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

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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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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It's Important To Take A Mini Vacation Halfway Through Winter

The below zero temperatures can be too much.

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I have lived my whole life in Minnesota, and I can tell you that our winters aren't pretty. As years go on and global warming becomes more of a threat, our winters aren't bad because of snow but because of the below zero temperatures. It gets really really cold, unbearably cold. Usually, when I was younger and in school my family would go on vacation during spring break usually to Florida or somewhere else warm. Now as an adult, and as someone who doesn't go to college or have a spring break anymore, I'm realizing how important it is to still retreat to somewhere warm.

Ever since graduating from high school in 2016, I have visited my grandma in Florida every year; I will usually go sometime between February and April. When I take a week or two to just get away somewhere warm during the middle of winter, it changes my mood and mental state drastically. Seasonal depression is real and not being around plants, in high temperatures, or being able to swim really affects my mind. Having a break to get away somewhere warm is a way of reassuring myself that it will eventually get warm again, just not until May.

This is my first year where I'm paying rent every month, so my budget isn't the same that it has been in previous years. I have to manage my money well so that I can go on trips if I want to. As far as I knew, I wasn't planning on going to Florida this year because I wanted to save my money for different trips. But once January came and it started to get colder, I realized that I had to still go. My mind was fixated on summer and warmer weather and I knew that it wasn't going to think about anything else. Luckily, I got a ticket for a good price and was able to make it happen.

Usually in January is when I start to get a little restless about the winter. I only like winter for Christmas because I like having snow, but lately in Minnesota snow doesn't arrive until later months. So once January comes, I'm ready for spring and summer. I find it hard to enjoy this beginning part of the year because of how cold it is all the time, and how I spend most of my time thinking about how awesome summer is going to be (even though it's 5 months away).

Going away for a week or so is a recharge for my brain. I get the sun and plants I need, my mind gets clear, and I come back recharged and ready to take on the rest of winter. Usually, when I go somewhere warm, I get creative and come up with good ideas for projects or things I want to do when I come back. This can help me a lot in the winter so that I can push through some things that I would be putting off.

If you can, try to really budget in time to go on vacations, even if they're small ones. Our mental health is the most important thing we have, but we forget about it sometimes. If you can't afford to go somewhere or take time off of work, try finding a local conservatory that you can go to weekly to be around plants. We need time to recharge when our brains are going a little stir crazy and start to procrastinate everything. Sometimes the best cure for that is just soaking up the sun on a beach somewhere.

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