Enjoy time off, but remember to be safe

Well, we’re almost there. Finals are approaching, and in a little more than a week we will be free from homework, tests, quizzes and presentations — for a little while at least.

As that frigid, wintery mix rages through Campustown it’s easy to get lost in thoughts about winter break. Whether you’re going home or on an exotic vacation, ideas about what you’ll do with all that free time may be creeping into your mind right about now.

While you are away on break, kick back and enjoy yourself a little bit. Reconnect with old friends and make time for family during those four weeks off.

While you are celebrating a month without academic responsibilities, don’t forget to take a minute and remember what you are thankful for. Be grateful for the freedoms you have been afforded. Thank those people who affected you during the last year. There is so much to be appreciative of, especially during a time of economic uncertainty.

While you are away enjoying your break, remember to stay safe. Watch out for yourself as you travel home, whether you are going down the road or taking a plane across an ocean. While the holidays are a time to celebrate, they are also a time to value your safety. The death of Yingbo Zhou, a graduate student who died in a hit-and-run accident during Thanksgiving Break, should be a reminder that we are not invincible. Keep your eyes and ears open, wherever you may be. And, while you are away, be sure to check DailyIllini.com for updates on our University. Have a safe, relaxing winter break, and we’ll see you in 2010.