of happiness.

While you’re visiting, sit down with your family and have a serious conversation about what you plan for your future. No matter what your standing — entering freshman or graduating senior — it never hurts to examine your ambitions and share your plans with those who know you best. Your family may have ideas or advice that can help you reach your goals or find new opportunities.

If you’re looking for employment, double-check the Career Services Jobs4Cats website to see if there any openings, internships or upcoming job fairs that interest you. You can also submit your résumé to Career Services for online review. Once your résumé is in shape, start knocking on doors — virtually and literally! E-mail, call or visit businesses that match your career field. Let them know if you are able to work during spring break and the summer months. Search for jobs and internships in San Marcos and the surrounding areas (Austin, San Antonio, Kyle, Buda), where many Texas State alumni work and businesses are eager to hire Bobcats.

While off campus, review the Texas State Academic Calendar to gauge the upcoming semester. You also can log in to SSB and review your schedule for the upcoming semester. Check your degree plan in the Course Catalog and review your academic plan for upcoming semesters. If you want to change your spring 2013 class schedule, late registration and schedule changes start on January 2 and end January 10.

When choosing future courses, strike a balance between classes you are required to take and classes you want to take. Choose your schedule wisely, taking into account future employment availability, benefits of three-day weekends and difficulty of course loads. For registration advice, schedule an appointment with an academic advisor. (Find yours by clicking here.)

Additionally, if you intend to live off campus and are looking for an apartment, winter break is the perfect time to start looking. Check the Off Campus Housing Guide for tips and recommendations. Student-living complexes around San Marcos differ widely in quality and price, but all of them are in demand and fill quickly in the spring. Sign up with your roommates early to secure your living situation for future semesters.

Enjoy the break, Bobcats! If you have more winter break advice to share, please post it in the comments. The new semester starts January 14, 2013!

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