Fall leaves

How to Use Thanksgiving Break Productively

TGFT: Thank goodness for Thanksgiving! Whether you’re spending your break with friends or family, the time off is a nice respite from school. But between forkfuls of pie, you can actually make great use of your school vacation by getting ahead on schoolwork and even making progress toward securing that summer job/internship—yes, that timeline is sneaking up already.

Here are six things you can do over Thanksgiving break to help you return to class feeling ready to take on finals week and secure the perfect summer internship.

Get ahead on schoolwork

Chances are, you have long-term assignments or projects due sometime after Thanksgiving. Get ahead on work—and save yourself from stress down the line—by using your break to complete these. It could be as small as brainstorming research paper topics, or as consuming as finishing an entire presentation. Just target a few assignments you’d like to work on, and bring your books with you if you’re traveling for the holiday. This way, when finals week comes up, you’ll be able to focus on prepping for exams rather than on finishing projects.

Update your resume

Haven’t had the opportunity to add your fall internship or new leadership position to your resume? Now’s your chance. Summer internship and job opportunities for many fields begin to open up in November—so Thanksgiving marks a great moment to ready your resume for the job search.

Start your summer internship/job search

Thanksgiving is early to start your internship or job search—but it’s not too early. Get ahead of the game by scoping out when your target companies begin their recruiting cycles. Add important dates—like application openings and deadlines—to your calendar, so that you’re able to have everything in before the due date.

Pro tip
: Cover letters and writing samples can be time-consuming to craft, and Thanksgiving is a great time to work on them both! If writing isn’t your strong suit, this grammar and
plagiarism checker can help review your letter so you send it off with more confidence.

Catch up on missed readings

If you’ve managed to fall behind in any of your classes, it’s not too late to catch up before finals week begins! If you’re leaving school for the holiday, shove those textbooks into your carry-on suitcase or toss them in the backseat of the car before you head out of your dorm room for the break. Take careful notes that will help you when it comes time to study for final exams.

Pro tip: if you’re doing readings for a research paper, start citing sources as you take notes. It’ll make it MUCH easier later when you write your paper and need to create an
MLA works cited, an annotated bibliography, or a reference list in APA format or Chicago style format.

Get some extra sleep

Yes, you read that tip right! Feeling tired after completing the majority of the fall semester? Now’s the time to get the sleep you haven’t recouped since midterm season. Try getting a full eight hours of sleep every night during the break—and try to wake up naturally, not from the sound of a buzzing alarm. That way, you’ll go into finals season feeling refreshed, rather than burnt-out.

Take some me-time

Thanksgiving break provides a good time to get ahead for the quickly approaching finals week, but it also marks an opportunity to finally take a breather after making it through the majority of a busy semester. Sprawl out on the couch and watch a few Thanksgiving episodes of “Friends,” or go for a jog in the park. Thanksgiving break is a break, after all, and self-care is important. After completing most of the fall semester, you’ve earned some time for rest and relaxation before hunkering down for finals week.


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