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How I've Been Spending My Winter Break

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A photo of a snowy UMass campus with the text, How I've Been Spending my Winter Break.

Good old winter break. A much needed time of relaxation that never feels long enough to truly satisfy my need to curl up in bed with no responsibilities and watch Netflix all day. As I am writing this, I am now back at the University of Massachusetts Amherst ready to tackle this new semester. With classes starting in a few days, I have been able to take the time to reflect on what I have been up to this winter break. From getting my first tattoo, spending time with friends and family, traveling, and spending much needed time with my cat and dog, I would say that I had a very enjoyable winter break. 

As much as I love having the time off, it can be a little strange to not have any work to do, clubs to attend, or even filling up your free time with friends around campus — especially when it is your first winter break from college. Believe it or not, it can be a little strange to readjust to life back home after being away so long. Hopefully, through the retelling of my winter break, I can give you all some inspiration on what you can do to have a productive and well-rested break.

Keeping up With Friends at Home and at UMass 

Winter break is an ideal time to reconnect with friends back home. Even going into the second semester of junior year, I am still in regular contact with my old high school friends. Over this recent break, I hung out with old friends a few times and it was really enjoyable. While I have a strong friend group at UMass, I also have wonderful friends back home that I am always thankful to see. 

I cannot stress enough how important it is to reconnect with friends over break, especially during your freshman year. College can be a huge transition, and staying connected with old friends is a great way to maintain relationships both at home and away at school. With this in mind, I also like to use winter break to stay connected with my friends back at school. Over breaks, I always find myself missing my UMass friends and the best way to fix that is to stay well connected despite where everyone may live. Ultimately, I love spending winter break reconnecting with friends and family, something that I think that everyone should do.

Getting my First Tattoo 

Ever since I was younger, I always wanted to get a tattoo. This recent winter break just so happened to be the perfect time to finally get one. I had this appointment booked since August so when the day finally came I was extremely excited. For me, it was cool to wrap up the semester and the year with such a fun change to my body. While getting tattooed is not for everyone, it is a fun and memorable experience and I am so happy that I went through with it. 

So, what did it I get? I am a big fan of video games so I wanted to commemorate one of my favorites by getting the sword that the main character uses. I also got roses, feathers, and leaves, to make it a bit more feminine and tie the piece together. I decided to get the tattoo on my lower leg and I am very happy with the placement. So, did it hurt? Yes. Do I have tattoo fever? Absolutely. 

Things That You Can Do Over Winter Break:

  • Better your Health: Over the past few months, I have enjoyed working out for both my mental and physical health. Winter break is a great time to get your body moving and destress from all the pressure from the previous semester. Whether it is yoga, going for walks, hiking, and just about anything that gets you active, caring for your body and mind is a great way to prepare for the new semester over the break. 
  • Catch Up on Must-See Shows: Arguably just about everyone’s favorite thing to do over winter break. Long breaks are the perfect time to binge-watch all the shows and movies you wanted to see but just did not have the time for during school. If you find yourself with any downtime, I highly suggest Don’t f**k with Cats and The Mind of Aaron Hernandez on Netflix, and The Mandalorian on Disney+. 
  • Travel: While this can be expensive and require preplanning, winter break is an ideal time to travel with friends and family. Over the past two breaks, I have traveled to Orlando, Florida, to visit my boyfriend’s family, a trip I am very grateful to take annually. Trust me, once you graduate you will likely not have such a long break during this time, so take advantage of it while you still can! 
  • Pick up a Book: While I may be a little biased since I am an English major, winter break is an ideal time to read for fun. There is always an endless stream of new literature coming out, so why not take the time and pick up a fresh new book?

Other Posts by this Author

Meet the Major: English

A photo of South College with the text, Meet the Major: English

I applied to the University of Massachusetts Amherst as an English major back in 2017. Throughout the entirety of my schooling, I have always been fascinated by literature. I was a textbook book worm. I always had my nose in a book and I was constantly on the hunt for the next piece of literature I could get my hands on. When I was in high school, my love for English flourished. I took Advanced Placement Literature and the course challenged me to explore the depth of the discipline, and left me hungry for more. Back in high school I also had the most compassionate and vibrant English teacher, and her passion for the subject led in part to my decision to pursue a career in English. Despite adding a secondary major in communication, my love for English is still as strong as ever. 

Things I learned at UMass outside of class

A photo of the UMass campus with the text, Things I learned at UMass outside of class.

College is a pivotal time of learning in a student’s life. While you will without a doubt be learning in the classroom, I think a lot of people underestimate how much students grow outside of it as well. Looking back at who I was in high school, I cannot believe how different I am and how much I have grown. My time in college has taught me crucial skills and has given me experiences that I will hold with me for the rest of my life. So, what have I learned outside of the classroom? Let’s take a look at three of the things that I have learned at the University of Massachusetts Amherst outside of the classroom.