The End Of Winter Break As A Freshman

The End Of Winter Break As A Freshman

Falling in and out of old routines.


After a few weeks home to rest and rejuvenate after full semester, it is time to go back and start all over for Spring semester. The beginning of spring semester brings new classes, new people, new weather, and new opportunities.

In some ways, moving in for the spring feels similar to how moving into college felt. The days of winter break have been spent the with family and friends from home and as the days go by it starts to feel like you never really left... That is until you have to start packing your bags again and saying your goodbyes.

I can't speak for everyone, but as much as I love being at school there are certainly times when I miss home. Whether it is missing my dog, my friends, my family, or just the basic comforts of my favorite iced coffee shops- I admit to having the occasional homesickness. Due to this, it was easy for me to fall back into my old routine when I returned home for break. My best friends and I would show up at each other's houses unannounced and my mom would wake me up with my usual coffee and bagel order. Being at home again, for me, was easy and comfortable.

However, the problem is not a matter of falling back into the old routine but rather breaking that routine all over again. I found it almost as hard to say my goodbyes the second time around.

As I said goodbye to my dad before my mom and I left, he told me how sad he was to see me go. Just like when my parents dropped me off in the fall, my mom had tears in her eyes leaving. My first night at school my dad sent a video in the family group chat of my dog sniffing around my room, presumably looking for me. My friend group got together the night before I left to say goodbye, again. It is easy to forget that it is not just you that feels like you are leaving all over again.

On the bright side, going back to school for the second semester is a lot less scary than the first time around. There are things to look forward to like reuniting with friends and becoming re-involved in your campus activities. Whereas when you first moved into school all of these things were concerns whirling through your head. It is likely you have already, or at least started to, find your place at school and therefore you are going back to fall back into another one of your old routines. This time you have an idea of what to expect and have a certain degree of comfort. When you get back to campus it, too, feels like you never left.

Though the moving in and out of school brings about spells of homesickness, whether it is missing home or missing school, I feel lucky to have my two different little worlds between the two. Every time there is sadness of leaving one place, there is the excitement of going back to the other.

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17 Things You Should Never Do The Night Before An Exam

The worst mistake you can make when you have a big exam coming up? Not making good use of your time.

About a week ago I decided on impulse to buy the new Pokemon game, conveniently right around the time I should've started studying for my finals. I spent several hours over the weekend playing it, having taken up a new addiction, and once Sunday night rolled around I realized that I hadn't studied for my finals at all. I left my 3DS at my boyfriend's house and came back to my dorm, buckled down and ready to begin the long-awaited studying. There are a lot of mistakes you can make during finals week, but the #1 mistake would be not making good use of your time. I present to you the following 17 things you should never do the night before a test:

1. Buy a new video game.

Take it from someone who did this to themselves. The night before a test, your stress levels are high and you think, "I'll just take a little break and play this video game to blow off some steam". Also, it's brand new. How could you not play it right away? 6 hours later, your hands are cramped up, your head hurts from the bright lights and you're regretting every decision you've ever made.

2. Watch a scary movie.

While you should be getting your much needed rest, you will instead be trembling in fear and checking under your bed every 5 minutes to make sure there aren't any demons coming out to play. You'll be startled by every small noise and paranoid that you're being watched, and even your dreams will be filled with terror. Don't do it.

3. Binge a Netflix series.

"One episode isn't going to hurt anything," you say, kicking back with some snacks to watch Shameless. "Maybe one more," you'll mumble as the credits roll. "One more" soon turns into 12 more, you've finished all of your snacks and you still haven't looked over any of your notes. Good luck on that test, you're gonna need it!

4. Eat a ton of snacks or a huge meal.

While we're on the topic of snacks and binging, let's consider the fact that your poor stomach can only handle so much. Try to keep the stress eating under control, otherwise you're not going to feel like crawling out of bed to go take that test the next day. You'll be too busy clutching your tummy in pain and anguish.

5. Consume energy drinks.

You may think that chugging a Monster or six will power up your brain for a late night study session, until you're still up at 4 in the morning and pacing back and forth in your room trying to figure out why you can feel your heartbeat through your nose and the walls keep changing colors.

6. Turn up a little too hard.

Energy drinks are bad for studying, but a massive amount of alcohol is much worse if you have a test the next day. You'll likely either be too hungover to even show up on time or you'll get into some drunken hi-jinks that land you in hot water. Save the night out for when you're celebrating passing that test.

7. Get arrested.

Speaking of landing in hot water, you'd probably better avoid anything potentially illegal or dangerous at all... even if it helps you feel better, or whatever excuse you want to make for it. This should be common sense, but it'll be pretty hard to take your test (and pass it) if you're sitting in jail instead.

8. Take sleep medication.

If you're having trouble falling asleep the night before a big exam, you're best off counting sheep or forming pictures out of bumps on the ceiling. Using medication to fall asleep could lend you the risk of OVER-sleeping and missing your test entirely, which isn't something we want, right?

9. Babysit a small child.

You're probably thinking it's ridiculous that I've even included this on the list, but I wouldn't put it here if I'd never heard of someone doing this before. You don't want to stress yourself out even more than you already are by taking on extra responsibilities for a night. The cash is nice, but failing your test is not.

10. Begin a new relationship.

You can ask out the girl/boy of your dreams any day of the week, but you can only take this test once. Now is not the time, pal. Besides, good grades reflect intelligence, which is something that most people find pretty attractive.

11. Go on a date.

You'll be up all night wondering if Sally is going to call you again or if she noticed that your socks didn't match, so you should probably wait until after you've taken your test to make any plans.

12. Get in a fight.

That little voice in your head may be telling you to unleash your inner rage on that girl who was in your biology class in 10th grade. She wrote something unsavory about you on Twitter and got six retweets. Even if you're petty and love drama, let it go, but just for tonight. Once you finish your test you can pull out your phone and belt out 140 characters of pure sass.

13. Call a relative you haven't talked to in months.

Remember that one aunt you barely know who shows up at every family gathering to drink more than her fair share of wine, then leaves without saying a word? Now is a great time to chat her up for 3 hours and tell her your life story from the past six months. NOT. You know you're not really interested in the conversation and are only calling her to avoid your responsibilities. Knock it off.

14. Scroll through Tumblr blogs.

Who doesn't love memes? I sure do. But once I've spent enough time scrolling past memes and bad puns on Tumblr as I lay in bed, my hands give out on me and I drop my phone on my face. If you find yourself having to put every last bit of your strength into holding up your phone to catch a peek at some sick memes, it's time to put it down and go to sleep.

15. Over-exercise.

You can't take a day off from your #gains, plus you're buried in stress and anxiety, so you spend 3 hours at the gym the night before your test and wake up the next day too sore to even move. I would suggest a bit of light exercise to clear your mind, but go to bed at a reasonable time and don't push yourself too hard.

16. Drive a long distance.

If possible, just try to stay at home the night before your test. Going out and lots of driving especially can be exhausting and distract you from getting any studying done. Even if you've got lots of errands to run, you can always save them for another time, unless it's an absolute emergency.

17. Study too much and too hard without any breaks.

It probably sounds like I'm contradicting everything I just said, but if you've been studying for hours on end, you'll get to a point where you stop retaining any of the information you're going over because you're way too bogged down. Take a break, but be productive. A 5 minute walk around the block or a round of stretches every once in a while should do the trick. Once you're finished, get right back to studying and you'll definitely be prepared for that test.

Cover Image Credit: Bill Selak

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Fun Things To Do When The Winter Cold Traps You Indoors

"My favorite thing about winter? When it's over."


The days are getting colder by the minute, and with the polar vortex threatening the month of February, it's hard to find things to do every day besides simply sitting around doing nothing. In order to combat this, I've come up with a list of activities that may be able to help with the boredom of winter and the awful cold weather.

One of the best things to do on a rainy, cold or gross day is watch movies. Get a group of friends together and pick out your favorite movie series or set of movies of a certain genre. Make popcorn, buy snacks and set up a comfy couch with blankets and pillows. It's an easy, inexpensive and fun way to spend the day with friends as well as enjoy your favorite movies together.

In relation to a movie day, you could have a game day. Whether you choose video games or board games, setting up a fun little gameday with your friends or family is a great way to spend the day inside. If you want to challenge yourself, you could choose games like "Monopoly" or "Scrabble" so you have to put a little more thought into it. Or, you could choose fun games like "Cards Against Humanity" or "Mario Kart" in order to feel more relaxed.

Another fun activity for a cold day is making crafts and decorations for your room or house. There are so many cute "do-it-yourself" projects on Pinterest, Google and YouTube. Painting canvases is a super easy and fun DIY project that doesn't take much effort but leaves a room looking completely re-done. You can easily find a new project for the day and create something to spice up your space. Along with that, it would also be fun to look up recipes on the same sites and learn about new foods. Whether you like to bake or cook, there are so many delicious recipes you can try.

The last set of activities is definitely relaxing and all about self-care. Sometimes, being at home all day for days on end can cause you to feel extremely lazy and all-around gross. Setting up a spa day in order to refresh yourself is something that's so easy and fun. Find a friend, buy a facemask and paint your nails. Feeling rejuvenated after weeks of cold weather can not only be a benefit for your skin but your mentality as well. In relation to that, if you want something a little more upbeat, you could always do an "at-home-workout," which can be found anywhere and everywhere on the web. Even if it's something as simple as a no-weight workout or some type of yoga, getting yourself up and moving is bound to make you feel a lot better about the past days of laziness.

The best part about all of these activities is that they're so versatile – you can do them with your friends, family or alone if you want. Whatever you choose to do inside on the cold days ahead, make it worth your while and be sure to do something that you enjoy.

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