The 411 on College and Life Around Campus
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Finishing your last final exam, handing in that final paper, or walking out of the last class of the semester, gives us all a sense of accomplishment. The end of another college semester is, probably, one of the best things you can feel in life.
Not only does the end of the semester mean wrapping up all of the classes you’ve been in for months, but there’s also a mini-break of freedom that lies ahead of you. That is, of course, until after the new year, when the winter semester starts (but we don’t have to talk about that right now). We’ve all been so used to the college way of life; drudging to classes, functioning off little to no sleep, trying to live off of late night pizza or burrito runs, and pulling all nighters to finish school work. The promise of “free time” can be hard to navigate, but there are some key things all college students do when the semester ends. And, if you’re one of those poor souls still wrapping up finals week, I sympathize with you, and hope this serves as motivation to get you through these last few days.
Sleep is perhaps the top number 1 thing all college students need more of. For whatever reason, there is never a way to get enough of it. From early classes Monday through Friday, to staying up until the crack of dawn to finish the work for all those classes, sleep gets pushed to the side in a student’s life. When break comes around, though, it’s a whole different story. Use the end of the semester and winter break to catch up on sleep– who cares if you don’t get out of bed until 2 p.m. on the first morning of break?? Get zzz’s while you have the chance!
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This kind of goes along with sleep. Having no school-related responsibilities for a few weeks takes a lot of stress off our shoulders. Without classes to wake up for until after break, our whole daily routines are now wide open! Yes, being able to sleep until the afternoon is awesome, but what’s even cooler is after you finally do drag yourself out of bed, you can do whatever you want with the rest of the day. You can eat your weight in breakfast food at the local diner that everyone in your town loves. You can take a long hike with your best friend through a nature trail with your dogs. You can go to Meijer with your siblings, and buy every kind of hot chocolate they sell in order to find your favorite. You can even decide that you’re going to learn how to knit, and start watching YouTube tutorials until you’ve made a scarf. Without school constantly on our minds, we can explore and create more things that we actually enjoy! However, less responsibilities doesn’t mean going out and being totally irresponsible; there’s a time and a place for everything. On the contrary, the end of a semester is one to let yourself relax a little.
Binge watching Netflix is a habit a lot of college students have. We all have our favorite series that we watch over and over again because we know we love them. Break is a good opportunity to either stick to these standbys, or even find some new shows and movies to obsess over. Personally, I find myself watching a lot of documentaries when I’m at home on breaks, mostly because Netflix has the most amazing selection. There are more serious ones, but as Netflix does, there are weirder and more obscure titles hidden deeper in the different categories. A few weeks of no classes is the perfect chance to find that new binge-worthy show, or movie series, or hilariously bad documentary to talk with your friends and family about.
College nutrition is something that shocks even myself, someone who takes part in it. Sometimes, on top of everything else that we have to do throughout our day, going to a dining hall, ordering something for a restaurant, or (if you’re one of the lucky ones) cooking a meal for yourself just doesn’t work out. So sometimes you turn to that $1 slice of pizza that you can grab on your way home from the library at midnight, or a bag of chips and an Arizona from The Union to give yourself enough fuel to keep going. And let’s face it, meal plans are nice for convenience and selection, but dining hall food is not anything special. But, once break starts, and you head home, that means real food. Home-cooked food. The kind of food you’ve been dreaming of since coming back to school after Thanksgiving. Enjoying the home cooked meals and snacks while you can, is the best idea, because it’ll be back to dinners of Ramen and Diet Coke before we know it.
While most of us would probably agree that college life is amazing, there is something really special about returning to your hometown. Familiarity is so important, and I think that’s part of what makes going back home so nice. You get to be in the same place where most of your memories are. Your family is also there, and they probably missed having you around more than you think. One of the best things about going home for break, is getting the chance to spend time in the ways you used to. You get to hangout with the friends you perhaps haven’t seen in a long time, but grew up with. You can go to all of your old hangout spots, and do the things that you and your hometown friends used to do. Hometown friends, and family, are some of the people who know you the best. Spending some well-earned time with them is a great way to not only destress after a long semester, but also prepare yourself for the upcoming term that lies ahead.