Every year, as the fall semester slowly erodes my work ethic and my soul, I look to winter break as the peaceful oasis with which to repay my sleep debt, lounge around in my pajamas, watch movies, read books, bake cookies, and see old friends. It’s three weeks of bliss that break apart the semesters, and for an extra treat, Christmas is lodged right, smack in the middle of it. But regardless of whether you celebrate, I think most students adore having a few weeks off to recoup in December and bring in the New Year. We need some time every so often to bust out of our routines and embrace long, wintery nights at our parents’ house and pretend we don’t have adult responsibilities.
So why am I so bored?
I’m not kidding, I think I have a serious case of the winter break blues. The symptoms include alternating between two primary emotions. One of them is bored. And the other is cold. It’s windy and gray outside, and my parents must have something against using modern heating systems, because their house is cold as hell. Seriously, the polar icecaps are going to relocate to our living room. Last night, I slept with three pairs of socks. Three. And two of them were fuzzy socks. Whenever I take a shower, my toes are purple for the first five minutes. It’s a miracle I still have all ten. To make matters worse, my shower last night ran out of warm water in about three minutes. I rinsed the conditioner off my hair in a wintery cold Niagara Falls, and my life flashed before my eyes. I nearly died of hypothermia, right then and there. I’m not sure I can actually remember what being warm feels like.
As for the bored thing, well, I spend my days alternating between staring at my phone and doing work for the lab I work/volunteer with at my university. (And shivering. That is a prime daily activity.) And my friends are all too busy to hang out much. One works the night shift at a retail store and sleeps during the day, and another is working full time over the holidays in a college town a few hours away. One more is finishing up her out-of-state internship and won’t be back until January. Apparently, I didn’t get the memo about the whole nobody-is-actually-taking-a-break-over-winter-break thing. So I’m stuck at my parent’s house going stir crazy.
We need a cure for this, and fast.
One thing this break, and perhaps my subsequent imaginary illness, has made me do is rethink some of my ideas about routine. I’m not exactly, for the record, a routine guru, but I see the value in it. (And modern heating, but we’ve been over that.) During the semester, I have to find some semblance of routine; I have to get up and go to class and meetings for different clubs and I have to study and do homework and find time to do things like feeding myself and, every once in a while, sleeping. But over break, with hours upon hours of zero obligations and long stretches of time that should invite productivity in the form of doing things I can’t always fit in during the semester, like blogging or paying attention to writing projects or reading those books on my reading list, the hours just fall away.
I don’t go to bed at the same time. I don’t get up at the same time. I don’t eat at consistent meal times. I have more or less thrown my internal clock out the second story window.
During the school year, it’s usually just resting dangerously close to the ledge.
I’m getting a bout of cabin fever, and I can’t take it anymore.
All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy. I need to reinvent my winter break before it ends and I find myself back in the mortal peril that is college. I think I need a winter break routine that lets me be productive and get the work I have to do done, and also allots time to do things like bake cookies, watch movies, wrap gifts, and call my friends and brag to them about how much they’re missing out on while they’re away working all break. But as nice as that sounds, I know it won’t happen. I have, what, two more weeks? It feels too unrealistic. Like something I might tell people I would do if I were a lifestyle blogger, and then, you know, not actually follow through. And making small, incremented improvements would get me nowhere, because I don’t have enough time to actually establish anything. But I figured I’d at least try step number one: Map out your current routine, or the closest thing you have to one.
I imagine it’d look something like this:
10:00-11:00: Stare at the ceiling and refuse to get out of bed and forsake cozy cocoon.
11:00-11:30: drink coffee and squint angrily family members, daring them to speak to me before I have ingested my daily dose of caffeine. Maybe eat some cereal.
11:30-12:00: Brush teeth and throw on new pair of sweatpants.
12:00-1:00: Lay around and stare at phone. Assure everyone that I am about to go be productive.
1:00-2:00: Consider making cookies. Think better of it because it takes too much work.
2:00-3:00: Regret your previous decision because your sweet tooth is kicking in.
3:00-4:00: Eat potato chips for lunch.
…You get the picture. I’m not sure what the antidote is to the winter break blues, but if I find out, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, I’m going to try and stay warm and attempt to convince those around me that I am, in fact, very busy and productive.
But what about you? Have you made up any illnesses? Are you on winter break? Let me know in the comments down below. If you blinked while reading this, like this article and subscribe to my lovely blog. Cheers or whatever.