Winter Break Can Be A Setback For Poorly Adjusted Students

Winter Break Is A Hidden Curse For Students Who Have A Hard Time Adjusting To College

Being that the break at Rutgers is a month, shifting myself back to studious, focused Dustin form was a lot harder.

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Fall semester could not have ended any sooner for me. As soon as I bubbled in my last multiple choice answer on my last exam, I bolted to my professor, handed in my test, and drove back home as if my life depended on it. Well, my life did depend on it, to a certain degree. After a full three months of dedicated rigor to studying, meeting new friends, and trying out new experiences, I was more than glad to have a month to recover my mental and physical state. At first, I could not have enjoyed my time off more. Whether it be catching up with high school friends, sleeping 10 hours a day, and enjoying actually half decent food, I was ecstatic to stray away from anything school related. Combining this fact with how I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted, I thought I reached my ideal version of a break.

Little did I know at that time that I was actually setting myself up for failure and that I was blinded by the fun and rest I accumulated throughout the month break. During this time I eventually became accustomed to doing essentially no work at all. Of course, the transition from school to break is easy enough. However, as the break came to an end, I never realized how hard going from the break to school was. While I had breaks in high school, those breaks rarely lasted any longer than 10 days. Thus, it did not feel as if I was undergoing a massive change in my recent habits. However, being that the break at Rutgers is a month, shifting myself back to studious, focused Dustin form was a lot harder.

For one, my sleep went from 10 hours to 6-7 hours, which was massively difficult for my body to adjust. In addition, it took a strong effort to be able to generally concentrate on anything without zoning out and to motivate myself to do anything productive. Essentially, the complacency I gained through the break was not something and still is something I cannot shave off easily. Although time will tell as to whether I can return to the fall version of Dustin soon, there is something that I did learn: that it's much harder to climb back up than one would imagine.

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6 Things I Didn't Really Need in My Freshman Dorm, And 6 Things I Wish I Brought Instead

I promise you, being Pinterest-worthy just doesn't make sense in a dorm.
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As I packed up my dorm room and unpacked it all once I got home, I kinda felt stupid. I moved in with 2 cars full of stuff (yes, I know how extra that sounds and yes, it was indeed that extra) and I didn't end up needing half of it. Now, I'm swimming in stuff I need to get rid of while holding on to the stuff I didn't realize I would need and ended up buying mid-year. No matter how much you think you know everything, first-time dorm residents, please listen.

6 things I DIDN'T need but swore I did

1. All my personal books

I mean, I'm an English major and I love to read, but no one, and I mean no one, A) has free time and B) uses that free time to read in college.

2. Keurig

There's a coffee shop I can use my cafe credits at on my way to class. I never woke up early enough to brew my own coffee, and I never craved it bad enough in the afternoon to feel like I needed to make my own immediately. It was nice to make tea with though.

3. Dishes and Silverware/Excessive Mugs

All you need is 1 mug and a couple of water bottles. I promise you paper plates and plastic silverware are all you need.

4. An overabundance of office supplies

I didn't use all those fancy office supplies in high school, so as much as I love them, I have yet to reach for them in college.

5. T.V.

The T.V. I had was only slightly bigger than my laptop screen and the wifi at my dorm wasn't good enough for streaming. I hardly used it, but I know others used theirs a lot. Just a personal preference!

6. Tons of wall art

I totally believe wall art has the power to make a dorm room feel less institutional, but I wish I had brought more pictures from home to make my room personal. Pinterest dorm rooms just aren't real, and they aren't what you want when you're homesick.

6 things I wish I had bought before school started

1. ID Lanyard

I personally love these ones from Vera Bradley , but honestly, any way you can carry your ID, money, and keys all in one is a life changer.

2. Earplugs / Eye Mask

Dorms are loud even during quiet hours and sometimes your roommate stays up later or gets up earlier than you do. Amazon couldn't ship these to me fast enough.

3. Wireless Headphones/Earbuds

Personally, I'm an earbuds girl, but either one does the trick. It's nice to not have to deal with cords and to be able to connect to any of your devices without an adapter.

4. Laptop Shell/Stickers

Almost everyone ends up ordering stickers to put on their laptop to express themselves to those around them. On a practical level though, you're probably going to have the same laptop as 5+ other students in your lecture and you will probably throw your laptop in a bag and run at some point. A shell and some stickers will provide more protection than you realize. Check out RedBubble for some great options.

5. Small vacuum

This is especially important if you get a rug. Sweeping is not pleasant, and the vacuums at your dorm are probably older than you are.

6. Pictures from home

Like I said before, wall art isn't going to comfort you when you want to go home. A picture of your dog or best friend sure will though.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Gherna

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This Is The Love-Hate Story Of Midwesterners And Snow

if you know, you know.

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Snow, the true definition of love and hate.

If you grew up in the midwest, you know the feeling you got as a kid the night before a snowstorm. When you would stay up a little later in hopes that school will be canceled even before you go to bed. You know the feeling of waking up to a 2-hr delay and getting some extra sleep. Though nothing beat waking up to a closed school. You knew that meant more sleep and a day of sledding, and you were so there for it.

The love you wish to feel now. That your job will call and you just might not have to go in. The feeling of staying home and catching up on things there. Almost comforting that you'll get to sleep in a bit, in the middle of the week! Wow, what a feeling of joy that is. What love you have for the snow that you hope will be coming.

The heart-warming feeling you get as you watch the weather forecast and peep out the window to see snow gracefully falling down to save the day.

You go to bed, ready to receive that phone call the following morning, saying you get to stay home.

Then you wake up.

That's when the hate sets in. No phone calls. Not your school listed on the news as closed. You peek outside and see a thin layer of snow, filling you with disappointment. You know now, that you've been let down once again.

That promising day you thought you would have and then BOOM. You have to get ready for the day. Have to get ready to face the snow. You walk out and the bitter cold that would have brought you happiness at some point, slaps you in the face.

You don't know who to blame for this hurt you feel. The weatherman, that you literally don't know how they still have their job? Your school that decided it was worth the risk? Yourself, for thinking it could actually happen?

That moment where it felt like you were the only school that didn't get closed, just like when you were a kid, the disappointment sets in… no betrayal hurts more than that.

You know now that your butt is the one that will have to walk, what feels like 5 miles, to a class that you don't understand how you even got stuck taking it. All because you hoped that wishing for snow would save the day.

The realization sets in that what you once thought was full of joy and activities, is no longer that for an adult.

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