Saturday, January 02, 2010

What! No meetings and lists of things to do?

10 great things to do during this down time

from our Friends at Apathy Myth: A Blog for America's Student Leaders

Hey, Student Leader. Bored yet?

You've opened your gifts, and you've seen three movies at the theaters since you got home. Saturday night with your high school friends proved that one night with them is sufficient. What are you going to do this week other than watch Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin on CNN Thursday night?

Here are 10 useful ideas.

10. Connect with your mentors. You know... those people you always turn to when you're in the ditch but who get very little love from you when everything's going well? Yeah, those people. How about sending them a note, letting you know what's going on in your life and wishing them a happy new year. Maybe you could thank them for always being there for you.

9. Read something that isn't a text book. Get thyself to the library or to Barnes and Noble, and pick up something engrossing that you can spend a little time with this week. Maybe a biography of someone who's been successful in your chosen field? Or perhaps just a fun, trashy book. Just because you don't have to read, doesn't mean you shouldn't.

8. Set some goals for the second half of the academic year. This quiet time, away from the daily pressures, is a great time to evaluate the progress of your year and make some midstream adjustments.

7. Spend some time with a loved one. Take grandma out for breakfast. So sale shopping at Bass Pro Shops with your dad. Spend some time with the people in your life who willingly take a back seat 96-percent of the time. We'll be dead soon, and you'll wish you'd paid attention to us instead of texting 2,000 times with your college friends.

6. Brush up the resume. Before you know it, you'll be looking for that summer job or internship. Work on the resume now, while you have time to do it thoughtfully.

5. Choose three charities and send them each a tiny donation. This is something many of us out here in the real world with real world taxes do the last week of each year. Even if it's only $5 or $10 each, pick three charities that deserve your support, and write them a little check. It's a good habit to get into now, and charities are having a rough year. Every little bit helps. Here are three that I gave to this year, if you need some ideas: here, here, and here.

4. Make a dental appointment. Seriously, when's the last time you had those things cleaned? Your mom and dad will be impressed, too.

3. Clean your car. That thing is disgusting. You can go to the car wash to clean the exterior, but do the interior yourself. Change out the CD's in there. Clean out the junk in your glove box. Use some glass cleaner on those windows. Starting the new year with a clean car is good for the soul.

2. Box up high school. It's time to put the past where it belongs... in boxes in the basement or in the trash can. OK, you can save the pictures, but really... that stupid glass from 10th grade Homecoming? Time to go. If you carry more than 2 boxes of junk from high school with you past college graduation, you've got problems. Plus, Mom would probably really like to start using your room as a guest room anyway, and that Gnarls Barkley poster ain't helpin'.

1. Go to the gym, every day until you have to go back to school. Personal health is found in the establishment of routines. Maybe if you go every day between now and the drive back to school you'll be a bit more motivated to make time for the gym when the semester starts. The gym is a great escape from the stresses of daily life, and you could probably use more of those opportunities in the course of your hectic semester. Take this week to remind yourself of how good it feels to run for 30 minutes, swim a lap, or play basketball with strangers.

And yes, I know, I need to do #1 myself. Yes, I know.

Have a terrific new year.