Five ways to enjoy your winter break

The long-awaited winter hiatus has finally arrived. Exams have come to pass, we said our good-byes to a tiring semester and now it is time to look forward to the future. So what next?

If you find yourself bored in making the transition to a slower paced month-long interlude, try these ideas to keep yourself busy. And if all else fails, you can always start studying and preparing for the wonderful spring semester! OK, but seriously …

1. Relax. Take the next four weeks to recuperate from a stressful semester. Kick it with some friends and play video games until the wee hours of morning. Snack on your favorite candy and nestle on the couch to watch a good movie. Or just sleep — your body will thank you during these weeks as it may be the only time it gets to recover before the onslaught of a sleep-deprived spring semester.

2. See your favorite band play. Getting tired of lying around the house all day? Pack your stuff and go see a show from your favorite band. The rejuvenating atmosphere can help bring your weary mind back to a relaxed state. Foo Fighters not in town? Lil’ Wayne behind bars again? Attend a local venue. Mount Pleasant and the tri-cities have plenty of local bands that play at bars and other venues — some of which are just a short drive down the road.

3. Try something new. Instead of just listening to your favorite songs, why not learn how to play them? Pick up a used guitar on Craigslist and start jamming. While you’re there, check out a snowboard or a pair of skis, get a group of friends together and head for the hills. Try your hand at poetry. Learn to code and design a website. Get yourself a membership at a gym. Whether you’re solo or surrounded by friends, expand your mind and entertain yourself with something you have never done before.

4. Give your parents a hug. Sound cheesy? It may be, but don’t forget to show your parents some love. Celebrate the holidays with the priceless gift of good grades and appreciation (though tuition probably trumps the entire Christmas budget) — it will put a smile on their faces. Thank them for the financial and moral support. And don’t forget the hug!

5. Make a resolution. Maybe it’s “I’ll get a 3.0 or higher gpa next year,” or “I’ll only skip three classes next semester.” Sign up for that internship for next summer. Identify a way you might be able to kick a bad habit. Whatever the case, start with something small that is attainable.

The semester has come to an end — a pleasant inevitability — and any shred of decent weather has long since vanished. We are left to enjoy the break and celebrate the arrival of a new year. And in typical end-of-the-year phenomena, theories of the world coming to an end will undoubtedly surface once again. Whether it’s conspiracy theorists, The Mayan Calendar, Harold Camping (the founder of Family Radio who predicted the apocalypse to unfold on May 21, 2011), or the movie “2012,” prepare yourself for others preparing for the end — it will be an unavoidable topic in this year’s media coverage.