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What you should have done over winter break

PJs and TV ain't so bad

Every year it’s the same. While we love Binghamton University and all it has to offer, we could all do without the unbearably long winter break. Year after year, we watch our friends from other schools come and go, leaving us BU students with only our parents to interact with. And so we promise ourselves next year will be different. We will keep ourselves busy to avoid those seemingly endless nights of watching television, eating leftover holiday cookies and dealing with our parents. Here’s a list of some of those things we said we’d do, but inevitably did not.

1. Get a job — Your first instinct as poor college students is to make some money. You blew all your savings on beer and Chipotle last semester, and if you have any desire to keep up with that lifestyle, you need to make some liquid cash over the break. So you thought about getting a job.

But let’s get real: The last few weeks of fall semester were jammed with late-night test cramming, early morning coffee runs and afternoon power naps. There simply was no time to look for a job in between. Besides, don’t you deserve a break? At least, that’s what you tell yourself as you sit, day in and day out, in what’s becoming a permanent indentation in the couch cushions. So much for that one.

2. Get in shape — There are three “Fs” of the holidays that make them such a joyous time: friends, family and food. Mom’s Christmas cookies are the best thing to happen to you since you got into college, but after finishing an entire platter by yourself and having grandma’s eggnog shoveled down your throat, you made a resolution to lose weight before spring semester comes around.

The problem is, gym memberships are expensive, especially for the unemployed. Using your free time over break to work out seems like a good idea at first, but there are a few things you didn’t think of beforehand. First of all, it gets cold out in the winter, and the cold weather makes it very hard to leave the comfort of your (warm) couch. In the battle between working out and Netflix-ing, Netflix always wins. Second of all, working out is exhausting and not fun. Bikini season is months from now, so consider working out another task called off from the to-do list.

3. Exercise the brain — You could have taken a winter course. You could have read those 12 books you’ve been meaning to get to. You could have written a short story, solved some intense mathematical equation or found the cure for polio. But you didn’t. You did, however, finish three cases of beers with your older brother in a single night.

4. Watch everything on your Netflix queue — At the beginning of break this goal appeared to be easily attainable. Who doesn’t love a good Netflix movie/TV show marathon? However, once you finish something, you will probably discover five new things that you want to watch. Netflix is a bottomless pit that will never be satisfied. It’s just impossible to expect yourself to get around to everything in one relatively short break. Next thing you know, it’s the end of January, and you still haven’t watched “Game of Thrones” or “House of Cards.” But don’t fret; you can continue this never-ending battle during the semester when you should be studying.

5. Plan for real life — This may not apply to freshmen, but for returning sophomores, juniors and seniors who are beginning to realize that college is not the real world we were told it would be back in high school, winter break becomes a designated six weeks to digest the achievements and setbacks of fall semester, and prepare for the rest of your life. Decide on classes to take, plan to study abroad, apply for summer internships, apply to graduate school, start planning a career — it’s all very thrilling, and very intimidating. But be honest: Could you even begin to start making some of those decisions while your Netflix queue is still waiting? “Sherlock” won’t watch itself.

So winter break wasn’t exactly everything you hoped it would be. Don’t worry because it’s already in the past. There’s a whole new semester ahead of you, full of new goals to achieve and new heights to reach. And if you still don’t accomplish anything, remain calm because there is always summer. Maybe you didn’t get anything done. But the point is, you tried … right? Better luck next break.