Winter just before the holidays is one of my favorite times of the year. Christmas songs quietly playing in the background of stores, anticipation of the first snow fall, and of course those adorable red and green Starbucks cups- what’s not to love?
I have to say that this winter season just has not been the same. Between finishing up classes and studying for finals, I have hardly had the time to appreciate the twinkling lights illuminating campus and the surrounding St. Louis area. I am sure many of you agree with me- it is definitely time for a break.
Sleeping in late, visiting with friends, and eating delicious home cooked meals are the classic favorites of returning home. Be sure to take advantage of all your free (homework-less) time this vacation and do not forget to:
- Reconnect: Realistically, keeping in touch can be difficult. Between friends at home and at school, it can be tough to stay involved and interested in everyone’s lives. Figuring out whom to contact over break can be even more awkward. You might fear being clueless about their recent activity, and worry about where to start a conversation. Chances are though, if you’re thinking about them, they’re likely thinking about you too. Don’t be afraid to reach out for a quick lunch or coffee date- getting back into the swing of old relationships can be easier than you think.
- Read for fun: While this may sound unappealing to some, I for one cannot wait to embrace my inner nerd over break. Curling up with a good (nonacademic) book with family chattering in the background is definitely a vacation highlight for me. Sometimes after being bogged down by all of the dense coursework reading, it is absolutely necessary to remind ourselves how truly enjoyable and consuming a great story can be.
- Eat: Eat. Eat. Eat. Eat. I cannot emphasize this one enough. Personally, my diet alternating Bear’s Den stir-fry and pasta can get pretty monotonous. The food at WashU is hardly a point of complaint, but take advantage of all those meals at home to refresh your palate with some variety. Worried about weight gain? You should have plenty of time to exercise over break. If not, the gym at school will be eagerly awaiting your arrival. Eat that extra piece of chocolate cake: you deserve it.
- Spend time with family: This might be an obvious one, but through all of the activities you may want to accomplish over break, it can also be the most easily forgotten. Pause and take the time to appreciate your family without the burden of your normally busy schedule. Whether it’s through dinner, trips to catch up on the latest movie releases, or just lounging in the house, do not forget to show your family how much you have missed them.
- Shop: With the weather getting cold, you’ve likely noticed any missing features of your winter wardrobe. Now is the perfect time to fill in those gaps. Luckily, many of our parents are so excited to have us home that they’re likely to give in to the begging. If they’re tougher, you can always call it a Hanukkah or Christmas present. Return to WashU energized and in style.
Image courtesy of Don't Put Chopsticks In Your Hair