Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Take Advantage of Your Downtime!

This post was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Davele Zephyr, Class of 2019.

While we all love snow days, and holidays, and cancelled classes, recognize that’s it’s on days like these that we can take a few small steps to add to our personal and professional brand. Don’t get me wrong, these days off are definitely well-deserved, but a here are just a few small tips that could really get you ahead. Trust me, these tips would barely take any time out of your day of relaxation!

Play around with some new technology. Since technological innovations are so widespread in today’s society, take some time to catch up. Given what you are interested in, watch some YouTube tutorials and then play around with the tool. For example, if you are interested in the Corporate field, play around with Excel, if you’re interested in Media, get familiar with the new updates in social media tools like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, etc. It is always good to learn a new skills.

Organize your calendar. We are all very busy people, so a day off is always a good time to take a breath and get organized. This means inputting dates of upcoming events, making the necessary reservations and plans for whatever you have upcoming, and replying to any pending calendar invites. And don’t forget about any upcoming birthdays! By the end of this exercise, you’ll feel more in control of everything going on in your life.

Organize you inbox. Go through the hundreds of emails that you’ve received and mark them as read or delete them if needed. Also, consider further personalizing your Gmail, this could be adding a signature to your emails, choosing a specified font, setting up a filter for which emails should go where, etc. Email will always be a staple in our lives, so constant improvement will only make your life easier.

Check in with your family and friends. Being away at college, sometimes it’s hard to find time to give your family and friends a call. So while lying on your bed, pick up the phone and give them a call! Let them know what you’re up to and find out how everything has been for them. If for some reason they don’t pick up, leave them a voicemail so that they know you were thinking of them.

Catch up on homework and readings. You don’t want quizzes, tests, and exams to come around and you have to cram to study. Knock off an hour or two of studying then by fully understanding the material now!

Get some exercise in. It is so easy to put off the gym when work gets in the way, so with work pushed aside, get some exercise in. The American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of aerobic exercise three to four times a week.

Set some personal goals. It is always a good thing to take a breath and just wander. Think about both your immediate and long-term future, what would you like to accomplish, what is your personal brand? Whether you feel inspired to create a vision board, or just jot down your thoughts on some post-its, I encourage you to set a few goals. Notice, I am not telling you to come up with an action plan, just think for now. As time goes by and you become more committed to achieving those goals, the steps to get there will certainly become clear.

I challenge you to do at least three of the tips above on your next day off. Remember you have the ability to sculpt your lifestyle, so why not adopt a few of these tips and leave some imprints now?


 Davele Zephyr

Peer Career Ambassador