1) Research your classes.
Look up your professors and do some research on Rate My Professor.  See what they’re like, read up on their expectations, and get familiar with their syllabus before class begins. Never hurts to be ahead of the game.

2) Plan out your year.
Jot down all the important dates and events happening next year and plan ahead! Set goals and make steps to help you get there. This will be your year.

3) Read ahead. 
We all know how easy it is to drown in readings in 4+ different classes throughout the semester.  Taking a little of your free time during break will lessen the load.

4) Find an everyday routine you’re comfortable with. 
Learning to take care of yourself and your things is important.  Make sure you’re maximizing the hours in the day by finding a schedule that works for you! And stick with it.  It makes life a little easier.

5) Stay or get in shape.
As Nike would say… just do it. 

6) Learn how to cook easy, healthy dishes.
Your health is everything.  Without it, you’re seriously limited in the things you can do both mentally and physically. So take this time to make an investment in yourself and learn what’s good for your body.  This will save your health and your schedule down the road.

7) Reevaluate your possessions.
You’re a busy person. And time is money.  You don’t want to be wasting time throughout the school year worrying about what to wear or wondering where things are.  Go through your things to keep only what you need and get rid of the things that are being misused.  Less is more. 

8) Work on your independent projects.
There’s finally time to indulge in causes close to your heart without the distraction of school or the obligatory student duties to keep you from ‘em. Whether it’s starting a passion project or taking a class, do something you want to do that you think will leave you with valuable experience and knowledge gained. That can be anything from realizing you really don’t want to major in Psychology anymore to learning Portuguese. Everything helps.

9) Clean up your resume and portfolio.
NOW is the time to start applying for those summer positions if you haven’t already.  A lot of big companies are reviewing applications at start of the year and are looking to move forward with the hiring process as soon as possible. So get to it! 

10) Relax.
Take care of yourself. Spend time with your loved ones. Enjoy your time off, recharge and fill up on enough inspiration to drive you all throughout the coming semester. You worked hard for this. And you deserve it.

Take Action: Free Lina Khattab, imprisoned Palestinian student and folkloric dancer

Lina Khattab, 18-year-old first-year media student at Bir Zeit University and dancer in the El-Funoun Palestinian cultural dance troupe, was arrested on 13 December during a march by Bir Zeit University students to Ofer military prison. Click here to take action now and demand freedom for Lina Khattab! 

She is active in Palestinian national and political activities at the university, and is one of a number of active Palestinian students who have been arrested and imprisoned in an Israeli attempt to clamp down on Palestinian students’ activity and organizing through student unions and protest groups.  Lina is being held without charges, and allegedly “investigated” on the bogus suspicion of “throwing stones,” an allegation used freely by Israeli military courts against all Palestinians who demand their rights through protest.

Her detention was extended until Thursday, 18 December at Ofer Military Court on suspicion of “throwing stones,” said Mahmoud Hassan, lawyer with Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, reporting on the court hearing on Tuesday, 16 December.

Lina was held outside in the cold for hours at Ofer prison before being taken to interrogation, and then transferred to HaSharon prison late at night.

The other 17 women Palestinian political prisoners are also being held at HaSharon. Palestinian women in HaSharon prison report “constant harassment and violations, including soldiers repeatedly breaking into their rooms to ransack them.” Addameer reported that “they are held in overcrowded cells, with lack of access to basic human needs such as hygiene, nutritious food and proper clothing and blankets. Furthermore, female prisoners are subjected to harsh conditions during their interrogation, including beatings, insults, threats, sexual harassment and humiliation by Israeli interrogators. Often they must undergo degrading and intrusive body searches during transfers to court hearings and sometimes during the middle of the night as a punitive measure.”

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Taliban attack school in Peshawar, Pakistan

A Pakistani official says the death toll in a Taliban attack on a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar has risen to 126. The information minister for the province, Mushtaq Ghani, says most of the dead in Tuesday’s attack were students, children and teenagers, from the school. The still-unfolding violence began in the morning hours, with about half a dozen gunmen entering the school. Two loud booms of unknown origin were heard coming from the scene in the early afternoon, as Pakistani troops exchanged fire with the attackers.The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, the country’s worst in more than a year. (AP)

(Photos by AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad (2) , AP Photo/B.K. Bangash (1) REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz (1)

See more images from Pakistan and our other slideshows on Yahoo News!

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Watch Now: World Premiere of ‘Archiculture’

Archiculture: a documentary film that explores the architectural studio Credits: Co-Producer/Director - David Krantz & Ian Harris (full 25 min film) !! source : archdaily

Pakistan in mourning for 132 children killed in Peshawar school massacre

A boy prays at a candelight vigil in Karachi, Pakistan Pakistan was a country deep in shock today. Candles were lit and vigils held. And parents buried their children in mass funerals.

In a country almost numbed to daily violence and terrorist atrocities, the massacre of 132 students at a school in Peshawar by the Taliban took most Pakistanis to new, raw depths of despair.

Three days of mourning has been declared by President Nawaz Sharif after a mass killing so depraved it was even condemned by the Afghan Taliban as un-Islamic.

Many schools throughout the country have been closed as a mark of the respect for the 141 dead, who included nine teachers and staff. At those schools which stayed open, prayers were said for the victims. Schools in neighbouring India observed a two-minute silence.