Winter break for college students is one of the best and worst times of the year. We welcome it as a much-appreciated respite, and the beginning of the semester is always looming ahead of us. But in the end, I know I’m glad to be back.
After a week of grueling finals, it’s a sigh of relief to have almost a month off to focus on whatever you want––especially after this year’s finals week that included an oddly placed Monday of classes and exams on Dec. 23.
The end of break comes as a rude awakening. I don’t know about you, but I always forget to order my books until the last minute. The last two years I haven’t had books for the first week or two of classes, and as an English major, that’s a huge mistake. Often when I find I really need one book for a class and go to the USM bookstore, it will be sold out of the book I need. I’ve only ever been lucky enough to get a book I need there once or twice.
Worse than that are the daunting letters and emails reminding you of the balance of your account for the semester. Even if you’re waiting on financial aid to process and don’t actually have to worry about coughing up that money up front, it’s heart breaking to know that one day you’ll have to pay it––with interest. USM bills with their yellow and blue letterheads in my mailbox serve as a reminder of getting back to real life, a reminder that sleeping in is over, and that it will be time again to balance homework on top of a job and stay up all night doing papers.
Coming back to school after a peaceful break, frankly, just sad. It goes by so fast and then you’re back to the old grind, and all of the money that you earned over the break suddenly disappears to tuition, supplies and books.
But, in the end, even though it is stressful and hard, we’re all coming back. Why, you might wonder, if it sounds so horrible?
Even though we (especially me) love to complain about homework and how long it will take and being so busy that we’re going to self-destruct, USM has proven to be a pretty good experience, whether it will end up serving as a stepping stone to success or not. For a lot of students, especially those in upper classes, how boring would it be to not come back? As we struggle with the stresses of another new semester, being back at school is also a relief, to be back with friends and in classes. It’s worth it.
Sloane Ewell is a senior English major.