Make use of your free time this break

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Make use of your free time this break

Jake Deven, Contributor

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Between homework, a full social calendar and unpredictable El Paso weather, the first half of the spring semester can take a toll on your mind and body. Midterms are driving you crazy and the assignments never seem to end, but all of a sudden, spring break arrives and you can finally sit back and enjoy yourself. Spring break is the breath of fresh air that every college student looks forward to. It’s a reminder that there’s more to life than the seemingly never-ending stress of school.

Some students go all out by planning trips and getting as far away from their responsibilities as possible, but for others, going away isn’t an option. Vacations cost a lot of money and sometimes they don’t live up to the hype. Plus, saving money is what college students are all about, and if you stay home and build up your savings you can go on an even better trip in the summer. If your friends’ idea of vacation is a crazy bender that will leave you exhausted, it’s probably better to stay home anyway, because you have to be able to jump right back into the grind once it’s over. So if you’re taking a staycation, here are some easy tips and tricks to help you unwind:

Let’s be real, you probably did not sleep for eight full hours each evening since the semester began. Sleep can positively affect your focus and recall, which you will need come finals. Maybe you were up completing assignments all semester or simply hanging out with friends. Whatever your reason (or reasons), it’s good to return to a normal sleep schedule during spring break. Indulge in that nap that you have been looking forward to, but also go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Although it sounds like a buzzkill, you can make the most of your time by organizing, catching up or getting ahead on school work. This might just be the perfect recipe for a clear head to finish off the semester with vitality. Getting your responsibilities in order is therapeutic, and when have you ever regretted getting ahead on assignments?

Unfortunately, many professors often assign work over your much-deserved break, so you might as well get started.

Set aside time to participate in some sort activity that does not involve your television, smartphone, laptop or any other electronic device. LED light and movement of electronic devices can strain your eyes and mind. Turn them off for at least several hours to rejuvenate those muscles. Consider spending time outside (i.e. hiking, biking, running, etc.) or playing a board game with your family or friends. Altering your usual routine, which as students includes hours sitting at a desk and working in front of a computer, is one of the best ways to revitalize your brain.

A clean room is key to a clear mind—don’t underestimate how these small changes can make a big difference in your productivity. It’s hard to stay focused when your notes are unorganized and laundry has piled up on your floor. Now that you don’t have as much on your plate, take the time to organize your plan for the rest of the semester.

Learn something new or work on a hobby. You finally have time to sharpen your photoshop skills or read that book that’s been sitting on your shelf all semester. Use spring break as an opportunity to hone your existing skills and develop new ones. The internet is full of online tutorials and advice to help you learn something new. Each unique skill you have makes you stand out in a job, so take this time to diversify yourself as a candidate.

Right after spring break, summer seems to quickly approach, which is why you should get to work on some internship and job applications. Finish up the applications you’ve already found, and continue to seek out new ones, you never know what you’ll find this early–your dream job could be waiting.

Spring break is meant for you to relax and enjoy yourself. It’s also relatively short, so maximize its days. Whatever your plans are for spring break, it is crucial to devote some time to giving your brain a much needed and deserved reprieve. These are just a few ideas to have a productive spring break. You could also try your hand at volunteering, exercising or just spending more time outdoors. Have a fun week off and enjoy unwinding from the stresses of everyday life.

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