Going Home for the Holidays

A long semester will soon come to an end and students are eager to go home and celebrate “the most wonderful time of the year” with family and friends.  There are some great traditions many are looking forward to this season.

This week, Wilson Hall is transforming into a magical and festive holiday display, meaning that winter break is quickly approaching for students, staff and employees. For Michelle Bacchetta, a freshman, this is the one time of year where the entire family is together because everyone was away at college.  “I can’t wait to spend time with my family, my sister and [my] boyfriend.  This will be the first time since the summer everyone is together.”

For Lexi Swatt, a freshman, both Christmas and New Year’s Eve bring special traditions.  “I’m most excited to go home to spend time with my family and my close friends. On Christmas Eve, my whole family comes to my house for dinner and presents, and on New Year’s Eve I spend the whole day with my group of girlfriends and then meet up with other friends to watch the ball drop,” she said. This will also be Swatt’s first time home for the semester.

Annie Siegel, a freshman, explained, “This will be the first winter break I have had where I do not have to worry about any schoolwork and can enjoy the holidays.”  While high schools give a break, at least a moderate amount of work is assigned over the week and students are expected to have completed it upon their return to school. This makes many students excited for college because they are able to fully enjoy this time of year without the pressures of schoolwork and upcoming tests  right after the New Year. 

Some have very special traditions they are looking forward to. Dr. Michael Phillips Anderson, assistant professor of communication, can’t wait to take a trip out of NJ. “I am looking forward to taking my wife and five-year-old daughter to Washington DC and can’t wait to spend time on this special trip. [I] look forward to it each year,” said Phillips Anderson. This is one of the few breaks other than the summer where teachers and staff get a larger amount of time off to be able to take trips like this.  Teaching and grading require a significant amount of commitment as well and sometimes get taken for granted.

Kaitlyn Mazzeo, a junior, has a special tradition she has done for many years.  “I go to this place in East Brunswick. It’s a house that is decorated beautifully for Christmas. My mom grew up in the house next door so I have been doing that since I was born,” said Mazzeo.

These traditions never get old for most people. The holiday break is a special time for family and friends to get together and reunite after a semester of hard work and being long distances from one another.  It can be emotional to return home because of this and the time constraints placed on college students. Work and school activities make it difficult for people to get together.  The holidays are a great time to catch up and share the new and exciting things that have come up since the last meeting or during the year.

The winter break does not only mean a month off from school, but is a time for everyone to reflect on the year and share special holiday memories with one another that only occur once a year.  Being a college student, particularly for the first time makes this extra special, especially if one lives far away.

PHOTO COURTESY of Christopher Orlando