by Alexis Coronato

After a long and stressful semester, it might seem ideal to veg out on the couch for a month and a half to catch up on the latest episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix. However, it will make it that much more difficult for you to get back in the groove of things for the spring semester. Here are a few ways you can stay productive over break, while still having plenty of time to relax.

1. Read for fun. After a semester of textbooks and scholarly articles, you finally have time to read something of your choice. Here you can check out Barnes & Noble’s list of the best books of 2012.

2. Get a gym membership. Don’t let all your hard work of the semester go to waste. Or, if you slacked a little on going to the gym, get into a routine that you can keep up next semester. Most gyms offer month-long memberships for students, which is just about the amount of time that you will be home for.

3. Find ways to make a little extra money. “Mom, can you put some money in my account?” She probably gets tired of hearing it, and I’m sure you are tired of asking. See if you can pick up a seasonal job to make some money for the upcoming semester. Ask around to see if anyone needs a babysitter — holidays are especially busy for parents.

4. Get prepared for the upcoming semester. This doesn’t mean read your textbooks and waste a perfectly good month of relaxation. If you usually buy your books, you should look into renting them and saving a lot of money. I have found this website to be really good- you can save up to 80% on books. The more prepared you are, the easier it will be to transition back into a routine when the spring semester rolls around.

Winter break always flys by, so try your best to make the most out of the time you have. Happy Holidays!