Holiday Break Bucket List

December 13, 2017

There’s no place like home for the holidays. After finals, there will be a mass exodus from East Lansing to homes across Michigan, the country, and even the world for the three blissful weeks of winter break, but three weeks can be a long time.

It’s easy to grow bored without your favorite campus activities and friends to keep you entertained. So how can you make the most of your winter break? Here are a few ideas.

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Emma Kraimer with her dog, Coconut

Emma Kraimer with her dog, Coconut

Connect with your family. They all miss you while you’re away at school. If you’re honest with yourself, you probably miss them too. Let your grandma spoil you with cookies, and listen to your grandpa tell a story about when your mom was a little girl. Take the time to hear the advice your aunt and uncle are trying to give you about life after college; it’s probably worth hearing.

Kierra Jones, a junior in psychology from East Lansing said she is excited to go sledding with siblings over break!

Spend precious moments with your mom, dad, and siblings, as well. You never know when the day will come that you can’t come home for the holidays. Treasure your family while you can!

Get creative. Actually make one of the crafts or recipes you always see on Facebook. You scroll past them all the time, they make you want to go to Michael’s in the middle of the night or make your stomach growl and have you aspiring to be a chef. Try one!

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Silas Olson, enjoying a rooftop view

Silas Olson, enjoying a rooftop view

Enjoy the winter wonderland that Michigan (and other northern states) will surely become. Soon, many of our hometowns will be covered in a thick blanket of snow. Go enjoy it! Go skiing or snowboarding, ice skate, even embrace your inner child and build a snowman.

Silas Olson, a junior majoring in economics from Redford, Michigan, said he hopes to take advantage of the snow and “head up to Boyne Mountain with a few friends to ski the slopes” before heading back to MSU.

And, if you’re from somewhere with warmer weather, I still suggest getting outside! We spend far too much time studying indoors while we are here at MSU. Use some of your spare time over the break to breathe some fresh air.

Give to the less fortunate. Whether it’s your money, time, food, or a toy the holidays are all about giving. Many people are worse off in this world, and they deserve a happy holiday season too!

Junior Emma Kraimer, an engineering major from Grand Rapids, Michigan, says she plans to donate to a Toys for Tots drive that her hometown takes part in each year.

“It’s rewarding to know that you’re helping kids have the happy holiday they deserve,” Kraimer said.

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Read for pleasure. When was the last time many of us read a book, because we wanted to and enjoyed it?! During the course of the semester, any free time that could be filled with pleasure reading is often filled with reading assignments for classes instead.

Travel. Besides traveling home from East Lansing, consider taking a long weekend trip somewhere. Whether you travel somewhere warmer or colder, somewhere more urban or remote, getting away always gives your brain a nice break from routine. It’s also a great way to experience something knew this holiday season!

Odilichukwu Onwudiwe, originally from Nigeria but now residing in Detroit, is a junior majoring in international relations who said she plans to travel over the break.

“I went to Chicago a couple months ago with a friend,” Onwudiwe said. “While there, we created a list of the places we wanted to explore and activities to try.” She said that she is excited to start checking items off that bucket list this holiday season.

Another break destination for Onwudiwe is San Fransisco. She said that while in San Fransisco, visiting her boyfriend she created another bucket list “of places to explore and things to try.”

“San Fransisco is the biggest melting pot with individuals from all walks of the world,” explained Onwudiwe. She said she loves this aspect of the city, due to  her International Relations major.

Get your holiday spirit on. Decorate your home, sing some carols, wrap gifts, bake sweets, or watch Elf. After all, what would winter break be without a little holiday celebration?!

Kraimer said that she and her friends gather for fun over the holidays and “celebrate with a ‘white elephant’ gift exchange each year!”

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Odilichukwu Onwudiwe at Willis Tower, in Chicago

Odilichukwu Onwudiwe at Willis Tower, in Chicago

Don’t forget your hobbies. I’m sure you had a few before college took over your free time. I know I did. Olson said that he will be reacquainting himself with guitar over winter break. Which hobbies have fallen off your radar that you could reconnect with?

Friends aren’t just for Friendsgiving. Get together with your friends this holiday season. Whether that means keeping in touch with friends from the past or visiting a friend or two from MSU, the holidays are about being with the people you love. For most people, that includes friends as well as family.

Relax. Most importantly, remember to unwind from the semester and mentally prepare yourself for January 8. The most important part of winter break is the word break. It’s meant to give us a mental vacation from the stress and information overload that college can so easily become. It’s a way to hit the reset button and begin second semester with a fresh mindset.

Three weeks may seem like a long time, but January 8 will arrive all too quickly, so use your time wisely!

Happy holidays, Spartans! See you in January.

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