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As soon as my last academic Zoom session of the semester ended, I deleted the app from all of my devices. I couldn’t bear to look at its blue icon anymore and think of the countless hours spent over the past few months with the app open but ignoring all responsibilities associated with it.

In some ways, I was tempted to delete everything academic and abandon my computer for the entirety of the break, but since human contact is limited, that didn’t seem like the best of ideas. So, I started to think, how can I sign-off from responsibility without disconnecting from my friends and loved ones? After some deep thought, I thought of a few options, and figured hey, this may be useful to someone else!

Turn-Off Notifications

As a student who prefers to be on top of everything, I have notifications for all of my email accounts, Canvas and everything in-between turned on. By turning these notifications off, I am not removing myself from my friendly interactions, but nothing academic needs to happen immediately over break, so I don’t need to give it the ability to push me to look at the app.

“Put Away” Academic Apps

Although Zoom is somewhat of a trigger for me and I chose to completely delete it, all of my other school apps aren’t quite as upsetting and some of them, especially Google Suite items, will be touched over the break. Ultimately I decided that “putting away” these apps would help me to ignore them and not be quick to click on them, but I wouldn’t lose them. On my computer, this means removing academic apps from the menu bar at the bottom of the screen, on my iPad this means putting academic apps, like Canvas, into an “academic” folder and on my iPhone, this means putting them all into my app library. Although they aren’t gone, they won’t be staring me down frequently.

Read (for Pleasure)

This is not everyone’s preferred activity and it can be an academic feeling to some, but personally, I have always loved reading for pleasure and love to get back into it over the breaks. I plan to reread some of my old favorites in French this break and read some different books that are new to me.


I’m a bit of a perfectionist and notorious for being a happy planner, so this is a fun activity for me, and many others. I love traveling so this year was far from my plan, but I hope that 2021 will be more according to plan. Consequently, I have already started planning and booking trips for the second half of next year, when we will hopefully be widely vaccinated, and it gives me something to look forward to! In the more imminent future, however, I will be thinking about different socially distanced activities to do with family and friends and all of the different meals, baked goods and drinks that I want to make and try!

Treat Yourself

This is a little bit different for each person, but it is something that is oft forgotten when our time is too occupied trying to be the “perfect” student. Treat yourself multiple times and do what makes you happy! Some different ways of treating yourself are eating your favorite foods, having your favorite drink, fantasizing about what next summer could be like or just generally indulging yourself in your favorite show or movie. Do what makes you happy and fulfilled at the moment, you deserve it!

I hope that you have a restful break and enjoy yourself! It has been a year for sure, and you deserve to do whatever it takes to end this year on a high note!

MaryCate (she/her/hers) is a Senior International Studies major with a concentration in the Environment & Development and minors in African Studies and French Studies at the University of San Francisco. MaryCate is Campus Correspondent of HC at USFCA. She loves traveling, baking and all things related to coffee. While in San Francisco, you can find MaryCate getting brunch with her friends or indoor rock climbing in the Presidio. While not in San Francisco, MaryCate is frequently passing time at home with her parents in France or traveling anywhere, when safe.
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