After a challenging year, winter break is providing Clark students a much-need opportunity to relax and unwind — but that doesn’t mean they need to disconnect from campus life completely.
Whether you’re looking to decompress through calming activities, stay busy with online classes and career preparation, or find a balance somewhere in between, Clark University is offering a variety of Winter Intersession (or “Wintersession” as it’s commonly called) programming that can be tailored to your goals.
In January and February, Clark will host a number of virtual events geared toward helping students stay in touch and have fun over the extended break. “Wintersession programming is an opportunity for students to learn new skills and engage with campus socially and academically,” says Allison Shilling, director of campus life for Student Leadership and Programming. “It’s a chance to further their own personal development, but with no added pressure.”
Students who are taking online classes during the accelerated six-week term have already begun their coursework, and all Clarkies are encouraged to explore virtual events and participate in a wide variety of programming in the coming weeks.
Students can chart their path with the help of a new Wintersession website and events page. A short quiz will help you determine your personal Wintersession style — whether that’s Active, Chill, or Hybrid — or you can browse all events to see what sparks your interest. Those on the Active path may participate in activities like essay contests, study abroad information sessions, or resumé writing workshops, while those interested in Chill activities can participate in events like macramé, beginner crochet, paper weaving, or a personal growth book club. The Hybrid path will include a variety of activities from both categories.
“We know there’s stress and anxiety about what’s ahead and trying to figure that out in an everchanging pandemic world, so mitigating that by taking advantage of Wintersession is something we’re encouraging,” says Donna Curry, senior executive director of the Career Connections Center. “Students can chunk it out, make it digestible and fun.”
During Wintersession, the Career Connections Center will host various workshops on topics ranging from internship and job search strategies to information sessions on summer funding, as well as an alumni job shadow program and its signature Life After Clark event for juniors and seniors. Drop-in advising hours will also be offered throughout the remainder of the break, which provide casual, one-on-one opportunities for students to set mini goals like updating their resumé or Handshake profile, explore LinkedIn Learning, or focus on longer-term objectives with their career adviser.
“We’re providing an engaging menu of opportunities so that there is something for everyone — both high level and very specific,” Curry says.
Many student-run clubs and organizations will continue to host events throughout Wintersession, and student leaders can take advantage of drop-in sessions hosted by the Office of Student Leadership and Programming on a variety of topics — from the dos and don’ts of virtual engagement to planning for spring semester. The office is also working with several student ambassadors who will help promote fun, engaging opportunities on social media, including events like virtual trivia and photo contests.
Shilling encourages students to take advantage of all the unique ways to stay connected and engage with the campus community — including by connecting through social media platforms and participating in smaller group activities via Zoom that give them a chance to get acquainted with their peers.
“There’s an opportunity to get to know each other on a different level,” she says. “Be vulnerable and have your video on and be open to engaging with others. Once a couple of people begin to do that, others will feel that it’s a welcoming and inclusive environment. Also, have fun with backgrounds — that’s another way to show your personality. This is a unique chance to explore Clark in a way you don’t normally see when you’re physically on campus.”