- Category: Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)
- Published: 04 February 2015
- Written by KERI BREEN | STAFF WRITER
For some people, winter break is a wonderful time to catch up with friends, to spend time with their families, and to just generally take a break from the rush and the work of college. However, for some people, these few weeks are a long break from the friends that they have made at college.
Being at home always has its advantages. It’s nice to be able to have a home-cooked meal over dining hall food, and in some cases it’s refreshing to have one’s own room, without having to worry about a roommate or their friends always coming over. Being on break also means a break from classes, which means a break from homework and papers and a constant stream of assignments.
David Strohmetz, a psychology professor, believes that this is the biggest relief that comes out of break, for a brief month, students can avoid “the stress of balancing academic work with the other pressures of living on one’s own.”
Being home is a chance to reconnect with family and friends, to spend holidays together, to see people who you haven’t seen for weeks or even months. For some people, winter break was a time of travelling, whether it be on a trip to visit family for the holidays, or a weekend trip with friends.
Erica Walsh, a freshman elementary education major spent a large chunk of her break in Florida. “I also went on a road trip to Connecticut,” she said. “Both of them were great, and being on break gave me the chance to go out and do things that I wouldn’t usually have time to do during the semester.”
Elizabeth Roderick, a freshman psychology major, said being home is nice because, “I get a lot more sleep than I usually do. I also get to cuddle with my dog literally every day.” Reasons as small as these can be why people enjoy going home.
Of course, being home also has its disadvantages, such as a loss of freedom. In college, most students who live on campus are able to live a life without their parents leaning over their shoulders, without intervention from others. However, when they are at home they are suddenly living with their parents again, and sometimes this means that they have to follow more rules, such as curfews.
According to Strohmetz, this is the worst part of break for some. “I think what students miss the most is the independence and autonomy one has while living at school. When back at home, students are again living under their parent’s roof and most likely under the same rules as in high school.”
“It sometimes can be difficult, when at school, you are in complete control of your life, making your own decisions whereas when at home, you need to abide by your family’s rules and follow the family’s schedule rather than one’s own, such as when to get up, when to eat, and when to go sleep,” added Strohmetz.
For some, the worst part of winter break is not being able to see their friends as often as they would here. On campus, you’re never more than a two-minute walk away from your best friend’s dorm, and even off-campus apartments and housing are fairly close together. In some cases, people live with their best friends, having requested them as roommates or having rented a house together.
But over break, there could be hundreds of miles between two people, and it could be weeks until you see them again. Although there’s always Skype and texting to keep in touch, there’s nothing like the constant contact of living right next door to your best friends, or even sharing a room or house with them.
Some students think that being at home is terrible because there’s nothing to do. Roderick, who lives in a small town outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, claimed that is the worst part of her winter break, the boredom that comes from being away from friends and from being off-campus for such a long time.
The first days back at school have been a relief for most people, a time where they can see their close friends again, and a time where the only schoolwork that they need to focus on is reading over syllabi and renting textbooks from the bookstore.
As nice as winter break was, and as great as it is to have time away from the rush of classes, there is nothing like being on campus, where there is always a friend to hang out with, and always something to do or somewhere to go.
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