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This winter break, take the time to relax, reflect and recharge

Welcome Crew mentor Clara Freeman-Cole shares her holiday tips after an unprecedented year
December 18, 2020
By Clara Freeman-Cole

Young woman in ice skates on a frozen creek. “If you’re in Montreal, why not try ice skating, snowshoeing or tobogganing in parks?”

Clara Freeman-Cole is a geography master’s student and Welcome Crew mentor.

Congratulations, fellow Concordians! You made it to the end of what was — for many — your first online term, and winter break is here. Everyone deserves this time to kick back, relax and enjoy these days with no looming deadlines. So, here are some tips to help you make the most of your winter break.

1.  Head outdoors for some socially distanced activities

Although it is tempting to be in a blanket burrito for three weeks straight, some fresh air can do wonders for feeling refreshed after a fall of online classes. If you’re in Montreal, ice skating, snowshoeing and tobogganing in parks are all options within the city, so you don’t need to travel far. Try to go at times where the rinks and parks won’t be busy, like weekday mornings.

2.  Bundle up warm

Take advantage of any winter sales to get the right gear at an affordable price for the colder months. As an international student, I was a bit scared of my first Canadian winter, but if you bundle up, there is endless fun to be had outdoors. I learned to love the snow and now I have quite the collection of beanie hats.

3.  Learn something new

If you’re feeling productive, you can dive into some extra research about something you found interesting in a fall class. Now is the time for going into a Wikipedia hole for hours without that nagging feeling of procrastination.

You could also make use of Concordia’s subscription to Udemy, which provides access to more than 4,000 non-academic courses. There may be an opportunity to develop skills for your future career or just satisfy an itch to learn something new.

4. Upgrade your working-from-home space

Make your living space super cozy and inviting to work in during the winter months. Maybe you could set up a workspace near a window to make the most of daylight hours, add some cute fairy lights or candles or get some houseplants to bring nature to you.

I recently got a snake plant (or Sansevieria), which can survive in almost all lighting conditions and a wide range of temperatures. It’s also one of the few plants that will photosynthesize at night — an added bonus.

5.  Take time to reflect

This year has been tough for many, so the winter break could be a time to reflect on the unprecedented times and how it has affected you — the good, the bad and the ugly parts.

Make sure to take time to rest and recharge, keep in touch with loved ones and watch cheesy holiday movies so you can feel rested and ready to take on the winter 2021 term.

For more tips, or just a chance to discuss life as a Concordia student, reach out to the
Welcome Crew mentors anytime throughout your first year.



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