Helping Your College Student Use Winter Break to Get a Head Start for Spring Semester
Winter break is an important time for college students to recharge their batteries, earn some extra cash, take an extra course, catch up with friends and family, and perhaps just enjoy some down-time. Your college student will probably be glad, at least for a while, to have a break from college and from thinking about classes and responsibilities.
However, while most students are on break during at least part of the month of January, most college offices are open and working. January might be an ideal time for your student to take care of any items that need to be addressed with college offices before other students are back on campus. For some departments, the time while students are off campus is quieter. Your student can avoid the beginning-of-semester rush and perhaps get more attention than he will once all of the students have returned.
Remind your student to consider using this break time to contact any college offices with whom he may need to work.
- Does your student need to make any adjustments to her schedule for next semester? This is a good time to contact an Advising Office for help.
- Are there any outstanding financial aid or loan issues? Financial services offices won’t have long lines of students waiting.
- Does your student need to address any housing issues on campus? Obviously, this should be done before everyone moves back in.
- Is your student trying to confirm an internship? Career Services or Internship offices may have more time now and your student will be all set before the semester starts.
- Does your student need someone in a Career office to look at a resume? Now might be an ideal time to get a jump on the process.
- Does your student need to request an official transcript from the Registrar’s Office? Doing so before the Registrar is busy with the beginning of the semester registration might speed the process.
- If your student has a departmental question, many departmental secretaries or administrative assistants are working, but have more time since faculty members may not be on campus.
- Librarians may be working, but they may not be busy helping students with projects. This may be an ideal time for help with any ongoing questions or projects.
- Food services are less overwhelmed with fewer students on campus. This is a good time to deal with any meal plan questions.
- The bookstore may be open and textbooks may be available. Why not avoid the lines later?
- Finally, if your student is on campus or has access to his room, this is a great time to do some housecleaning or local errands.
Perhaps your student has nothing pending and can wait until the beginning of the next semester before turning his attention to college once again. But if he can accomplish anything over break, he’ll be feeling in control once the new term is in full swing.