Good day Scarlet Knights!

Winter break is here, and you finally get some time off from your hard work at Rutgers University.

We’d like to provide you with a few ways to stay productive during your winter break, so that when you come back, you can start the spring semester off strong.


Stay Active

Research shows that when college-students stay physically active and exercise, there are substantial positive effects on physical health, and attainment of the bachelor's degree, as well as significant positive effects on the overall college experience (Astin, 1993). With this in mind, we encourage you to find a physical activity to participate in to better enhance your time here at Rutgers. Staying active can be anything from going for a walk to going skiing in the mountains. Whatever you choose as a physical activity, be sure that it's something you enjoy!


Stay Motivated

A lot of students have faced highs and lows during their fall semester. First year students may have had their first experience of living on their own, managing work/life balance, or being their own advocate and support system. Those who are the first in their family to go to college may have been unsure that they had what it took to be successful academically. If this is your experience, keep in mind what Marks (2007) has found: “Despite disadvantages associated with being the first in the family to attend university, these students seem to perform just as well academically as their peers.” So to these populations and all fellow students, we say do your best to relax, unwind, and recharge over winter break. The time off can help you stay motivated in your academic journey and achieve your academic goals! 


Take Time to Reflect

As you recover from this fall, we encourage you to take time to think about how you want to approach your Spring Semester. It's important to think about any academic missteps that may have happened during the year and consider changes that you’d like to make moving forward. According to Nelson (2003), “As students progress through their college career they learn from their mistakes and successes and become more efficient.” You can leverage this time over winter break to brainstorm how you will develop into a better student when you return.


Stay Committed to Learning

As a college student, you are dedicating these years to improving your knowledge and utilizing opportunities for growth. Although school breaks do provide time for you to take your mind off coursework, it's important that you maintain an interest in learning.  We urge you to take time to learn something new, perhaps attempt a new hobby or have an unfamiliar experience. Both in-class and out-of-class activities and experiences improve learning productivity and contribute directly and indirectly to student learning (Hu & Kuh, 2003). Therefore, we encourage you to engage your curiosity throughout the winter break.


Make and Complete an Action Plan

What do you plan to accomplish this winter break? We encourage you to put those plans into action! Here are some tasks and goals that college-aged students typically complete over the course of winter break:

-Revamp a Resume

-Create a Cover Letter

-Build a LinkedIn Profile

-Research Internship Opportunities

-Take a Winter Session Course

-Set Academic Goals

You have the freedom to choose your own adventure here, but remember, whatever you choose to do, complete it to the best of your ability.




Astin, A. W. (1993). What matters in college: Four critical years revisited. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Bryant, J. A., & Bradley, J. L. (1993). Enhancing academic productivity, student development and employment potential. Recreational Sports Journal, 18(1), 42–44.

Hodge, B., Wright, B., & Bennett, P. (2017). The role of grit in determining engagement and academic outcomes for university students. Research in Higher Education, 59(4), 448–460.

Hu, S., & Kuh, G. D. (2003). Maximizing what students get out of college: Testing a learning productivity model. Journal of College Student Development, 44(2), 185–203.

Nelson, R. (2003). Student efficiency: A study on the behavior and productive efficiency of college students and the determinants of GPA. Issues in Political Economy, 12.

Sierra, H. (2023, December 7). What are the most productive things to do over winter break in college?. Forbes.,investment%20of%20time%20and%20energy.