While most college students spent their spring breaks going on vacations, traveling to warm weather states and enjoying some much needed rest and relaxation, I spent my break saying goodbye to my closest family and friends.
Unlike most college students who get to go home at the end of the school year, I am staying in Missouri to declare residency and get in-state tuition. With work, summer school and only a few mandated days allowed out of Missouri, I don’t get much of a summer, which meant I had to cram an entire summer’s events into one week.
The first few nights of my spring break were spent with family. Luckily it was Easter and I got to see all my relatives one last time before Thanksgiving. Granted, I didn’t get to talk to all of them for as long as I wanted to, but I at least got to see everyone before leaving again.
Since many of my friends already had their spring breaks a few weeks ago, I had to wait until the weekend to see them. Even though we were only able to hang out for a few hours, getting to see them after three months away from each other was definitely worth it. We even talked about some plans for them to visit me during the summer.
Even though I got to catch up with my friends and family and started planning for the summer, my spring break became more of a time of self-reflection, than a break.
I spent a lot of my break reconsidering all my choices. Was staying the whole summer in Missouri the best option for me? Am I making the right choice for the summer or should I hold off a year? What am I going to do for eight months until I get to see my family and friends again? All these questions kept swarming my mind and I really had to consider my options.
The biggest sacrifice I knew I was making by not coming home was that I won’t be able to see my brother graduate in person or be there for his grad party. It’s not every day that your sibling gets to have a big milestone and I can’t be there for him. On top of missing out on the graduation celebrations, I’m also going to be missing my cousin’s wedding, the Fourth of July parties, a few family birthdays throughout the summer and early fall and getting to help move my brother into his dorm for the first time. All of these events are things that I was looking forward to and, now, I will no longer get to be a part of any of them.
There was also the fact that I’m going to be taking accelerated summer classes for the first time. Granted, I’ve taken summer school courses before, but never in college. Eight weeks for two, four-week classes doesn’t seem too difficult, but with class everyday for two hours and working thirty to forty hours a week, the stress and concern is already building. I was really worried and concerned with how I would manage both a full time summer job and classes, but thankfully my mom was there to reassure me. If anything, I’ve now accepted that this summer will teach me discipline more than anything when it comes to time management.
Luckily, my week away from school really helped get things set for the summer. With the encouragement from my friends and the support from my family, I was able to plan out my summer and rid myself of all the nerves that come with uncertainty. My spring break may have only been one week, but in that one week I was able to spin the cloud of uncertainty and sadness that I had about the summer and turn it into a week filled with celebration and positive planning. While I know that the few hours I got to spend with my friends and the few days I spent with my family won’t make up for everything I’ll be missing over the summer, I know that I can finish out my school year and embark on my summer adventures in Missouri with a little less stress and a lot more confidence.
Lead Image: Monica Roselli