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Enjoy Winter Break, Rather Than Stress Over Grades

By Jenna Moede

Winter break and the time for relaxing and resetting has finally arrived. I feel so excited for a break this year, and I can’t wait to re-energize for the New Year.  

During this time of year, as an undergrad student, getting the most out of my time off felt critical because I finally had a second to enjoy life without school. After my last final every semester, I sold my books and organized my notes that I would need later on in college. Once I had gone through my school stuff, I put everything away where I could forget about it.

Then I forced myself to let go of everything that had happened during the semester. Of course, I still logged online to check my grades once I knew my teachers had posted them, but other than that, I gave myself over to enjoying the break. 

First, I told myself that worrying about my grades and the things that had already happened wouldn’t change anything. Grades, whether good or bad, didn’t roll over into the next semester and wouldn’t affect my future grades. 

If I’d had a great semester, I would always feel proud of my accomplishments, but I would try to reset my mind and prepare myself for another great semester. Since past good grades didn’t mean anything in the future, I had to work hard in every single course, during every single class.   

Likewise if something hadn’t gone my way during the semester, I reminded myself that the bad grades didn’t roll over into the next classes. I had a difficult time changing my thinking at first because I had always thought pessimistically when it came to grades, but adjusting myself to understanding that the past could not be change helped me to think positive.

Once I got used to thinking optimistically, I learned that I had a fresh slate with each new semester. Of course I still had a cumulative GPA, but I realized that I could only focus on what I could control at any given moment in the present. 

Letting go of the happenings of the previous semester, good or bad, always really helped me adjust my attitude and mindset for the next semester. Then, I could enjoy my break.

Forgetting about school and setting my things aside always really helped me, but I never forgot my motivation or resolve to do well. Even though I didn’t focus entirely on school, I still knew that I wanted to work hard even when I mainly focused on enjoying my time off. 

Once I had celebrated or commiserated the last semester and had forgotten it, I would always try to do the things I enjoyed most that got shoved aside during the semester. 

My study time always turned into free time during breaks from school, and I loved reading books that I had accumulated on a list over the semester. I always loved winter break for reading because I grew up in Wisconsin and books and hot chocolate with the snow for a backdrop really set the stage for a good, cozy day. 

I also spent as much time as I could with my family and friends because I knew that school really would start again and I wouldn’t have as much time to spend with them after that. Also, I would always spend as much time as I could enjoying the cold winter weather. 

I never felt that I had enough time to spend outside during the school year, so during the breaks, I always had fun skiing, winter hiking and ice skating. For me, getting outside totally helped reset my mind and rejuvenate me for a new semester.    

Lastly, I learned that even though all good things have to come to an end, more good things can follow. When the end of break neared, I would dig out all of my books and notes again, and I would think about the new adventures I would have and the new things I would learn. 

Having taken a really true and positive break from school really helped me feel like I could handle whatever came my way.  I felt excited to tackle new challenges and assignments.  A positive outlook after coming back from break not only improved my attitude, but it also really helped my grades.

For those people that have a hard time letting go and enjoying break, try to remember that each semester you get to start new again, and you can’t change what has already happened.  We can only move forward and enjoying the breaks we get and using them wisely can really help us do that.

Enjoy the time that you have off wholeheartedly so that you can truly feel excited and ready to continue studying and discovering your passion. 

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