The ultimate winter break bucket list

By Alex Dolinger, For The Pitt News

Get in touch with nature by going sledding, ice skating or skiing

By the time finals week ends and you’re finally home, take some time to experience the great outdoors. Whatever the weather may be wherever you choose to spend your break, go enjoy it! You know you haven’t seen the sun since November, so it’s time to let your eyes adjust to natural light again.

Work out the hunchback you gave yourself in Hillman by going to your local ice rink or going on a nice winter hike. This weather is so much more enjoyable when you aren’t slipping in a crosswalk or wearing your winter coat in class because the heat in Cathy isn’t on just yet. Get out there!

Make a warm, festive fire in your fireplace with all the notes from your gen-eds that you don’t need anymore

If you were traumatized by Biology 1, hated taking that literature credit or got lost in parabolas in statistics, now is the time to forget all of those nightmares. Light up a crackling fire in your fireplace or take it outside for an old-school bonfire and throw all of those notes right in the blaze.

Say “au revoir” to the months of stress by roasting marshmallows on the smoke from the graded essays that are stained with your tears. Take in the warmth of the flames and really try to relax. The craziness of the semester is over. Until January.

Decorate sugar cookies

Take some time with your family or friends to make and decorate some delicious sugar cookies that weren’t financed by your dining dollars or swipes this holiday season. Challenge yourself to make them from scratch, or find some pre-made dough at a grocery store that isn’t Forbes Street Market.

No matter which of these options you choose, make sure you’re fully stocked with icing. You will definitely need a lot so that you have enough left over to eat with a spoon to celebrate finishing that Spanish final. You’ve earned it.

Make an ugly sweater

Have some festive holiday parties coming up now that you have free time again? Make sure you have the appropriate attire and make your own ugly sweater.  Any sweater you own can easily be decorated with items you already have in your house.

Pin tinsel and ornaments to a green sweater to become a Christmas tree, tape paper snowflakes to a blue sweater to create a cozy winter scene or wrap yourself in bows and ribbons so your presence is recognized as the present that it is.

Do something charitable

Although there’s plenty to do for most college students and their families during the holidays, it’s important to remember those who might not be as lucky to have the time, money and cozy home to celebrate the holidays successfully. You can spend this break embracing the true meaning of the holidays and give some of your time or money to charity. There are plenty of organizations doing excellent work that need your help.

Volunteer with a local organization of your choosing and make a difference in the lives of others this season. You may meet a new friend, gain a new skill or learn something new about your area and the people who live there. Local and national charities you can work with include Toys for Tots, Make-A-Wish, Presents for Patients and Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Sleep off the semester

Animals can hibernate, so why can’t you? Get a good holiday feast in early so you can eat enough food to last during your three-week-long restorative slumber.