Going into Fall Break, I was a little worried. Don’t get me wrong. I was looking forward to the reprieve from my classes, but I knew it would be the loneliest I had been since I arrived on campus in August. Being a highly extroverted person, this thought scared me and even made me start to dread the long weekend. However, in all my worrying I overlooked a fact my introverted counterparts are highly familiar with: solitude can bring about clarity. So to those of you who ask what I did over Fall Break, I respond: I did nothing, but learned a ton. Without further ado, here are the top five lessons I learned spending Fall Break on campus.
1. Make the best out of what you have
Something that was relatively unique to my Fall Break was the fact that I had a 10 page long take home midterm assigned. That – coupled with the fact that most of my friends left – should have made for a pretty miserable weekend, but in a weird twist, these two bad things actually complimented each other surprisingly well. I found that instead of being upset, I appreciated the fact that I had something to do while my friends were gone and that I didn’t feel pressure to finish my essay immediately.
2. Explore your surroundings
Usually when I walk somewhere on campus, I’m heading for a particular location. For the first time, I decided to walk to Main Campus without a particular purpose in mind, and I have to say I enjoyed it. Over break, I felt like I got to acquaint myself with campus a little bit more, and I know I am better off for it.
3. Reconnect with old friends
Our families aren’t the only ones we left back home. Almost all of us have friends we know from high school (or even earlier). Over break, I reached out to some of my own friends back home, and I’m so glad I got a chance to catch up with them. If you have the time, I highly recommend reaching out to some old friends. You’ll be surprised how nice it is to talk to them.
4. Branch out
One thing I quickly learned over break was that I still knew people on campus, even if they weren’t the people I normally spend my time with. I had many great conversations and experiences with those that I don’t normally spend long periods of time with and found it refreshing. I know this is something that would not have happened without my break being the way it was.
5. Focus on you
There’s nothing like everyone else flying across the country to make you focus on your own wellbeing. Over break, I took some time to reset and take care of myself. It was also the first time since arriving on campus that I got well over 8 hours of sleep. If you haven’t done this yet, you need to (and you shouldn’t wait until Thanksgiving to give it a try).
While I learned these lessons thanks to Fall Break, they shouldn’t be exclusively for that weekend. It was because I paused that I realized how important these things are. However, just because Fall Break is over doesn’t mean these practices should be.