Thoughts on Spring Break

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Hello, Hawkeyes. I am currently in the Daum basement, along with another fifty people, because there’s a tornado warning. I am also sick right now, so I’m not in the best mood. But do you know what does make me happy? Spring break! In t-4 days I’ll be back in Hinsdale, and despite how sad I’ll feel about parting with my friends, I really need a break. And if coming home is even more stressful for you, then you can stay in the dorms free of charge, which is a nice bonus. I remember how during my senior year a lot of people in my grade went on road trips, but I personally can’t wait to just sleep in my own bed and drink herbal tea whenever I want. However, if being home for a week will put you at risk for dying from boredom, here’s a list of dos and do nots to keep yourself entertained and productive:

Go golfing
Do: Go outside and play whatever sport you enjoy, or take a long walk and read a book under a tree.
Don’t: Spend all day indoors if the weather is nice. Iowa’s weather is extremely finicky, so take advantage of a good day while it lasts. For all you know, you could be coming back to a heat wave or a snowstorm in a week, and at any rate will have to spend hours inside of a classroom, so you might as well break out the spike ball nets or the golf clubs and soak in the sunshine.

Study for your midterms
Do: Use break as an opportunity to catch up on your classes and prepare for round two of midterms.
Don’t: Go overboard and work two months into the future. There’s only so much information you can retain, and it’s better to come back relaxed and focused than stressed out over things that are too far away to be worried about. Come up with a hard and fast rule if you have to, like, “I am only allowed to work for three hours today, and then I have to spend the rest of the day enjoying life. On the other hand, don’t do absolutely nothing if you have a test coming up right after break like I do, because after a week off you’ll probably forget a lot and be even more stressed out when you come back.

Inform Yourself
Do: Read up on all the world news you missed. Whenever I’m at home, I spend about half an hour during breakfast reading articles because I have the time. I really think that this is important to do because being in college sometimes feels like living in a bubble in the sense that there’s so much to do around you that it’s easy to forget the bigger picture.
Don’t: Vague tweet/Facebook post about all of the garbage you just realized was going on, and then politicize everyone’s social media sites with stuff that is neither informative nor arguable. Also, don’t just focus on what’s going on in this country or take all of your information from one source. This sounds pretty obvious, but your Facebook news feed and iPhone reader’s digest curates news to suit your tastes, so I usually have to go out of my way to seek out news organizations from other countries and of different political leanings.

Visit your friends
Do: Try and connect with friends whose breaks coincide with your own.
Don’t: Go out of your way to see them if it’s only out of a sense of obligation. Spend some time with your family for once, or just focus on you. Most colleges get out for summer break in a couple months anyway, so if you don’t want to drive an hour to visit your friend who is still at school and won’t be able to hang out for long because he/she still has homework anyway, then that’s completely fine. Remember, spring break is about you, so do whatever is necessary (within reason) to unwind and refresh yourself for the final stretch.

Keep up with the Group Chat
Do: post funny memes and pictures of your pets, because while I personally couldn’t care less about what your pet looks like, other people seem to love it. I do, however, enjoy funny stories and anecdotes about people’s weird families and hometowns because it reminds me of their personalities and makes me laugh.
Don’t: Start a contentious debate. When you’re talking to people over social media in general, things can come off harsher than intended, and when you have to wait a week to see each other again, it will get awkward if you get into a fight with someone in your squad’s GroupMe. Literally post the words “let’s just agree to disagree” and hold off on talking about it until you see them in person again, or at the very least direct message them instead of making everyone else in the group uncomfortable.

So, whether you’re traveling abroad or road tripping with friends or just staying in the dorms and chilling out, have a fantastic spring break, and make good decisions!