Winter is coming, friends, and that means the end of the semester is upon us. Once college students break free from the hell that is finals week, they have nearly one month of glorious vacation to eat and sleep to their heart's content without pesky assignments getting the way.
These precious few weeks are especially critical for college seniors because unless they're headed off to grad school, this'll be their last long break from responsibilities for a while. Here's how to make the most of it:
Get all the sleep you can now, because once you're in the working world, sleeping past 1 p.m. and afternoon naps are rare luxuries. Become BFFs with your pillow if you haven't already.
Catch up with old friends
Depending on where you're going post-graduation, you might not be home for a while. Take time to visit your friends from high school -- y'know, the ones you still actually like -- and reminisce about how weird and crazy you guys were as angsty teens.
Hang out with your family
Spend some much-needed quality time with your fam. Just like with your old friends, it might be a couple months before you get to hang with them again.
This sounds like something a mother would say, and she's absolutely right -- eat! Now's the time to savor your family's home-cooked meals or chill at your favorite local diner or just eat something that isn't Ramen or a PB & J. It's much harder to cook or eat something that isn't microwave-friendly once you're back in the dorms for a final semester.
Fine-tune your resume
If you haven't already started applying to jobs/grad school/fellowships, you'll be sending out those applications soon enough. Do yourself a favor and get a head start on updating your resume. Once classes start, you'll have to deal with gazillions of assignments on top of apps. Ugh.
Write a cover letter template
Your cover letter will vary depending on the specific job you're applying to, but it can't hurt to write up a rough draft before you begin seriously looking for a gig. Include a general overview of your accomplishments and career interests. When you're ready to apply somewhere, update the letter with the company name, why you're interested in the position and your relevant experience.
Consider a spring internship
If your resume or GPA isn't quite where you'd like it to be, consider interning or working part-time in the field you're interested in. Second semester seniors usually have fewer courses to take, so you can spend that extra spare time gaining experience instead of binge-watching Netflix.
Buy a nice suit
In the words of Barney Stinson, suit up! Get everything hemmed and tailored to fit you. Be prepared when that company you're dying to work for asks you to come in for a last-minute interview. Spend those couple of hours stressing about what you're going to say instead of what you're going to wear.
Take that three-week road trip or backpacking adventure through Europe if you can swing it. Visit your extended family that lives on the other side of the globe. If you start working immediately after graduation, you might not have time for a postgrad trip. It'll be hard -- more like impossible -- to take a full month off of work once you're employed, so satisfy your wanderlust now.
It may be winter, but you have weeks upon weeks to "spring" clean your old childhood bedroom. You've accumulated a lot of stuff over the past 21 or so years, and you can't possibly take it all with you when you move to wherever you're going next. Donate the clothes you haven't worn since high school and throw out the junk hiding in a forgotten corner of your closet. Organize the possessions you are keeping so they'll be easy to find later. During a time that's full of uncontrollable possibilities -- What do I want to do for the rest of my life? Will I get that job? -- you'll feel more in control of your old-school book collection, at least.
Absolutely nothing whatsoever
There's nothing wrong with doing nothing. You deserve a break, so enjoy it while it lasts. Spring semester and graduation -- dun dun DUN -- will be here before you know it.