The following article is a guest post by Niki Kirschner,
a senior English major at the University of Delaware.
This winter, seeing as it’s my last as a University of Delaware student, I wanted to make the most of my long break. Each winter session before this, I stayed at home, relaxed with friends and did next to nothing, but I decided that even though this is my last time having two whole months with no commitments, I wanted to use my time wisely.
After spending the first half of my break at home, on my couch, and on vacation to see family in Florida for the holidays, I returned to Newark, Del. to start 2015 off right– by working. I know it sounds crazy. Why would you go back to school and work when you have two month off? The answer to that is: It’s really lonely being home for that long with nothing to do! The first winter was exciting to have seven weeks with no school — every kid’s dream! Sophomore year was a little less thrilling and by junior year, I was ready to get back to school. So for senior year, I made a compromise, and one I wished I did earlier in my college career. Half the time at home, and the other half at school.
The catch is, I’m not taking classes. I know what you’re thinking. Why go back to school if you’re not taking classes? Don’t get me wrong; I still want to have a vacation, which is why I’m not enrolled in any classes, but I want to work and make some money. So that’s exactly what I’m doing. I have a work-study job on campus working in the Department of Communication, where I work two hours a day in the afternoon. I am also working for the Athletics Department’s multimedia team when there are basketball games, swim meets and other athletic events. Finally, I am also helping plan the spring semester for the UD Social Media Ambassador program.
Even with that, I still have a lot of down time. If you’re a junior, I highly recommend taking this approach to winter session your senior year because it benefits you particularly in a big way. Job applications: I know no one wants to think about graduation and looking for jobs, but it has to come some time, and January is when everyone should start. I’ve been back at UD for two weeks now and have already applied to ten jobs; I’m looking everyday. I personally know I’m not going to want to apply to jobs once the semester starts because life becomes too busy and I will make up a million and one excuses not to look. Now, however, I have the time to, and can use my resources, like my bosses and UD’s Career Services Center, to my advantage and spend my time researching and crafting my final resume and cover letter.
Aside from working and applying to jobs, another benefit to being on campus during winter session and not being in a classroom every day is that I have the freedom to do whatever I want. Cooking is one of my all time favorite things to do and I’ve made so many new recipes just in the past two weeks alone than all of last semester. Last week, I set a goal for myself and wanted to cook a new recipe every day. Each one of them turned out amazing, even though I now have way too much food in my fridge! However, I froze leftovers from each meal so now in the spring when I don’t have time or want to cook, I have homemade soup, pasta sauce, meatballs, homemade mac and cheese, chicken, meatloaf and my personal favorite, croissants with Nutella (there were no leftovers with those!).
Who says winter session has to be held in a classroom? I’m here, working at three different places, making some money, crafting my cooking and most importantly, using this time to research and apply for jobs. So next time you’re thinking about what to do during winter session, remember housing is free so spending some time here isn’t so bad!
By: Niki Kirschner