(Editor’s note: This post was updated on June 9, 2014.)
The first week of break at home is fantastic: There’s home-cooked food, lots of space, and showers that are clean enough to not warrant flip-flops.
By week two, the walls have most likely started to close in, and you may or may not be resisting the urge to write “Redrum” over everything.
Look, we’ve all been there before. Spending a college break at home is fun for a few days before the boredom sets in. Then, you begin to wonder how you could’ve ever gotten sick of your exciting collegiate life—and suddenly you can’t wait to get back to school. A voice in the back of your head may ask the unthinkable: “What if this is what real life is like?” It can’t be like this, right? Right?!
Anyway, weeks of time off at home can easily become one-way tickets to the nearest asylum. Here’s some advice for keeping the padded walls away.
1. Be Productive
I’ve definitely mentioned this before, but turning break time into self-improvement time is probably your best bet for finding something to occupy yourself.
Extra pounds suddenly show up on the scale? Hit the treadmill hard. Lagging behind on one of your classes at school? Do some supplementary reading. Can’t think of a way to articulate a point other than in the standard “pose-a-hypothetical-question-and-then-answer-it” style? Pick up a book and learn from an expert (or a different one, if Joan doesn’t do it for you).
Sure, it won’t be as fun as sitting on the couch and watching Game of Thrones, but hey, at least you’ll get something out of it. Good college students know to save their unproductiveness for the academic year, when we actually have stuff to do. It’s just the way things work.
2. Be Social
Human interaction with people other than your immediate family is a great way to preserve your mental state. The comforts of home can easily turn any social butterfly into a temporary agoraphobic for a week.
But I guarantee you’ll enjoy break a whole lot more if you get a chance to see some friends from high school or friends you otherwise don’t get the chance to see when you’re at school. Chances are, they’ll be on break at around the same time as you, so you can hang out and catch up on each other’s interesting lives.
If you’re not a big fan of your high school “friends,” don’t worry—that’s still not an excuse to never leave the house! Did you have a favorite teacher from high school? Somebody in your town that you at least remotely liked? Whoever they were, find them and spend some time together. You’ll feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
3. Be Nostalgic
I find that the best part about spending some time at home is getting to do/experience the things you missed most at school. Anything from eating at your favorite restaurant to spending some time at your old hangout spot can dredge up some pretty sweet memories.
Maybe I’m just getting more and more sappy as I get older, but I think it’s really cool to peruse the old stomping grounds once in a while. It really puts into perspective how far you’ve come—and how much you’ve changed since then.
Guess home isn’t always that boring after all.
What do you do at home during school breaks? Let us know in the comments to help keep Mike sane.