The reason you may want to limit your Netflix binging over winter break

If your Thanksgiving break was anything like mine, you probably made your way to the fridge, overwhelmed with the amount of food fresh for the taking. You hunkered down on the couch in front of the TV or maybe turned to Netflix and binge-watched whatever Netflix suggested for you. You stayed up late and then slept in until you were too restless to flop around in your bed any longer, only to start your day of pursuing technology and comfort. Maybe you fell into the trap of video gaming until the wee hours of the morn, only taking breaks to refuel or use the facilities. You essentially did a lot of things that were relaxing, comforting, and fulfilling for a short time, but when those things lost their luster you moved on to the next thing. By the end of it, I felt like I was ready to get back to school but I was not fulfilled by my time off. I wished I could do it over again; I put off responsibilities to the very end and headed back to campus feeling dissatisfied.

Funny-Computer-Endless-Addiction-4

Unfortunately, truly resting is a struggle for many of us. We are used to constant stimulation and entertainment, whether that’s through social media, Snapchat, texting, or any other ways we use technology to stay “busy.” If you don’t come into this longer break with somewhat of a game plan, your winter break could leave you feeling unfulfilled anxious rather than well rested.

How do we do this? I think it starts with recognizing the difference between true rest and being entertained. It is easy to find yourself seeking to be preoccupied when you get home. We probably have many things we look to to keep busy and entertained whether that is TV, movies, Netflix, shopping, eating, frequent naps, or browsing social media. Though they do not involve much effort or physical exertion, I would not say that these things make me feel rested and refreshed.

What I find truly restful is to unplug from the constant brain stimulation that I am so used to during school, and focus on being more present. I personally try to find rest during breaks in going for a walk or run outside, reflecting over the semester, reading my Bible, spending time in prayer over my life and for people in my life, or even going on a spontaneous adventure (your local grocery store can be an adventure). I think the key is to find things that are enriching to your life and leave you feeling more alive and refreshed which can look like a lot of different things for different people. Another way that I like to do this is by spending quality time with my friends and family, catching up on what has been going on in life, or doing something that goes beyond just “hanging out.” Winter break can be a great time to sort through the direction you are currently headed in life and to reflect on ways you have grown.

I am not trying to say that you shouldn’t watch movies, Netflix, or plop down and watch some TV at all over break. The new Star Wars movie is coming out and I will be all over that. However, I don’t think these things bring much refreshment or rest to my life and so it is important to devote time to doing the things that truly offer rest rather than vainly hoping to find that rest in binge watching “Orange is the New Black.”

May the Force be with you this finals week and over break.

8 Things I am Doing While Home for Winter Break

Check over grades

Before I completely check out for the semester, I will definitely log into my Buckeye Link or Ohio State Mobile App to make sure my official grades look alright. You should do the same! Double check them with what is in Carmen. If you think there is a mistake don’t hesitate to email your professors to clarify.

OSU Mobile App

File the FAFSA

Since the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is due Feb. 15, I will definitely take some time to fill it out over break! Complete the form for free through the FAFSA website. The application opens Jan. 1, so the last week of winter break is the perfect time to get it done. You will need information from your parents from last year so completing it while all together is ideal. I know I will be glad to have it done by the time February rolls around and I am swamped with spring semester midterms!

fafsa_header

Apply for scholarships

There are so many scholarships out there and I definitely will take the time to fill out a few applications over break. Keep in mind that some of these applications require you to fill out the FAFSA, so make sure you do that as well! A few easy ones to apply for are the:

Pay fees for spring semester

Since the fee payment deadline is Monday, Jan. 4, I definitely will make sure I have all my fees paid on time so I don’t risk being dropped from my classes.

Review schedule for spring semester

I plan to go over my schedule to make sure everything looks good before the semester starts. I will check on any classes I was waitlisted for to see if I have been placed in the class or if I need to make any changes to my schedule. I want to make sure I start second semester off on the right foot!

Class Schedule

Purchase books for spring semester!

Since the books I need will likely be posted before break is over, I’ll check this over to make sure I have all the necessary books. You can find the books you need in your course syllabi (if your professors post them on Carmen before the semester starts) or on Buckeye Link. On Buckeye Link, click on “My Class Schedule” then select “Spring 2016 Semester” and then the “Buy Books” button is a blue hyperlink in the top right corner. This will take you directly to the Barnes and Noble website. I usually look at this list and then check out other book sources (such as used bookstores and Amazon) to find the cheapest place to purchase or rent those textbooks.

Doctor’s appointments!

Take advantage of this extended break to take care of any necessary doctor’s appointments. I know I personally have multiple appointments set up for over break so I don’t have to worry about them during the semester.

Doctors Appointment

Relax!

We’ve worked hard this semester and deserve a break! I definitely plan on taking some time to enjoy some holiday movies by the fireplace!

Winterbreak

So You’ve (Almost) Finished Your First Semester of College…

What next? 

Here are a few pointers to get you started on your break — don’t worry it involves a great deal of relaxing!

Look over your grades and make sure they are correct

Sometimes professors make mistakes, and if this happens, they want you to bring it to their attention. They want the most accurate grade for you.

Take a deep breath!

Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth — you did it! Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back.

Check your schedule for next semester

Are you on a wait list? ​If so, contact the professor and check on availability. You may have to choose another class, so make sure you stay on top of that over winter break. The sooner you seek out a new class the better chance you have of finding one to fit your schedule.

Going home?

Safe travels! Something to keep in mind: last year I took clothes home and changed my wardrobe for the season!

Enjoy family time and hope for a white December!

Everyone do your snow day dance with your pajamas on inside out!

As you complete your first semester at Ohio State, you should be proud of yourself. Whether you had a rough first semester or a really good semester, you are done! Just remember: you are one semester closer to graduating.

Now you get a break — RELAX THE BRAIN!