Although the weather doesn't quite feel like it, spring break is right around the corner. Spring breaks begin as early as this weekend, which means it's time to finalize plans.
Spring break is first and foremost and opportunity for you to pause and catch your breath. Classes can be stressful, you may have a bit of the winter blues, and you definitely need to recharge your batteries. How you choose to do that it completely up to you, but if you don't have concrete plans, allow me to make a few suggestions.
Use your spring break to help others. Participating in service activities is rewarding, allows you to get out of your own head, and can give you a new perspective. No matter were you live, there are people and organizations in need. As you identify a group, choose one based on your interests, talents, or areas where you'd like to grow. For instance, as an educator I know I have a natural ability to connect with students (and I know my math). I am also accustomed to working with high school and college students. So to stretch myself, I volunteer with a program that serves grades K-5. It's definitely outside my comfort zone, but it's good for me.
You may want to use your spring break to follow up on any applications you submitted for summer programs, internship, or other opportunities. If for some reason you aren't participating in one (or taking summer classes), use this time to design your own summer experience. Identify your talents (academic or otherwise) and figure out how to use them for volunteer or entrepreneurial purposes. How about teaching a marketable skill at the public library or local community center? It may be a bit outside your comfort zone, but it'll be worth it. And it will definitely give you something to talk about in future interviews and personal statements.
My last suggestion is to find a free online class where you can learn a skill or expand your mind. Many universities offer abbreviated versions of existing classes that you can enroll in for free. Coding, philosophy, digital marketing. These are three of many. Check online to find one that interests you.
If none of these suggestions are appealing to you, take some time to think about how you want to spend your spring break. It can be used both to regroup and to move forward. It's all up to you.
For those of you who are traveling and/or spring breaking in the traditional sense, remember that you still want to come back refreshed. Have fun, be safe, and remember that your social media presence is your brand. Enjoy!