Photo courtesy of Connor W. Davis

After a fast-paced, ten-week quarter and the scramble of finals and trip arrangements are finalized, many, if not most, DU students simply cannot wait for the six-week winter break. This unique time in the academic calendar allows for students to only have to worry about one transportation plan for several major holidays and grants a generous amount of time off. It also, however, is misaligned with most other people’s schedules, leaving DU students on break while others are still well ahead of theirs. Any way you look at it, though, it is spare time to fill.

Like anything, the aspects that some students tend to enjoy about the long break are the very aspects that others hate. One such aspect is the fact that it is so lengthy. Some students find that the six weeks is a refreshing break from the hustle while others find themselves being bored with the extended period of down time.

Yet, one of the most important factors when considering how to evaluate one’s lengthy time off is the location where it was spent. For a significant portion of DU students, it is spent at home—wherever that may be and under whatever definition they use.

The idea of returning home can evoke feelings of excitement or dread. Even if one is excited to be reunited with their home, they may find that their holiday delight is all but extinguished much earlier than anticipated. This could be because they are bored since everybody else seems to be busy with school and work. This could be because they are becoming annoyed by the seemingly constant interaction with relatives. It could be a combination or something else.

Because of the long break, it is critical to spend it how you want. No matter where you spend your time, it is relatively easy to find something to do. Six weeks is a perfect amount of time to return to an old job and earn some extra money while not fearing missing out on hanging out with old friends who are still in school or family members still on a busy workweek. It is an opportune time to catch up on some reading and TV- or movie-watching. It is a gap in which you can explore parts of your hometown or home state you have not before. You can shadow someone in a career in which you are interested. You can just relax and try some new recipes.

Winter break can also be a time to rejuvenate and look forward to all of the enjoyable things to come in the new year upon return to DU.