I absolutely love Christmas break. I look forward to seeing family, to sleeping in, and to the feeling of no assignments looming overhead. I'm so excited finals are done, and I'm already used to my vacation schedule. I'm thoroughly stuffing myself on the Christmas cookies and desserts, and I don't think I forgot anyone's gift this year. We still have a couple weeks of freedom left, and the New Year to be celebrated in those days…
But, guys. I'm nearly ready to go back to school soon.
I know it sounds just crazy, but I miss it in some ways.
No, I don't miss the deadlines, waking up early, or stress. I could also get by without setting a toe into weather below freezing, wind, and rain. Also shaking my head at that traffic on my commute, and the all-famous introduction question of "tell the class what you did over our holiday break!" during syllabus week.
So, that seems as if I just don't want to go back at all, yet I really do. Because what I do miss means more to me. I miss the friends I see every week. I miss the (odd as it is) feeling of camaraderie in a class where you all feel the same about the professor and assignments. I miss the satisfaction that can come with submitting really good work on time.
Having a set schedule feels binding at times, but more days than not, it's also comforting to fall into a rhythm of some days being for school and some days not. It makes those weekends more special and makes me feel like I actually earned them.
And perhaps most importantly, while I don't always believe the school does an adequate job of making this its real priority: I do miss learning. I love overcoming (feasible) challenges and really putting brainpower to work; after all, if I've learned it, why not put it to use? I find it so fulfilling, and that's something I miss. Sure, there are other ways to do it on break, too; but the chance to do it multiple days a week as my "job" of being a student – I'm pretty lucky when I think about it.
So, yeah, this year I'm ready to go back to school. I can't wait to see my friends every week (or day!) and solve new challenges. I can't wait for feeling like I'm accomplishing something meaningful, or the "ah ha!" moment that comes with figuring something out. Early mornings and deadlines aside… I'll be that one student who looks a little too happy on the first day back!