Winter Break as a Solo Snowflake

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After getting lost in the black pit known as finals season, nothing beats the reward of coming home for break and finally getting the chance to become as lazy as I desired. I spent my first week of break catching up on the 200 hours sleep I missed while doing last minute Christmas preparations of shopping, decorating and baking yummy holiday desserts. But after the holidays faded away and the new year struck, my parents returned to work, my younger sister went back to school and a strange boredom overtook my time that I never expected.

Normally at this point I’d phone a friend. However, my school attracts students from all over the country, and if I drew a map of where my friends are from you’d see little dots all over the country. The bad news of winter break: I’d only see one dot in my hometown of Pittsburgh — mine. I still keep in touch with a few people from high school, but they all have jobs so scheduling times to meet became too complicated and so not worth it. The majority of my high school friends and I simply lost touch with each other after the college separation. By that point, it felt awkward to randomly send a, “What’s up?” Facebook message when the last time we spoke was a stiff, “Congrats” on graduation.

I took the empty hours of my day to work on the stuff I avoided doing all semester, like my impending law school applications. I decided my time would be best spent with those apps so I could spend all my time with friends when I returned to school later.  My house in Pittsburgh became quieter than my apartment building at American University, so writing my personal statement took two hours as opposed to two weeks. Not to mention, having my mom return from work each day and ask how my apps were going shamed me into actually working on them.

The life-draining retail also made time fly.  Not only do I have spending money for when I’m back on campus, but I also didn’t spend my days sleeping until noon and endlessly scrolling through Tumblr. Okay, maybe I spent a couple of wasted hours a day scrolling. But who doesn’t?

The best part was that I got to spend quality time with the fam. I hadn’t seen my family all that much, especially since I spent last spring abroad and last summer in D.C. interning.  For New Year’s, we all went out for Chinese food and watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which came with a constant stream of dad jokes.

Knowing that many of my friends felt the exact same way about their breaks consoled me about my winter break lonely spell.  I’m back in D.C. with a little extra pocket change and more time to gab with my friends during the first week of my last semester.  I wouldn’t consider this past break the most exciting time of my life, but a week or five to recharge could only help.

Elizabeth Lowman is a senior journalism major at the American University. She can usually be found eating cupcakes or petting other people’s dogs, sometimes at the same time.

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