Point: Stop and smell the turkey

By Paul Cruse III

You have finished that excruciatingly long research paper; you stayed up for countless hours, motivated by caffeine and your fear of failing, studying for that midterm, and now you have reached the light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a break, a Thanksgiving break to be exact. Whereas many other schools only get a few days off for Thanksgiving, the University of Illinois calendar gods have deemed us fit for a whole week of relaxation and consumption of homemade cooking. The last thing you want to do is offend the gods by attempting to do more school work while at home.

For most students, you haven’t seen your loved ones since they helped you move into your apartment or residence hall at the beginning of the school year. Your only contact with them has been through instant messaging, Facebook and phone conversations. Now for the first time in three months you will get a little face time; don’t spoil it by putting a text book in between you and them. Extended family members are making special trips to get a rare glimpse of their favorite college student. Your grandma didn’t traverse the dreaded expressway to watch you calculate interest values. Your high school sweetheart has been counting down the days until he or she could see you. Don’t bore them by making them listen to you recite all the different verb tenses of the Spanish language. Every second spent with your family and friends during the next week should be cherished.

Now is the time to devote every moment to the ones you care about. Spend some quality time with each of your family members. Try leaning some new cooking recipes from your mom, watch a football game with your dad, listen to your granddad’s old war stories, or beat up your little brother just to remind him who’s boss, but whatever you do, don’t stress about school. You’ll have three weeks to worry about and study for finals.

For those of you who don’t like your family, there is a plethora of others things you can do during this week of leisure. Catch up on your favorite television programs, rent those movies you never got to see, play those video games you have been anticipating all summer or just unwind. There are plenty of other things that were important to you before the school year began. There was a blissful time when the negative effects of globalization, or the molecular structure of DNA meant very little to you.

This upcoming break is well-deserved. You put in the hours of studying, you’ve been to most of your classes (OK, some of your classes), you volunteered for that service project with your RSO, and now it’s time to relax. Next week will feature some of the best food you have eaten in months, and some of the most memorable moments of your life. And the University calendar gods said, “Let there be a weeklong break of no school work, a time to become reacquainted with your loved ones and eat nonmicrowaved meals; and all was good.”

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