Upon entering college, the relatively short one to two-month winter break is quite limited. How do you plan to spend the remaining winter vacation? Will you spend it at home, listening to your mother’s nagging while lying or sitting? Will you spend it idly and bored? Or will you travel with a few classmates? Or perhaps you plan to study at home?
I remember back when our school’s academic achiever experienced a significant leap in grades after spending one winter break. He went from being above average to consistently ranking first in the new semester, significantly ahead of the second-place student. That year, we learned that properly organizing the nearly two months of winter break can truly change your life.
The President of AIESE (the world’s largest volunteer service and professional internship organization) in the United States once said, “Summer is the perfect time for you to build confidence, accumulate experience, expand your leadership, and prepare the interview materials needed for future work.” If you’re starting your sophomore year, don’t tell me you still have time. Trust me, from sophomore to senior year, it will pass in the blink of an eye. Rather than idling away the holidays, it’s better to do something meaningful (sources from usms.ac.ma).
Take advantage of the winter break to recharge. It is said that a person’s success comes from the combination of the thoughts of five people, and the time and books they have read for it. Choose several classic books and finish those you’ve wanted to read for a long time. Additionally, it’s recommended to select books related to the field you plan to enter or are interested in. These fields may not necessarily align with your current major, especially in today’s society, where the development of artificial intelligence requires interdisciplinary talents who can comprehensively solve unknown problems. Therefore, start reading more books related to these fields now to acquire valuable information and lay the foundation for your path as a comprehensive talent.
If you’re unsure what to read, we’ve compiled some reading lists that you can check out.
Volunteering for a period of time can be very helpful. Volunteering allows you to see society from a different perspective, increase your experience and skills, and become an added bonus in your future internship or job search.
A Boston executive once said, “When you want to get an internship or a position after graduation, spending an average of 20 hours per week each summer on non-profit organizations, elevating your responsibilities from project manager to fundraising coordinator, or being responsible for raising over $5,000 will be very beneficial.”
Take an Acting Class:
Enroll in an acting class, whether it’s a drama or improvisational acting class; both are worth learning. The founder of an improvisational education program in New York said, “If you want to cultivate confidence in listening, speaking, or presenting, improvisational acting provides a great opportunity for both professional and personal development, making you unbeatable.” We know that communication skills are essential in the 21st century. Regardless of the job you plan to pursue in the future, strong communication skills are necessary to achieve success. Learning improvisational acting allows you to express yourself more effectively and influence others. Many outstanding product managers choose to take such a course.Learn Coding:
You might ask, “I’m not a computer science major, why should I learn to code?” The crucial aspect of learning coding is not about what you can do but understanding the mindset behind it. Nowadays, coding courses are part of primary and secondary school curriculums. Kids ten years younger than you will likely know how to code. If you still have the mentality of “this doesn’t concern me,” you might fall behind(quotes from usms).
In a project presentation class, a student from a group said, “Because we’re not computer science majors and don’t know how to code, we might have to collaborate with classmates who can code or find a company to collaborate with.” The teacher commented that at our school, the phrase “don’t know” should not ideally exist in your minds. If, after three days and nights of studying, you still don’t know, then don’t claim to be a student of this school. So, even in Peking University, many non-computer science majors learn coding as a foundation. Regardless of your school’s requirements, if you start learning to code now and can write code, even create your own designed application, it will add a lot of value.
Some say that traveling is the process of helping oneself become mixed-race tomorrow. If conditions allow, take advantage of the holidays to go on a trip. Of course, this trip is not about sitting on a beach all day or taking photos for social media. It’s about experiencing the local customs and lifestyles, understanding the diversity of the world, and broadening your horizons.
A teacher once said that many students with good grades often struggle to solve basic problems once they enter the workforce. In other words, most students are high-scoring but low-skilled. How to solve this problem? Go for an internship.
When we talk about an internship here, we don’t mean distributing flyers, serving plates, or working on a factory assembly line. Look for an internship related to your major or the field you want to pursue in the future. Many freshmen and sophomores may lack confidence, thinking they haven’t learned much, and wonder if any company would be willing to hire them. Many students don’t even dare to think about interning at big companies.
In reality, many companies offer internships to freshmen and sophomores. If you have read enough, have a broad vision, a flexible mind, showcase your learning ability and creativity, and don’t mind the internship salary, there will definitely be good companies willing to hire you. Boldly seek opportunities to connect with the industry.
Yes, since it’s an internship, don’t worry too much about the salary; the key is whether this internship experience can train your mindset, enhance your skills, and teach you new things. Only through hands-on practice can you discover problems, and I hope you come back to school with questions. This type of internship is effective.
Build an Online Portfolio:
You can now start consciously planning or creating your own portfolio. Five years later, we don’t know how far artificial intelligence will have developed, what field you want to work in, or what competition in that field will be like. Since most of it is unknown, we need to prepare for the unknown. Don’t wait until graduation to rush around.
Although many companies still consider the school when hiring, people pay more attention to employees’ learning ability, initiative, creativity, and how passionate they are about something. Therefore, when looking for a job in the future, a diploma or a stack of certificates might not be the key.
Consciously showcase your talents. If you are studying design, your portfolio can include different design solutions; if you are studying marketing, your portfolio might include some event planning achievements; if you are studying programming, your portfolio can be a few useful applications. In short, take some time during the holidays to plan and consciously accumulate during your learning or internship process.
The above points provide advice on career planning and personal growth, which are important but not extremely urgent matters. Of course, each person should act according to their own situation. You can focus on solving more urgent issues (such as exercising if you are physically weak or working towards weight loss if you are slightly overweight) and then set aside some time to address a few important matters.
Hope this winter break brings the growth you desire