Not sure what to do on a long weekend coming up? From Labor Day in the fall to Presidents' Day in the spring, long weekends are a wonderful break from the craziness of college. Unfortunately, however, they can often slip away quite quickly, somehow leaving you with more to do than before the weekend started and no idea of where your time went. So how can you make the most of your long weekends in college?
Time Required: Varies
- Aim for the 1-1-1 Plan. A basic idea that can make your weekend all you need and more: Spend 1 day on personal stuff, like doing laundry, going to the store, catching up on sleep, and exercising. Spend 1 day doing fun and social stuff, like doing something off campus during the day, hanging out at a Greek house, and attending a campus party. Spend 1 day doing homework. The best part? While doing the fun stuff, you don't have to feel guilty, since you'll already have done or scheduled in when to do the not-so-fun stuff.
- Get off campus. You may need to head home to get some TLC. You may want to spend a romantic weekend away with your partner. Or you may just want to take a road trip with some friends to somewhere you've never been before. No matter where or why you go, though, you might be surprised at how much better and more energized you feel when you get back.
- Start preparing for graduate school tests. Do you know you'll have to take the GRE? MCAT? LSAT? GMAT? No matter what test you have to take, you'll definitely have to study for it. Take the extra time you have over the long weekend to figure out a study plan -- and start on it.
- Volunteer. Nothing helps keep things in perspective like volunteering. If you're feeling overwhelmed with your responsibilities in college, consider volunteering one morning of the long weekend. You'll undoubtedly get a new look on things while helping out those who are less fortunate.
- Kick-start/Refocus on your health. Did you plan to live a little healthier this year in school? Have those resolutions fallen by the wayside? Consider using the long weekend as an opportunity to refocus on your health. Catch up on sleep, eat well, exercise, and figure out a few healthy ways to keep the momentum going for the rest of the semester.
- Organize your college life. Does it sound lame? You betcha. Will you be glad you did it? Holy cow, yes. Crank up the music in your room and get to work. Clean up your living space, do your laundry, organize stuff for your classes, get your time management system in order, and overall get your college life in order. True, not many people like cleaning up stuff, but nearly everyone likes clean stuff. Just focus on how much better things will feel (and work! and look!) afterward.
- Get a head start on your academics. In looking at your course syllabi, do you know you are going to be completely slammed at the end of the semester? Consider getting a little ahead of your class projects. True, you may not need or want to finish up your research project, but doing something simple like spending a few hours focusing on a topic means you can spend time later in the semester doing research on that topic instead of aimlessly trying to find one when you're stressed out.
- Earn some extra cash. Most long weekends come with big sales at retail shops. Consider applying for a temporary position or, if you already work in retail, asking for extra hours over the long weekend so that you can have some extra cash in your pocket.
- Spend time researching your future. Eliminate a little stress in your life (cue your parents' voices: "What are you going to do after graduation? What about this summer? Have you even thought about it yet?") by at least starting to look into what your options might be. You can look at short-term options -- what to do for Spring Break, what to do over the summer -- as well as long term options, like graduate school or job opportunities.
- Get your resume and a cover letter together. No matter what you're doing this summer, chances are you'll need a resume. Whether you're applying for jobs, looking at internships, considering studying abroad, or getting materials ready for graduate school, your resume (and possibly a cover letter) will be an important part of the process. Put something together as best you can -- and then make sure to have someone at the campus career center look it over.