How College Breaks Sometimes Breaks You
When I was just a young padawan, I longed for the summer days of freedom. “Goodbye homework, goodbye books, goodbye teachers dirty looks.” Even the smaller breaks like Christmas—because that’s what we called it back then—and spring break were Godsends to my vivacious soul.
I’d compare the way I made use of that time to the way most convicts use theirs. That is to say, I lived it up for a short while before they threw me back in my cell.
I kid of course.
When August would roll around, and back-to-school shopping sales were the only commercials I ever saw, I began to grow weary and restless. There was never enough time to do all the crazy things I wanted to do.
Sleepovers, bonfires, weeklong trips to the beach, the coming schoolpocalypse meant the end of all that I cherished. Sure, there was always that first week back to show off the new clothes and determine that this year schoolwork would actually be a priority. But let’s be real, that sentiment never made it past week one.
But a funny thing happened to me over this past break. I realized that I now really hate these extended vacations.
I’ve been finished with classes since the 12th of December. It’s currently the 17th of January and I’ve still got six more days to go until I step back into a classroom.
What the hell am I supposed to do with all that time?
I rent my own place, so there’s no going home to the family for the whole month. And even if that were an option, I’m not sure I would jump at the chance. I love my family dearly, but after being on my own for so long, anything over a week straight makes my hair start to fall out.
Working where I live isn’t an option because everyone else actually did come home for the holidays and took all their old jobs back and left me out in the cold.
I’d like to point out that at the onset of my time off, I was elated by all the time I would have to myself. I would finally have to time what I wanted to. It meant plenty of time to dedicate to playing Skyrim and every other video game I’d had to neglect as a result of the massive workload that was my fall semester. IT MEANT SLEEPING AS LONG AS I WANT FOR A FULL MONTH. Well, actually I still enjoyed that part.
The problem is that everything gets really old really fast when you’re unencumbered by the outside world. When you’ve put in over 100 hours into a video game in three days (ignore the fact that there’s only 72 hours in three days), you kind of lose the desire to play it anymore—at least for a while.
It only gets worse from there.
Being solely a student, the influx of money in my life is what I like to call little to non-existent. So as a result, I don’t go out a lot because I can’t afford to. And what happens when you’re home all the time, you eat—a lot. And then the groceries are running so low that you’ve figured out every possible combination of bread, peanut butter, chocolate syrup, bologna and jelly.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, I almost never wrote. I was so depressed by my entire situation that I never had the drive or care to put words to paper. I’d sit there staring at my computer screen with my fingers hovering over the keys hoping to be struck by some kind of inspiration.
Instead I’d just wind up writing my dream grocery list.
When I return to classes next week, it will be my last semester before entering the workforce full-time. I’m terrified I’m not going to find a job, but most people have been reassuring, and I’ve spent my time at school networking and building up my portfolio so that I’m not left unemployed. I long to work, though I’m sure I’ll hate my first job.
Being stagnant isn’t good for anyone, and that’s all these breaks are, stagnant time where I make no progress in furthering my life. So for the love of God, let’s get back to work.
Jeffrey Giorgi | Bright Futura Columnist