Detroit airport is a funny place after breaks. It’s always easy to pinpoint University of Michigan students from their maize and blue gear and faces of sadness for what’s waiting in Ann Arbor. Spring break ending is never an exciting thing, but one thing that gives students some comfort is that we’re all in this together (as corny and as High School Musical as that sentence is).
The week after Spring Break feels like a mourning period. All of the fun and free time of a week off of school gets suddenly ripped away from us, and we get thrown into the last chunk of the year. The percentage of people wearing all black may increase, but everyone already wears that anyway so it’s hard to tell. None- the- less, it’s the hope that some time off will prepare us to dive back into the last weeks of school until the big break: Summer (even though we all know that isn’t “really” how it works). Break just gives us some time to collect ourselves and regain some composure before we really have to do the real work to finish out our classes.
Being a U of M student is something that I realize the value in when I travel. Our alumni, as well as current student body, are very proud of being Michigan Wolverines- and for good reason. Spotting someone in a new place in a maize and blue sweatshirt gives us that sense of camaraderie and communal pride that, during a busy and hard semester, is easy to forget. That can be an unexpected result of a long break: feeling proud of being a part of the Michigan family, and (maybe) even a little bit antsy to eventually get back. We see all of our friends posts and snaps of their trips and vacations, but nothing really beats finally seeing these familiar faces and catching up once we’re all back in Ann Arbor.
This spring break, I went to Virginia with one of my roommates for the second year in a row. Being from Michigan (about an hour from where U of M’s campus is), it’s fun to be able to go somewhere different for breaks- even if it isn’t exactly an exotic location. And, again, we had a great time! Breaks are great for getting you out of a routine, academic mindset, and the hectic world of collegiate living. One of the cool things about Virginia, Northern Virginia (NoVa) more specifically, is how historic and important the overall DC area is. I had never been to a real battlefield, so one of the things we did was visit one from the Civil War- Antietam. The experience of walking on the same ground that a hugely important war in our history took place was really interesting, if a bit unsettling at times.
Another awesome part of NoVa is that it’s really close to Washington D.C.! DC is a really cool city to me because it just has a certain vibe to it- it could be the political world of our nation’s capitol being right there, the culture of the DC area, or the monuments and beauty of the city. Something about it makes it really unique. I got to attend a show held at The Kennedy Center- which was really cool for a JFK buff like myself. The city has tons of other awesome landmarks and buildings- and getting to see one of the more famous ones was awesome.
Undoubtedly, the return trip from leisure and relaxation to normalcy and routine is a difficult one. But, seeing all of the other Michigan students feeling the same things makes that difficulty easier to cope with. It’s comforting to know that, when classes start back up on Monday, you can turn to the person in class next to you, complain about being back in those positions, and deal with the shock of getting back into being a U of M student together.