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Opinion

Breathe: semester’s routine to begin again

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December 11, 2008

Now things are heavy and rushed. Everything is weighted with purpose and finality. Snow piles onto rooftops and car hoods. Tasks pile onto calendars and to do lists. Another semester is coming to a close. Feel relief. In a matter of days the bulk of the fall months will evaporate and give way to late mornings and sweatpants.

Textbooks will transform into magazines and stiff desk chairs into couch cushions. Let go your trepidations about grades and, instead, indulge in hot cocoa and sweet teas. Look forward to parental smiles and sibling smirks. Make a note to entertain some of the plans you made while under the blanket of schedule and timetable, bitterly resenting your commitments.

Enjoy the holidays. Attend sappy parties with your family, converse with creepy Uncle Herbert who spits into a can, listen to his stories about old game shows and his bottle cap collection. Eat the leftovers your mother will inevitable thrust upon you. Don fuzzy slippers and spend whole days in pajamas. Cuddle your animals until they have coated you in their fur. Reunite with friends and go out drinking. Savor the uninterrupted hangover.

Another semester will have passed and with it, another small bundle of stress. Rushed skimming of pages and late-night hunching over homework will soon be replaced. You will have done it all again. You will have pulled the all-nighter, cancelled party plans, persevered through headaches, ignored your shower, made flashcards, attended study groups and burned the candle at both ends for one more semester.

Once you’ve spiked the conjectural football at the end of your last final, enjoy your break. Take full advantage of this eye of the storm. Work when you must, but appreciate the moments of peace you will have. Watch crappy TV, go bowling, spend all day outside experiencing the early stages of frostbite, whatever teeters your totter. Try and make this break’s “I wish I would have…” list a shorter one. It is important to fully recognize the value and significance of resting your body and your mind before you start the process over in January. So get a massage, go to the gym, go on a date, make some extra money or simply do nothing.

Your days here are numbered. Work until you collapse this week, but properly experience your hiatus and forget not the effort you put in and the impending cycle that will gather you up and plunge you back into routine. Discard regrets and apprehensions about the past months and embrace the softness of the season. Take pleasure in the brief moment you have while the machine has stopped, for you will soon be swept up into the gears again, because this too shall pass.

Katie Heimer is double majoring in international studies and history, with a German minor.