My last Thanksgiving break is now only two weeks away and I have never needed a week off more. I've been looking forward to going home for weeks now. Maybe it's the fact that it's my senior year and I'm still in denial that I won't have breaks like this ever again in my life or maybe its the fact that I'm just exhausted from willingly over-programming myself or maybe it's because I was away from my family throughout most of the holiday season last year while I was abroad. Regardless, I have been dreaming about mashed potatoes and gravy and watching Elf with my cousins and Black Friday shopping with my sisters and my Nana for far too long now.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. (I live for the Christmas season, but the actual holiday honestly just stresses me out.) It means traveling up to Thousand Oaks to stay with my aunt and uncle. It means spending the day in the kitchen helping with the mashed potatoes and stuffing. It means assuming my annual title of Gravy Master. It means forgetting about the stresses of my everyday life for a few days to spend with my cousins and laugh until we cry watching Elf. It means reconnecting with the people that I often neglect during the busy school year.

We get too caught up in the stress of everyday life. I shouldn't be this desperate for a week off from school just to get caught up on sleep and feel reconnected to home and my family, but that is, unfortunately, the way our society has become. Being a college student is no walk in the park. Between a full course load, an internship, two jobs, a leadership position in my sorority, and trying to eat balanced meals, take my vitamins, and occasionally get some sleep, life can be way too much. This time of the year might be crazy, but the holidays always makes me feel more connected to my home and to my family. This year, I'm going to need it even more.

I'm not taking this break for granted. I've already requested the majority of the week off from work so I can enjoy five days with my family, uninterrupted. Sure, I should be preparing for the real world and blah, blah, blah, but I honestly don't care. I have spent too much time this year putting my family life on the backburner. I don't want to do that anymore. So this Thanksgiving break will be extra special. I have made a promise to myself that I will focus on my family and focus on recharging myself because we can't keep burning ourselves out. It's just not good for us.