The Extended Break: What to do With 5 Extra Days Off!

UVic recently announced that they extended the Winter holiday by five extra days. Rather than going back to school on January 6th, current students at UVic are now entitled to several extra days!

As someone who is in the middle of studying for impending exams, I find myself often drifting off to various daydreams about how I might spend those extra days of break. Here are five suggestions I’ve thought of.

1. Spend some time getting acquainted (or reacquainted) with your neighbourhood!

I live in Victoria, in a historic neighbourhood named James Bay. This neighbourhood is filled with Victorian-era architecture.

I make a point of changing my route every day so I can see as much as possible. I’m always delighted by the beautiful houses and gardens — and on a side note, the childhood home of renowned Canadian artist Emily Carr is right around the corner.

2. Find a new hike.

I think this would be my advice for anytime in Victoria. The climate here is often mild enough for hikers to enjoy the extensive outdoor opportunities this island has to offer.

New to town? Mount Douglas Park has a wild and wonderful beach to explore at the base of a hill covered in trails. It is a beautiful area, and the beach itself feels almost prehistoric in places because of the steep clay cliffs and ancient looking vegetation.

Photo by Calum Lewis (

3. Fill your freezer!

As a student, I often find I wish I had ready-made meals during the school year.

That is why over the holidays I will often take a day to cook several of my favourite, freezable meals that I can throw in the freezer for those study days when I just don’t have the energy to cook.

This holiday, I am going to attempt to honour my Ukrainian heritage and make pirogies from scratch.

4. Learn how to navigate virtual communication methods, like Zoom.

If you don’t already know how to use Zoom, I would highly recommend this as a UVic student. It is very likely that every class will use Zoom in some way or another.

Not only that, but it is a great way to connect with friends and family while there are social distancing measures in place. It can be tough not spending time with family and friends, but virtual connections can help mitigate some loneliness and keep you feeling connected.

5. I know it sounds geeky, but review!

One day reviewing before class — especially if the classes you are taking next term build off the information you learned this term — can be so helpful. It is a great way to get back into school mode and feel prepared for that first day of school.

There are so many things to do over the holidays, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one thing I plan to do in spades…relax!

Happy and safe holiday season!

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