You get home from your last final of the semester, which you almost overslept for. You’ve been in overdrive for weeks studying, and caffeine is more than your best friend. You lay down to take a nap, with all of your alarms off and your phone on silent (that’s silent, not vibrate). You fall asleep pretty quickly…
And exactly two and a half hours later, you snap awake. You’re laying there thinking about what you should cook, what subjects you’ll focus on today, what materials and books you need, then you remember: The semester is over and you’re on vacation.
This is essentially how my first 2 to 3 days of winter break played out. On the day of the last final (which in our case was Pharmacology), all I could think about was going to sleep and not having to get back up and study. By that point we were all pretty much on autopilot. For all I really know, the test took itself. When I finally had some time to relax though, I couldn’t turn off the switch. I fell asleep easily enough, but I’d always wake up with the feeling that I should be doing something. Then, upon realizing (I had to have this revelation several times) the semester is over, all I could think is: “Well then. What now?” I think the most difficult part for me of being on a break is that I have a hard time hitting the “off switch.” I get so invested in what I’m doing at school that I pretty much have to reacclimate to society when I go back home.
Frankly, I’m just not used to having this much down time, and I wasn’t really sure what to do with it. But I thought to myself: “What was something I wanted to do during the semester but didn’t really have time for?” Of course, after a couple of days of just sleeping and laying around the house, I got to it. I started back on the book series I’ve been working on, and which may take me all of vet school to finish. (I’m in book 4 of the Dune chronicles by Frank Herbert if anyone reading is a sci-fi fan and wants to check it out!) I’ve been visiting friends, I’ve seen almost all of my family members who live in the area, I got to a couple of household projects that have been put off, and have generally been taking the time to do things I consider “normal.” You know what? I’ll miss it next week when it’s time to get back to the vet school grind.
I hope everyone else reading is also having a relaxing break. Live it up while you can and make time to do all the things you’ve been putting off! And don’t forget to hit the “off switch” when you get home.