Jessica Prainito

#BirdofMouth student blogger Jessica Prainito is a freshman mass media major.

It’s finally here! The end of the semester is closing in quickly, and you all know what that means … WINTER BREAK.

Illinois State’s winter break is about a month long. This year, students wrap up finals week around December 12, with spring semester starting January 12.

For Future Redbirds, winter break in college is a little different (and better) than what you’ve experienced before. Here’s the inside scoop on the differences between winter break in high school and winter break in college:


While in high school, you may not be thinking about finals over Thanksgiving, but in college that’s prime work time.

Those two weeks between Thanksgiving break and winter break are going to be filled with lots of studying, and Milner Library is the perfect place to do it. During finals week, Milner is open 24 hours a day for all you die-hard studiers. Milner Library and its campus partners offer stress-free events such as PAWSitively Stress Free dog visits, massages, snacks, and even a 10-minute dance party.



Once finals are finished, there are a couple things you have to do before you officially start break. During the break Illinois State maintenance staffers make sure everything is working smoothly, so you’ll need to do your part before you leave.

You will be given a nice list of things you have to do to your residence hall room: unplug all electronics, move things off the floor, make sure there is no food left to rot, etc. Because this is winter break, you aren’t just cleaning out your locker and taking home gym clothes; you’re packing up your life and heading home!



Whew! It’s finally time to relax and celebrate! I’m sure you’ll go home with a list of winter-themed activities you plan on doing. You’ll have a whole month to catch up with your family and your friends from high school, watch a new show on Netflix, and get all of the sleep.

Enjoy your time! You’ve worked hard and have definitely earned a month off. But be warned: After a month off (give or take a few days), you’ll be ready to return to Illinois State before it’s over.

If you really want to make the most out of your winter break, Illinois State sponsors Alternative Breaks for service projects throughout the U.S., and student groups plan various skiing and snow boarding trips too.


  • Bring home your summer/fall clothes. Trust me: You won’t be needing them anytime soon, and all they do is take up space in your residence hall room.
  • Make sure to bring your winter clothes back with you! This means winter coat, hat, gloves, scarves, and BOOTS! This winter will be brutal if you aren’t prepared to walk to class dressed appropriately.
  • Stock up on school supplies. Take advantage of being at home and go shopping with your parents.
  • Bring a rug/towel or something to rest your snowy winter boots on. You’ll be grateful when you aren’t tracking slush into your room and getting your socks all wet.

#BirdofMouth student blogger Jessica Prainito is a freshman mass media major. Read more #BirdofMouth posts.