At this point in the semester, finals season is making students in every grade hit a wall. After a full semester of late nights at the library and 8 a.m. classes, it is safe to say that everyone is ready for this long-awaited winter break. With so much stress piling up in the final days of this semester, it is important to dedicate some time during winter break to decompress. Here are a few ways to ensure you have a fulfilling and stress-free break.
The most necessary, yet most neglected, thing for college students is sleep. All semester, students seem to prioritize pretty much everything over a good night of sleep. By finals week, every student can be seen with a book in their face and dark circles under their eyes. Once you get home for break, the first thing to do is get into bed and go to sleep. Not only will you feel much better, but with enough sleep your stress level will decrease greatly. However, as winter break continues the best thing to do is to adopt a normal sleep schedule. The only way to feel completely restored over winter break is to consistently get a full night of sleep.
Eat Healthy Foods
It may not be the first thing you think of when beginning break, but nevertheless it is still important. At Wake Forest, many students’ diets consist of weekly trips to Chick-fil-A, the french fry station at the Pit and the P.O.D. for some candy. Without realizing it, one of the reasons why college students can feel so lousy is because their diets are sub-par. Over break, just eating a few healthy foods a day, or maybe just refraining from the usual suspects (fried food, gummy worms, and chocolate), will make you feel completely rejuvenated.
Get Some Alone Time
One of the hardest parts of being at college is the lack of alone time. It can often feel like college is a constant social scene. There are people everywhere — in your classes, on your way to class, at the Pit, on your way back to your room and even in your room. It can be difficult to establish a personal space when you live in a residence hall with your friends. Although this may seem extremely fun, it can also be extremely exhausting — especially with the heightened stress that comes with the end of the semester. In general, alone time is necessary to recharge your batteries. Yet at college, many people don’t have enough time to do so. So, when break begins, take some time to yourself. Find solace in your own personal space and relax for the first time since before finals. Having just one hour of alone time can really help you unwind in the aftermath of the semester.
Catch Up With Friends
Although alone time is important, it is also important to take a break and catch up with old friends. Since the semester completely ends, there are no deadlines to meet, no homework to complete and no class to go to. With all this free time, break is a perfect time to get together with home friends and catch up on the past few months.
In college, your friends are people you see every single day for multiple hours — you may even live with them. Your home friends, however, have probably not seen you since Fall Break, and others, not since the summer. A few hours with some home friends will give you a chance to let loose and hang out with the people that you so desperately miss from your college dorm. Within a few minutes of goofing around with your friends, you will completely wind down and just enjoy the moment you are in.
There is no doubt that college is stressful. Between homework, tests, essays and extra-curriculars, Wake Forest students push themselves to exhaustion in order to produce the best results.
So for the next four weeks, make sure you actually take a break. Sleep in one day, take some time for yourself, or spend a whole day with your high school friends. Most importantly, find the best way for you to unwind, relax and decompress.