This winter break, I have heard of two friends getting married, one getting engaged, several settling on their plans for post-graduation, and two more actually graduating. That being said, with everyone else seemingly figuring out their lives, it's hard to not feel like I'm somehow behind.

But I think that's where I miss the importance of winter break. Even writing this article by the deadline, in a way, is breaking the sacred, unstructured sweetness that winter break used to retain.

I'm talking about the snow-day-like, seemingly interminable winter break of my youth. I'm dreaming of the days that smelled of cinnamon brooms, evergreen bows, and hot cocoa, days spent lounging around my house in pajamas next to a stack of newly discovered treasures from the library. Days that started slowly, sans alarm clock, days that lingered on sledding hills, days that ended after midnight when the novel hit a lull. Golden days. Glory days.

And, as a senior, this is my last foreseeable month-long winter break for a while (maybe ever?), and I should be enjoying it. I'm really trying to, and I have to keep reminding myself that winter break needs to be just that--a break. It's a space that one should use to rest and regain energy.

It's a time to think about the future and dream and hope. It's a time to de-stress, to binge watch that Netflix show you've been dying to see with your sisters, to bake, to plan, to make friendship bracelets, to doodle. It's a time to form good habits or get back into old ones (like running...oops). And maybe I'm being nostalgic about wishing for days of old.

Maybe break should be a little of everything--chill time with family and friends with time to focus on jobs and capital-L "Life." I suppose that's the important thing, too: break is what one chooses to make of it. Take a break or break yourself, it's really up to you. CJB