5 Things You MUST Do Before Winter Break

Finals, the holidays, packing for break – you’ve got a lot on your mind and a lot to do (and probably not that much sleep!), no doubt. However, before you head home for winter break from college, there are some things you absolutely MUST do to make sure you leave this semester on good note and will start the next one safely, healthily and happily!

Make Sure Your Work is Done

Before you leave, make sure you’ve gotten everything in before the grading period. Check your syllabi and fill out your course evaluations, and if you can try to sell back your books now. You may want to write a thank you note to the professors whose classes you enjoyed most, it could go a long way to keeping the lines of communication open in case you’ll want to ask them for a recommendation in the future. Wrapping up this semester is the first step in starting next semester strong.  Make sure all loose ends are tied up!

  • Check your syllabi for any outstanding items
  • Email or send a thank you note to your professors
  • Sell back your books to the bookstore or find a friend who will need your copy
  • Make sure to return any library books before the break to avoid fees

Pack Up Your Valuables

Leaving school for the winter break means your things will sit in your room for a couple weeks, without you there to keep an eye on them. Whether it’s theft or damage to the building from a snowstorm, your valuables could be vulnerable while you’re away. Take your valuables with while you’re away for so long to ensure that they’ll be taken care of – like your laptop, jewelry and favorite clothes.

  • Make sure you have a way to safely transport your laptop
  • Locate and pack any jewelry or valuables like cash

Check the Dates

Before you leave school, make sure you know when the residence halls and campus close and open back up again. If these dates conflict with your travel plans, make the necessary arrangements to either stay on campus or find somewhere else to go if it is closed. Also be sure to check your travel logistics to make sure everything still works and so you’ll be sure to be on time!

  • Check your school’s break dates and if the residence halls will close during that time
  • Confirm your travel itineraries
  • Make necessary adjustments or arrangements if above dates affect your travel plans

Clean Your Mini Fridge

This is way more important than you may realize – seriously! No one wants to come back to a moldy, smelly, little fridge stinking up your whole room, so make sure to clean it out and properly defrost it before you head home for a couple weeks.

  • Throw out any perishable food in your room
  • Clean the interior of your mini fridge
  • Defrost your fridge, find a guide here

Secure Your Room/Apartment

You’ll be away for several weeks, so make sure your room is secure and clean! You’ll want to return to an orderly space with everything just as you left it. Try to give yourself time after studying to clean up your space and make sure you secure the windows, unplug your electronics and make sure everything is good to go for your weeks away. If you have Renters Insurance, ensure your inventory is up-to-date, in case anything happens to your stuff while you are away.

  • Ensure all windows are closed tight and locked, for both weather and theft purposes
  • Hide any valuables and make sure your curtains are closed
  • Empty all trash
  • Turn down the heat, but not too low so your pipes don’t freeze!
  • Unplug any unnecessary electronics
  • Check to make sure your inventory is up-to-date
  • Lock all doors after leaving

With these tips, you’ll be ready for a relaxing college winter break! Enjoy!