Let’s face it, being a full time international student in the US is exhausting. Along with having the typical work of a student (classes, exams, study groups, projects, pop quizzes, essays, etc) international students also have to balance this with exploring a new culture, making new friends, and trying to adjust to just about everything including a new time zone, food and language- all while being thousands of miles from family. It can be hard, but it’s also very worth it! However, it’s important as an international student to take advantage of breaks from school, like the upcoming winter break, to focus on you. Here are a few ways to reboot during winter break as an international student.
Start a Workout Routine
Working out not only has physical health benefits but it can also provide brain-boosting benefits. According to numerous studies researchers have found that frequently working out can help with memory function and reducing stress. If you don’t normally exercise winter break is a good time to start. Just keep in mind that it takes about 66 days for a habit to develop so don’t ditch your sneakers right after break- stick with your workout routine for a few more weeks.
As an international student you more than likely didn’t come to the US with enough stuff to have to de-clutter just yet. However, digitally de-cluttering can be just as (if not more) beneficial. Go through your laptop, phone, tablet and any other piece of technology you brought along with you and clean out the junk. Trash any photos or documents you don’t need, uninstall programs that you don’t need and create a folder system that will allow you to stop saving everything to your desktop. Just like getting rid of clutter on a physical desk, digital organization can allow you to focus on the task at hand without other distractions. Additionally, having all documents organized where they should be will give you easy access to them when needed- something that will also be very helpful at the end of your college career when preparing a thesis or portfolio.
Helping others is a great way to appreciate what you have in life, including the hard work that lies in a new semester ahead. Check out a local volunteering opportunity and exchange the classroom and library for a soup kitchen, animal shelter, nursing home or hospital. As a bonus, volunteering is a great way to meet new friends and help ease any sadness you might have about being away from family around the holidays.
Forget About School
Not permanently of course, just during your time off from classes. Your winter break is just that- a break. Use it to give your brain a vacation from all things school related. Although you might think it’s a good time to crack into the text books for next semester’s classes, try to give yourself a few days off from being a student. More than likely after this break you’ll go back to classes with an eagerness to learn and new appreciation for your professors.
How do you like to reboot during your breaks from classes?