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6 Ways I’ll Be Hitting Reset Over My Fall Break

Recently, I’ve been feeling a bit burnt out. I’m finally done with my first round of exams. And although that makes me extremely happy, I’m also completely exhausted. I’ve had little motivation to do my schoolwork and have just felt overwhelmed and tired. 

So what exactly is burnout? It’s actually pretty common. For me, it’s always been a form of long-term exhaustion which can’t be fixed just by getting more hours of sleep. It requires a bit of a reset and a real pause. 

Luckily, my school’s fall break is coming up. It’s five days, and I plan to take full advantage of them. Here are six things I’m going to do over fall break to reset.

Watching movies and tv shows

I’ve basically had no time this semester, not even to watch movies or TV shows. When I’m feeling depleted, I like to shut my brain off for a while and watch something super entertaining. I’ll be taking any recommendations, so please don’t hesitate. On my list as of now includes: Squid Game, The Handmaiden, and basically any other movies I can find on Netflix.


Okay, this one should come as no surprise. I will also be dedicating a huge chunk of time to sleeping. What else can I say about this? I will be scheduling at least eight hours every night. Already looking forward to the many hours that I’ll spend catching some zzz’s. 

Getting into a Routine

In theory, I’m a big fan of a daily routine. It allows you to be more productive, less stressed, and in general, feel a little saner. 

In practice? Not so much. Whenever I get myself into a routine, it’s pretty short-lived. Something will always come up and throw me off whether that be an exam, a paper, or a project. That assignment will always take precedence. True to form, I completely let go of whatever semblance of routine I had once midterms started. This fall break, I plan on getting back to and re-establishing my routine.

Going on lots of walks

In the same vein, it’s nice to shake up your routine and what you’re seeing. Essentially, this fall break,I want to get out of my environment. For the past month, I’ve been spending all my time in the library or in my room. I’m a big fan of going for walks, but since the semester started, I’ve had less and less time. One of my favorite things to do in New York is just going for a really long walk in Central Park and seeing where I end up. This fall break, I will be going on lots of walks, and hopefully, I’ll see the leaves change.

Reading for fun

Add reading to the long list of things I haven’t had time to do! Other than textbooks and articles, I’ve hardly read anything this semester. I’ve read a few books for clubs, but it’s been a while since I’ve read a book purely for fun. Right now, I don’t even know where to start, I’ve got so much to catch up on. Some of my must-reads for fall break are Sally Rooney’s, Beautiful World Where are You, Elif Batumen’s, The Idiot, and of course, Jane Austen’s, Persuasion.

(Some) Schoolwork

And of course, last but not least, I will be doing at least some schoolwork. Okay, unfortunately, this one’s hard to get around because once fall break is over I’ve got my second round of midterms. I’ve also got a ton of readings to catch up on. In some sense, I’m grateful for the time that fall break will provide as I can catch up on all the work that has fallen behind.

Happy fall break! And if you’ve got to do work, make sure to build in some time to do things you actually enjoy doing!

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Ruby Zeidman

Columbia Barnard '24

Ruby is a sophomore at Barnard College. Although she's currently undeclared, she loves to write and is an avid reader. She enjoys running, spending too much on iced coffee, and exploring NYC.
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