Free from the finals frenzy

Hot Chocolate blogFinals week is winding down!

For those of you who have finals in the end of the week, good luck to you. Finish strong, because at the end of all of the work and stress lies a wonderful break from classes, exams, and presentations.

While you may not be completely free from obligation this winter break (like me over here with the GRE hanging over my head), I hope that you will be able to find some time to enjoy yourself and do the things you love.

If you’re in need of some ideas for how to have a great time, I’ve come up with more than enough for you — one for every day of break!

1. Enjoy being with your family. I am looking forward to this more than anything.

2. Get a haircut. Maybe I’m just obsessed with getting my hair cut all the time, but there is something about a brand new cut that just makes you happy (unless you hate it…then you probably aren’t too amused.)

3. Exercise. How gross do you feel after a finals week full of junk food? Don’t even ask me…

4. Ski! This is so much fun, and if you’ve never gone, I seriously recommend you go! You will have a blast.

5. Go to the library. Get books my enjoyment. Try it.

6. Find out what houses have the best decorations and drive to look at them. There are tons of websites that tell you what houses to check out.

7. Sleep as long as you can. This is weird, but it’s my goal for break. Take one day to see how long you can sleep until you no longer feel like sleeping. I’ve never hit that point.

8. Go ice skating. This is my favorite thing to do just about whenever! Give it a chance if you haven’t already.

9. Watch a new show on Netflix. Try not to get obsessed. I dare you.

10. Watch one of your favorite shows — the entire season. Your guilty pleasure doesn’t always have to make you feel guilty!

11. Play “Just Dance.” Seriously guys, I am obsessed with this game and don’t get to play it nearly enough.

12. Cook your friends or family dinner. Try your hand at making something. If you’re already a great cook, show off your skills.

13. If it snows, go take a walk around your neighborhood and appreciate the beauty that you may have previously missed.

14. Try as many hot chocolates/teas/coffees as possible. It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy these drinks!

15. Go check out the zoolights! Whether you hit up Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield, or both, you need to see the holiday lights. They are fantastic.

16. Do a puzzle. I’m not talking about those little 200-piece ones. I mean that big, 1,000+ piece puzzles that take days to complete.

17. Winter clean? This isn’t just reserved for spring. Purge your wardrobe and possessions. Make sure you aren’t a hoarder! If you are, call TLC.

18. Go for a car ride. Drive around. Gas is cheap right now anyways! (bring hot chocolate!)

19. Turn it all off for one day (or more if you can do it.) See how long you can go unplugged from your cell phone, computer, iPad, etc.!

20. Stay on top of your laundry. I know so many people that let this get out of control. Don’t do it if you don’t have to! Manage your mess.

21. Acquire a new hobby. Whether it’s an instrument, skill, whatever the case may be, now is the perfect time to explore new things you enjoy.

22. Make a gingerbread house. Whether or not you celebrate December holidays, gingerbread houses are so much fun to make. Try it out yourself!

23. Visit friends from UIC. Whether you meet back up in the city or explore each other’s hometowns, it’s so nice to see school friends over break!

24. Play in the snow. I don’t care how old you are. If there is snow on the ground, go sledding or build something. Automatic best day ever.

25. Go on a nice date. Take your significant other, sibling, best friend — anyone you want to — and enjoy a night out together.

26. Learn to play chess. If you already know how, play a game or two. Chess is the best.

27. Watch lots of movies! Catch up on everything you haven’t seen. Introduce friends and family to your favorites.

28. Volunteer. You’ve got time on your hands.There are a lot of ways you can help others. Find out what you’re interested in and go help!

29. Try to be artistic. If you already are, good for you! If not, welcome to the club. Try painting or drawing something.

30. Watch Christmas movies. Even if Christmas isn’t your thing, these movies probably will be. I especially recommend any of the “Santa Claus.”

I want to see how you’re enjoying break! Tweet me @hbrenza and use the hashtag #allaboutthatbreak (you can thank my boyfriend for that cheesy hashtag!)


Holly Brenza (F)


Holly Brenza is a senior majoring in English and minoring in communications and management. In her spare time, Holly enjoys playing with her puppy, Bear, and watching the Blackhawks and White Sox, reading and trying out new recipes. After graduation, she hopes to work in public relations.


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