The first day of winter vacation is utter bliss. Finals are over, it’s the holiday season, and you’re enjoying the comforts of a cozy couch and your Mom’s lasagna. Could life get any more relaxing?
But then week two arrives… and you start to become a wee bit bored. Watching TV is nice, but after thirty episodes of New Girl, you’re a little burnt out on the antics of Jess and Schmitt. And you hadn’t realized how easy it was to make plans at college until you got home and your friends weren’t right down the hall anymore.
Here are some ideas to kick-start your winter break bucket-list, so making a butt-shaped impression on the sofa isn’t the only thing you do between now and the end of January.
1. Have a Summer Party
It’s de rigueur to have a holiday or winter-themed party during break, so mix things up by pretending the sun is shining and the temps are climbing. Crank up the thermostat in your house, and ask your friends to show up in shorts and tank-tops. For refreshments, serve fruity smoothies topped with paper umbrellas and hot dogs, veggie burgers, or kebabs. Watch a summer movie like “Dazed and Confused,” “(500) Days of Summer,” or “The Parent Trap.” Don’t forget to take lots of cheesy, tourist-y pictures!
2. Craft Your Heart Out
For months, you’ve been pinning cool projects, but between studying, sleeping, and socializing, you haven’t had the energy or opportunity to make a single one. Now is the time to summon your inner Martha Stewart and finally create that DIY dream-catcher or chevron bulletin board. Bonus: when you go back to school, you’ll have some awesome accessories for your dorm room.
3. Find a (Fun) Project
There are plenty of missions you can take on that will keep you busy during your weeks off! Watch the top twenty films on IMDB’s Best Movies Ever list. Order your favorite drink from every single coffee place in town, rank them, and then make a website about your findings—or for the less ambitious, a Facebook post. Check out a recipe book from the library and make a four-course meal, from appetizer to dessert. Make up your own project, like Operation: A Letter a Day, where each day you take a picture with an object, starting with A and ending with Z.
4. Learn a New Skill
So maybe you’ve been admiring your roommate’s cozy scarves, and want to learn how to knit your own. Hit up your local Michael’s, buy some needles and yarn, look up some online tutorials, and get going! Or maybe knitting isn’t your thing, but belly-dancing sounds super fun. Local classes, Middle Eastern movies, and YouTube videos are about to become your guides to shaking it like Shakira. Winter break is the perfect occasion to master a new skill, because let’s face it: once you return to college, you’re going to have little free time.
5. Do Something Cultural
There’s a museum for everyone, whether you like art, history, science, cartoons, spies, neon signs… But if you can’t find one you’re interested in nearby, pick another “sophisticated” activity. You could dress up and go to a play, tour your city’s local historic landmarks and monuments, attend a festival, walk around public gardens, buy a canvas and watercolors and paint a landscape picture, or even watch a foreign documentary! (Extra points if it’s in the language you’re studying at school.) Stretching your cultural horizons is a great way to make some unique memories.
During your break from school, you have enough hours to marathon at least four or five TV shows—and that’s definitely one way to pass the time! However, hopefully you’ll mix it up just a little bit by adding some of these suggestions to your winter vacay plans.
— Aja Frost.