Author: Dan Bernick, SAS ’14
Winter break is supposed to be relaxing. Time off from school and away from campus; time spent with family and friends at your home; time for vacation or movies or shopping. Winter break is supposed to be relaxing, but then again, I’m a Penn student.
Winter break is for cleaning out your email. My inbox gets especially full during finals because I “never have time” to actually read and sort email. Worse yet, it takes a long time to respond to them (sorry if I have not gotten back to you yet). Once the inbox is clean, it’s worth taking a look at all the folders and label systems I have, deleting useless ones, and creating new ones for next semester.
Winter break is for filling out applications. Programs and clubs and positions all have applications due the first few weeks in January. The good student has been working diligently all semester on these. But I tell myself all semester that I will have tons of time over winter break to work on them. It means writing essays (uh-oh, writer’s block), getting letters of recommendation (sorry I forgot to mention its due in a week – thanks!), and trying to make yourself look good on paper (as long as I don’t attach a photo I should be okay).
Winter break is for preparing for next semester. Classes need to be dropped and changed and dropped again, and I need to quadruple check that all of my courses fulfill at least six different requirements each. This meticulous search of PenninTouch is not for the faint of heart. Then I need to work on housing, textbooks, and, of course, finding a summer internship. Done well, preparation makes the next few months smooth sailing.
But, like I said, I’m a Penn student. I make my to-do list and hide it in a drawer until the last few days of break. Then (hopefully, fingers crossed, I promise I’ll be better next break), I will take out the list and start getting things done.
Winter break is for relaxing, and. for better or for worse, that is exactly what I have been doing.