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

I mean does one really need to explain why they chose New York over going to classes? Kinda. Once a semester when I feel overwhelmed with school I book a ticket to someplace I think will alleviate my stress and put me back in a healthy studying mindset. 

Last year, it was travelling 14 hours on a Greyhound back to my hometown Pembroke, ON for just two days. The year before that, it was a solo trip to Toronto. The year before that, it was heading to Ottawa for a few days of no stress. This year, as you can guess from the title, it’s New York. 

Many of my fellow student peers do not agree with my pre-planned plans to skip school. They deem it “irresponsible,” but I’m doing this because in university culture we’re taught to always study, and a break means you’re slacking. If you don’t say you’re studying, chances are you aren’t the most studious of students. 

To be fair I fell into that “Club Weldon” trend in my first semester where I spent most of my hours at the Weldon (and Taylor) library from opening to closing studying an unhealthy amount. Studying to the point where I just couldn’t anymore and sat looking at my notes blankly. 

The mindset took a large toll on my mental health. My grades dropped abnormally low and because I was used to being top of my class, it really affected how I viewed myself—not good considering how much I thought my self-worth was attached to how high I scored in every class. 

That’s why in my second semester of first year, I decided to travel eight hours to go see my sister in the middle of the term without any explanation. At home, I felt a little more rooted and although I was feeling conflicted, I felt having that breath away from school via an unsanctioned holiday (I’ve deemed it Cindependence Week—my name and independence in one word, I thought it was pretty clever) really allowed me to regroup my thoughts. This inturn allowed me to become more happy mentally because it reminded me that I still had places to go and things to learn. 

Since that week in March, I’ve decided to take a much needed break from school for my mental well-being once per term and I can honestly say it has helped me a lot. 

Now on the title of this article why New York, Cindy? Well, when I pick places to go I consider the need for the trip. Do I have the money? How far is it? Do I need family comfort? This time around I chose New York because I feel unprepared for what will come after fourth year.  

I’m supposed to have my life planned out since I’m graduating this year, and I really don’t know where I will be after April. Will I be in grad school? Will I be accepted? What happens if I’m not? 

As these questions consume me, the one place that comes to mind is New York. I want to be in New York. I feel it’s a place that has a lot to give to a person—something for everyone. As an aspiring journalist, I think it’s how powerful the art scene is in the city and the multitude of opportunities it has in terms of education and job prospects.

In a way you can say this trip is a lot about finding my future self, but at the same time I want to tell the people of our generation that it’s okay to take an unsanctioned break. But if you really need a big break it’s probably a good idea to tell your professors so they don’t worry you. ;)

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Cindy Tran

Western '20

Fourth Year Honours English and Writing Student. Aspiring journalist.
Shauna Ruby Valchuk is HCW's 2019-20 Editor-in-Chief. She's in her fifth year studying Creative Writing, English, Language and Literature. Currently, she is working on her creative non-fiction thesis. She writes in her off days and publishes it on her on days and hopes to one day make money doing the stuff she loves surrounded by as many cats as legally allowed.