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Musings from My First (Real) College Break


I honestly cannot tell you what I was expecting. I grew up in Illinois so I knew I’d have a white Christmas and temperatures in the single digits. But a polar vortex? Are you kidding me? I stayed in the house for three days and watched “Criminal Minds” for hours on end while my backyard turned into the tundra. What did I gain from this experience? An appreciation of fresh air and the many talents of Matthew Gray Gubler.

Friends: The Reunion

Ah, the beautiful reunion between friends separated by state lines. Although I enjoyed my time with old friends, this break in particular broke down Facebook boundaries and helped me forge new IRL (in real life) friendships. We all have those strictly online friends. They’re the people you went to high school with that you constantly Facebook chat but your plans to meet face-to-face never really fan out so you’re stuck in online limbo. But thanks to an impromptu invite to see Fall Out Boy, the code was cracked and I got to spend some quality time with new “old” friends over Chick-fil-a and Lord of the Rings. Thanks Internet!

(Free) Food

Excuse me? You mean Bagel Bites are not a reasonable option for every meal? I have to drive to Chick-fil-a?  I hadn’t realized how accustomed to college feasting I’d become, so easing back into homemade, varied, and plentiful meals was difficult…NOT. Having free range over a fully stocked fridge and using real utensils was sheer bliss. Also noted: dishwasher, double oven, clean microwave, blender, and an actual table to eat food at (instead of the floor, my bed, or desk).

Welcome Home!

I hate to admit how strong the urge to return to my high school was. I had my favorite underclassmen and old extracurriculars to check up on; that’s a legitimate reason, right?  Thankfully the freezing cold and lack of car made it impossible to hop down that rabbit hole, but I’d like to think my unwavering spirit had something to do with it. In addition to this triumph, I noticed something strange when I did have the courage to venture into the cold. I hardly recognized anyone. Maybe other freshmen collegiettes can identify with this, but I just didn’t seem to run into people I knew. Perhaps they were all on some extraordinary vacations or snuggled in with Netflix (like I probably should have been). I just assumed I’d channel Hannah Horvath in the episode where she heads home to Michigan and her entire graduating class was within a five-mile radius of her at all times. But all I saw when I went to work (retail represent!) were masses of faceless seventh graders. Mundelein High School Class of 2013, explain yourselves.

End of Break Blues

While whittling down the days until I would be reunited with my friends and loved ones at AU, I noticed I kept referring to Auburn as “home”. But wait, I’ve been home for the past 25 days, what? As I mulled this over I felt pretty guilty, as if I had tossed aside my parents by denouncing our family home. Now that I’ve been back at school for almost a week, I think referring to Auburn as my second home just reiterates how confident and comfortable I am in my choice of school. Never fear Downey family, I still love you guys.


RepImage (taken by author)





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