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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CUA chapter.

It is spring break for The Catholic University of America, and most of the students here have fled campus to go on vacation with friends or to go home and take a break from college life. While the option to return home to Pittsburgh for a week was an option for me, I decided to stay on campus, and I’m making the best of my spring break “staycation” in D.C.

I chose to stay at school for many reasons. I did not feel a pull to return home because most of my home friends wouldn’t be there, and I only have a few family members I would get to see briefly. I am also returning home for Easter which is less than a month away from our spring break. Mainly, however, I find myself in a  much happier state of mind when I am in D.C. I have created a life filled with love and self-acceptance at school, and I adore my existence here. I live in a nice apartment on campus where I feel at peace, and I now have my own kitchen which allows me to cook any of the food I missed at home before. I also have a few close friends staying on campus as well to keep me company during this staycation. 

A staycation can look different for everyone. Since this is the first time in my life I’ve set aside a full week for relaxation, at a place that feels like home, I’m learning what this word can mean for me. I’ve made an active choice to allow myself to relax and enjoy time off while I have the ability before  I jump back into my daily stressful routine. 

I’m a very involved person on my college campus. On top of double majoring, I have three executive board positions for three different organizations, and I participate in a few other clubs where I write for our school newspaper and attend other events on campus. Needless to say, I have very little time during my week to relax, and when I do have time off, I find myself hanging out with friends. I really enjoy keeping up with my friends and going out with them on the weekends, but this leaves me with little time to be alone and reset. This week, I am focusing on just that: resetting. 

With the idea of resetting in my mind, I have created what may just be the perfect itinerary for my staycation (yes, I need to have an itinerary in order to feel like I have been productive in some aspect). On this itinerary I have included ample time for rest, chores I have been putting off, homework to catch up on, and time with friends. 

First, I have never been a morning person, and I have scarcely been on an actual sleep schedule. That is, until this last semester. I have woken up at 8:30 every morning and cut out any naps throughout my days because I no longer have time for them. While I know 8:30am sounds ridiculous to most people, actually sticking to waking up before 10am has been new for me. This break I have nothing to do, so I am allowing myself to sleep until my body wakes me up, not my alarm clock, and this small adjustment has been such a rejuvenating change of pace for me. 

On top of getting this full rest, I have caught up on many chores I have been putting off. I did numerous loads of laundry, cleaned my apartment, and restocked my groceries. I have also spent lots of time catching up on assignments and even working ahead in many of my classes so I don’t fall behind when classes start back up. Having these things done before hopping back into my crazy routine will help me greatly in the long run and help my peace of mind later this semester. 

I am spending time really enjoying cooking and preparing healthy, fulfilling meals for myself. I find myself running to grab a quick bite during most of my days, and I don’t utilize my kitchen as much as I would like to. I really enjoy cooking, but don’t have the time to because I have to make it to numerous classes and meetings each day. This week, I am taking time to actually enjoy my breakfast and cook dinners that fill me with nutrients. 

Next, I have started taking advantage of the city I live in. D.C. has so much to offer, but I don’t get into the city as much as I would like during the school year. On my staycation I am exploring new restaurants with friends, walking around museums I have never been to, and going to cafes in the afternoons to write.

Lastly, I have set aside my nights to journal. Journaling is something that I’ve always enjoyed because writing is one of the only things in life that eases my soul. When I’m constantly running around, I put writing for myself on the back burner. I read and write so much for classes, and although I adore what I study, I miss writing for myself most days. Spring break is the best time for me to write about what’s going on inside my head because I actually have the time to do so. 

This is the first time in my life I have prioritized myself for a week straight, and I am taking it day by day. I know weeks off for me are few and far between because of my involvement, and I truly love everything I am a part of on campus. However, having time for myself and having time to reset has been healing in more ways than I can even express.

Ryn is a sophomore English and Media and Communication Studies double major at The Catholic University of America.