A Little Something to Remember for Spring Break

As a freshman on my second quarter at UW, there are a lot of things to love about this school, and many things I have grown to love. There are also, on the other hand, many lessons to learn as I keep trekking forward. 

For some context, I’m from a small farming town on the Eastside that people tilt their heads in confusion to, where it seemed that the community had an agreement to keep the noise on the streets about the same level as Suzzallo’s Great Room at all hours of the day. For many of other students at our school that are from a tiny bubble on the outside of reality like me, in-state and out-of-state alike, I knew that moving here, let alone into the quick pace of Seattle, was going to be one of the biggest changes I was going to have to adjust to after 18 years of a serene peace being all I knew.  

But what I didn’t know about college, despite all the artsy coffee shops I bounce in between and the rainy afternoons sitting at my desk in my dorm, it’s difficult to really find true “silence” that I once indulged in at home. I don't mean silence for just studying, but for reflecting on my own personal growth and how far I’ve come, and to really enjoy my surroundings when I’m doing it. 

Switching topics, my Dad and I have this tradition to visit another small town in Southeastern Washington a few times a year, where a some friends of ours owns a two thousand-acre wheat ranch on the outskirts of a desolate highway (tumbleweeds actually included like in the cartoons, yes). Most Washingtonians would name anywhere in this region last on their list as a desired weekend road trip destination, behind the San Juans, Mount Rainier, or Leavenworth, but for me, I was weirdly excited to return there after a particularly rough week in fall quarter. I had visited just three weeks before, but that trip brought me something I had missing since moving in: the time and space to freely think. 

I think we often discredit these places where there may not be powerful waves or abstract mountains to gape at as being invaluable in our lives, but in fact, an empty patch of land with blue sky for miles and miles offered me an experience that the work-oriented life of Seattle can’t always offer that I've been missing for a long time.

So, I encourage you, for Spring break, after you’ve read that last page of the textbook and put the pencil down on that final, let relief flood over you, and go explore something new. Let the map take you somewhere where you can have a true “break.” We all deserve one.