How to Make the Most of Your Winter Break in a Pandemic

Take the time to give yourself—body and mind—the rest you need

An aerial view of the Bryant Park Winter Village.

Let’s Be Honest: It’s a Difficult Time to Be a Student

Between studying remotely, network connectivity issues, and the general chaos of the world in the past couple months, this has been one of the most stressful semesters in history. You deserve to enjoy your winter break. You have earned it. Whether you are a senior in high school or a sophomore in college, you have worked hard to learn during unprecedented times. Therefore, you should make use of your time off to unwind and practice some much deserved self-care.

Calling All High School Seniors: Don’t Use This Time to Stress Over Your Application

Your senior year likely didn’t turn out as expected. However, the college application deadlines stayed the same. You worked hard this semester and you deserve a break. Planning for your future at a time when the future feels precarious is scary—you are incredible for having done that. You submitted a quality application after giving it all you had. Now: don’t stress over it. Don’t spend every waking moment of your break thinking about your application. Instead, use your winter break to prepare yourself for your last—and, arguably, the best—semester of high school and enjoy the experience. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done and look to the person you will be in a few short months: a high school graduate! This is exciting. So, get ready to celebrate.

College Students: It’s OK to Not Be OK

This winter break is the light at the end of the tunnel. It has been an exhausting semester. It’s hard to stay engaged over Zoom and remote learning is so different from in-person instruction. Hours spent in class online seem longer and more draining. After a whole semester, the Zoom fatigue is all too familiar. So, rest up over break—you have earned it. Get some sleep, eat some good food, and turn your brain off for a while.

Just Remember That There Are Resources Available to Support You During This Difficult Time

Make use of the Wellness Exchange, our best mental health resource at NYU. Take time to call the 24-hour hotline or make a virtual appointment to connect with a counselor. Reach out to your mentor (your favorite professor, a teacher from high school, your mom!) and communicate the struggles you’ve had this semester. Brainstorm ways to address them in the spring. Maybe your interests or your long-term goals have changed (aren’t we all different people now?). All of this is understandable. There are people available to support you. And they’re just a call, text, or email away.

Enjoy the Holidays. Everything Will Still Be Here in the New Year.

Students are experiencing this pandemic in a very personal way right now. It is necessary to take care of yourself and your mental health during this stressful time. Remember, learning is important, but so are you. Prioritize yourself this winter break and get the rest you deserve. School will be waiting for you in the spring. Take your time getting back to it.