At most colleges, students were sent home the week of Thanksgiving and asked to stay home while finishing the semester remotely. For Penn State will return on January 18. That’s TWO MONTHS away from our beloved Penn State community! While that seems like another long time to be home (remember those six months after Spring Break that we spent at home?), there is plenty to do to stay busy and make the time go by quickly. Before you know it, you’ll be back for Spring semester!
Here is a list of things to do over ‘winter break’ to keep you busy that are Covid-safe, yet entertaining:
Take advantage of the not-so-arctic weather
During Covid this year, people everywhere have been spending much more time outdoors than usual. The weather in Pennsylvania hasn’t gone completely arctic just yet, so take advantage of the time you can still spend outdoors! There are so many outdoor activities to participate in, even during the winter! Go on a walk with your family or take a long hike and admire the natural world around you. Take a scenic bike ride or go on a run in your local park. Take in the last bits of nice, fall weather and spend your time outside.
When it inevitably snows over break, bring out your inner child and play outside
Over the break, the winter weather will probably come, so if it snows, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you occupied. Go tubing at a local mountain (like Tussey Mountain at Penn State). Go back to your childhood roots and play in the snow! Have a classic snowball fight or build a snowman with friends, then go inside for a nice hot chocolate and warm up!
Have a self-care night
This semester has been long and hard for pretty much everyone with the added stress of taking online classes and fear of Covid. Give your mind a break and just relax! Treat yourself to a warm bath with candles, do a face mask or cozy up and watch a holiday movie! There are so many simple ways to take care of yourself and feel relaxed and pampered. Whatever is self-care to you, do it this break – you deserve it!
Do some cooking and baking
While we do have kitchens in our apartments in college, most of the time we have basic kitchens with basic supplies and ingredients (we’re not stocking up on baking necessities like flour and baking powder). But when we go home, we have the luxury of spacious kitchens with any supplies we could think of (sometimes even the ever-fancy KitchenAid mixer!). Take advantage of having access to tons of different tools and supplies by practicing your cooking and baking skills! Make something you would never make if you were at school like Christmas cookies or an apple pie! Not only will this keep you busy during your time off, but it will taste good, too!
Have a movie marathon or binge a new series on Netflix
Cozy up under a warm blanket with some buttery popcorn and sit down for a movie marathon! Take on the entire Star Wars series or get into the holiday spirit with a Hallmark movie marathon. There are tons of movies and TV series to binge on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney +! – and Netflix has been releasing new TV series left and right, so take your pick and binge a show!
Write a letter to a friend you haven’t seen in a while
After being home for a few weeks, you’re probably already missing your roommates, so send them a letter to let them know you’re thinking about them! Pick up a cute stationery pack from Target and get to writing! I did this in the summer with my roommates, and it was a fun and unique way to catch up with one another! Even if you still text your college friends daily, update them on what’s been going on in your life or include a small note to make them smile in your letter. I mean, who doesn’t love getting mail?
Even though we’re still in a pandemic, there are plenty of things to do while taking this much-needed break from schoolwork and stress. Do things that you enjoy this winter break so that you can truly feel relaxed and at ease. Even though this is in no way a ‘normal’ year or winter break, take advantage of the time you have to focus on yourself, because in times like this that’s the most important thing!