After a long semester, you’re ready to kick back, relax and spend time with your friends and family. In addition to enjoying holiday celebrations and get-togethers, semester breaks are a great opportunity to get a jumpstart on your classes for next year and begin prepping for your job/internship search.
While school might be the last thing on your mind right now, taking the time to put a few things in motion for next year can help set you up for success, and reduce your stress about returning to class next semester.
1. Create a budget for the new year. Evaluate your current finances and establish a budget for your planned monthly expenses. Consider ways that you could reduce spending, such as cutting back on eating out, online shopping, etc.
2. Update your resume and LinkedIn. If you’re planning to apply for jobs and internships, you’ll want to make sure that both your resume and LinkedIn profile are up to date. Work with your advisor to tighten up your resume first; you can easily upload your resume to LinkedIn once you have finalized it with career services. Be sure to include any new experience or certifications that you’ve gained as a result of your coursework, internships or clinical rotations.
3. Conduct informational interviews. Informational interviews are a great way to learn more about careers in your field. If you haven’t decided exactly what you want to do, you can use your semester break to talk to people in a variety of occupations to learn more about job requirements and their day-to-day activities.
4. Apply for scholarships. Many scholarships have spring semester deadlines. Take advantage of the extra time you have on your break to organize your spring applications and get a head start on the application process. Some application forms include only short response essays, while others may require a longer essay as well as letters of recommendation and other supporting materials.
5. Order your books. If you’re already enrolled in classes for next semester, order your books early so you’re ready for the first day of class. If you’re feeling especially motivated, you can even begin reading the introduction and first few chapters of each book to get a better understanding of what you’ll be learning in each course.
6. Set goals for next semester. Don’t forget to reflect on the past semester and set goals for next year. Think about the things that you handled well throughout the year as well as areas where you could improve. Identify a few short-term goals and one long-term goal to focus on in your next semester.