When you finally take your last final, all the stress seems to disappear, you finally feel a weight lifted off of your shoulders…yep, it’s winter break! So, now what?
Well, it’s important to give yourself an actual “break,” but there are a few odds and ends that you can actually take care of and casually work on.
One of the weirdest feelings I get over winter break is boredom – I literally feel bored. It’s as if I know I should be working on something but I don’t know what it is. I’m used to being so crazily busy with school that it’s weird to not have anything to do.
If you’re a busy-body like me, you know that feeling is something I try to avoid! That being said, here’s a list of some things you can work on over break if you so choose 🙂
Resume / CV
One of the ways I like to pass time if I’m ever bored is to work on my resume/CV (curriculum vitae). I’m currently at the point where I am transferring to a CV rather than using a 1-page resume.
Once you get so far into pharmacy school and your career, everything doesn’t fit into that 1-page resume → therefore, CV here I come!
A piece of advice for the CV → start recording everything you do school or career related. If you’re already volunteering in a pharmacy/hospital/wherever, record it and the events that you do. It doesn’t matter how long your CV is! The more the better.
FYI, some of my professors have CVs that are about 70 pages long…
Taking the PCAT again?
If you’re going to be taking the PCAT again in the beginning of next year, be sure to continue studying! I sometimes feel as if not studying over break is everyone’s goal, but doing that always kind of hurt me. I easily forget stuff if I don’t keep practicing, as I’m sure many of you do, too.
The PCAT info is definitely not something you want to forget about! Being home for the holidays always made it super hard for me to try and work on school stuff, but it is possible.
Some of the tips I have: try and go to the library (I somehow always get more work done there…), find a coffee shop (I like the mom and pop ones rather than a Starbucks!), or just simply get out of your house somehow.
Try going to a friends and study together if you both have stuff to do. They don’t even have to go to your same school! Either way, don’t completely skip out on this precious study time – January will come fast! Get a crash course or free practice test at these links 🙂
The dreaded FAFSA (at least for me, anyhow). I hate thinking about student debt, but it has to be done! All my advisors have always said to do it as soon as possible, so I made it a task for myself over winter break every year.
I’ll sit down one day for a couple of hours and just knock it all out. Since I’ve been in school so long it’s getting easier each year, but it took some time for me to get used to. Doing it over winter break also means I’m home with my mom incase I have any questions!
Do you know how many times I’ve shown up for class in the spring semester only to realize my parking pass expired on December 31st? It sucks paying for parking that day…
While I get a parking pass every semester because I’m a commuter student, I always seem to forgot to actually go and pick it up! So I make this a task for myself over winter break.
I especially hate running around when I get back to campus, so doing this makes the end of winter break a bit easier (and the start of classes a bit smoother…)
Yep, you read that right. This is one of the things that I always put off or forget about. The way my insurance works (and a lot of them) is that I get a cleaning every 6 months. Okay, awesome.
Most of those months I’m away at school and my dentist is back home…so I plan out the appointments for over break!
It may not always be exactly 6 months, but that will at least get me home over winter break and then sometime over the summer.
(At my pharmacy school we actually share a building with the dental students, so maybe this is why teeth cleanings always stand out to me!)
One of the most important things you can do for yourself throughout pharmacy school is to take care of your mental health. Pharmacy is draining in every way imaginable, (but it’s oh so worth it)!
Over break, make sure you leave time to enjoy life, whether that be: watching your favorite movie, going to your favorite mall with friends, reading your favorite book, etc. Whatever it is, be sure to do it!
I hope my winter break “checklist” (in a way) has helped you find some things to do over winter break! Being bored never really works out for me, and I know I can’t be the only one.
Kimberly A. Hill, Student Pharmacist Class of 2020
“I am a student pharmacist who is passionate for patient care, an advocate for interprofessional collaboration, an aspiring clinician, a promoter of the legislation to recognize pharmacists as providers, and I will faithfully and passionately serve my community and future generations of pharmacists in all ways possible.”