4 Tips for Maximizing the Break in “School Break”

Research studies show that taking breaks from work can not only help you to live longer but also improve mental and physical health. So if you’re feeling fatigued, perhaps it’s time for a real break. It seems counterintuitive to plan ahead for a vacation, but if you’re not careful, your days off will speed by and leave you more exhausted than you were at the very start (like a nap that goes for too long). For those of you who aren’t natural planners, don’t worry. We have four tips for you that will help you get the most out of your upcoming breaks so that you return to Gordon feeling refreshed.

  1. The name of the game is “intentionality.” Whether you want to spend some quality time with family, learn Japanese or catch up on The Good Place, think about how you’d like to use your break before it starts and prioritize what you’d like to do first. *Don’t forget to show your parents or holiday hosts a little love too! Volunteer to do dishes. Shovel the driveway. Even though you’re desperate for some R&R, show them those servant leadership skills your professors and RDs are so proud of.
  2. Channel your inner Leslie Knope or Chidi Anagonye. If possible, finish not just the assignments due before break, but the work that’s due the day you return. Your future self will be eternally grateful. If you take this to heart, you can relax and play as much Mario Kart as you’d like, knowing there are no real-life tortoise shells coming out of nowhere and bumping you off track as soon as you get back.
  3. Don’t try to do everything. Working at Chick-Fil-A, taking a road trip, writing a novel, reuniting with all your high school friends, while becoming an expert on jazz history all sounds great right now, but it won’t when your break is over and your to-do list has a lot of empty checkboxes. See tip #1.
  4. Anticipate those post-vacation blues. Coming back to school after spending a month away can be jarring. So be kind to yourself and draft a reentry plan. Perhaps that involves readjusting your sleep schedule or arranging a fun outing with friends after you return so that you have something to look forward to. Whatever it is, find a way to make your landing as smooth as possible.

Thanksgiving break is deceptively short and Christmas break is so long that you forget there’s an end to it, but no matter the length, there are ways to use the time well and return to school refreshed. It just takes a little strategizing.

By Veronica Andreades ’20, English language and literature