- Whatever productivity you had planned, isn’t happening.
That chemistry midterm before break was rough. Paper, presentation, and finals week deadlines loom eerily on the horizon. Before break, you tell yourself that you’ll take advantage of the down time to get ahead, write a paper, maybe even read the textbook for once. You drag all your school supplies home with you, even your good highlighters. And then you get home, and anything and everything (even if it’s nothing), sounds better than doing homework. Thanksgiving break doesn’t cure chronic procrastination. You shrug off your academic responsibilities for the week and leave future you to figure it all out.
- You did miss your family and friends.
While on campus, attention is consumed by the flurry of activity that composes each day. You tell yourself that you don’t really miss home. And then you’re crossing the bridge into town, driving past the pizza place that gave you your first job, and snuggling into the familiar lumpy couch cushion that’s seen you through sickness and sweet, lazy health. You love your new home at the University of Iowa, but an unswervable subconscious love for the little things you grew up with happily resurfaces when you return for break. You make the most of your opportunities to be with family and high school friends, eat home food, and play with your faithful pets. It’s good to be home, though you know it’s no longer your permanent home.
- You miss your friends from college.
The group chat is straight fire. Someone shares a meme, another gets roasted, and another shares a funny snap of their little cousin. Even though you’re all surrounded by family and friends, none of it feels real unless you share it with each other. Catching up with friends from home is great, but they don’t get all the inside jokes that have pervaded your new friend group and life for the past three months. Variations of “I miss you,” and “I can’t wait to see you guys!” light up the chat.
- You have changed.
Is town different? Something’s off, and it takes a while to peg. Turns out, it’s you. You’re different. Without even trying, you’ve changed. You have new habits, different views, more maturity and newfound freedom. Mom worries you aren’t eating enough, but you’re just used to eating smaller portions in the dining hall. Your parents are concerned when you take a nap every day, maybe multiple. It’s what you’re used to now. At Thanksgiving dinner, you surprise yourself by chiming in on political talk. You have opinions, and theories, and statistics to back it up. Wild.
- Winter break is going to be difficult.
Break was great, but you’re ready to go back. You miss your dorm and your friends and even the food. Just maybe not classes. A whole month at home? No going out with squad? No Christmas with dorm buddies? You have to go back to work? Eek.
- Thanksgiving break is over.
And suddenly, all too soon (yet not soon enough), break is over. The car is loaded, driven, and unloaded. You see your friends! And you see your inbox, full of emails about finals and projects and procrastinated term presentations. Ah, yes. You’re home.