The Life of A College Student Over Winter Break

The Life of A College Student Over Winter Break

What do you do with all this free time?

You've finished crying about finals, accepted your fate, and now it's time to go home. This month break is much needed, but how long can you survive the things that come with being home?

After your last final is over

You've never packed so fast in your life.

First thing's first...... no more alarms

So long, 8 a.m.'s.

You catch up on the much needed quality time with your animals.

Hopefully they missed you as much as you missed them!

You get a chance to steer clear of the dining hall food and get back to the home-cooked goods.

Isn't it great to eat something other than Ramen?

You get back together with your high school squad.

You spend several hours discussing the crazy things that happened over the semester.

But of course, this involves running into people from your graduating class just about everywhere. Pharmacy, grocery store, bar, wherever.

Please don't say hi.... Please don't see me....Oh hey!!!

Next thing you know, your old high school sweetheart is blowing up your phone, trying to meet up.

Thanks, but no thanks.

You take literal offense to your parents asking you what time you'll be home.

Right, totally forgot I can't stumble in here at whatever hour I choose without being questioned...

You miss your friends from school.

It doesn't help that they won't answer their phone because of them spending time with their home people, either.

Eventually, you can't wait to go back.

But wait, there's still two more weeks to go.

But, when you do get back, you just want to be home again.

Enjoy your break, everyone!

Cover Image Credit: Hanna Seymour

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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UTK's Alternative Break Program Changed My Life

People always say their best experience of their college life was going to a meaningless trip to Cancun. Mine was a trip to Jackson, Mississippi.


In college, people always talk about the crazy spring break trips they take and how their trip to Cancun was one of the best experiences of their life. Students who constantly complain about how much they are in debt from college and are living the "broke college student" life dump out hundreds, even thousands of dollars, for one week of fun that they did all year anyway. That was why, as a freshman last year, I decided to try and channel my energy into something more positive and passionate.

At The University of Tennessee, The Center for Leadership and Service offers a program called the Alternative Break Program. The Alternative Break Program is an opportunity for all students to spend any break (fall, winter, spring, and summer) with other people to increase awareness of different social issues through meaningful community service. Each trip is led by two leaders and focuses on one certain topic. Topics in the past have included Food Insecurity, Refugee Rights, Wealth Inequality, Youth Development, and LGBTQ+ Advocacy.

For spring break in 2018, I signed up for the honors alternative break trip focusing on Food Insecurity. What makes the alternative break program so unique is that when signing up, you have no idea where you are going. They leave out the destination in order to keep from student's decisions being based on the place and being more focused on what the social issue is.

For my trip, we went to Jackson, Mississippi. Nobody knew really what we were going into but through the trip, we learned so much about Jackson. You would think that because Jackson is the capital of Mississippi, Mississippi is the most food-insecure state in the country with a lot of being concentrated in the capital. Being there and interacting with citizens really opened my mind to another perspective.

Food insecurity is not just caused by lack of money, but age, lack of transportation, and many others. Many people in Jackson are defined as food insecure because they were not able to have a reliable access to nutritious food. For example, in one county in Jackson, the only place even remotely close was a dollar general. In other places, just gas stations. Each day, however, my group went to different organizations that were focused on helping people who were in need and were considered food insecure.

Throughout the week, we volunteered at urban farms, food banks, and community service agencies. At each place, we were able to listen to people's stories and how living a food desert affected their life and it was very enlightening. Not only was the experience being hands-on and serving the community very inspirational, I was able to meet lifelong friends who are passionate about serving just like me.

Madison Woods

Because of my experience with this trip, I will be leading my own alternative spring break trip in 2019 with a focus on Wealth Distribution. I encourage every student to look into alternative break trips and find a focus they are passionate about or curious and spend their break doing something very moving and positive.

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