Students share Winter Break plans following finals week

Purple and white colored lights decorate trees in front of the Presidents house on campus. (Archive photo by Evert Nelson | Collegian Media Group)

Winter Break is a time many people look forward to, especially since it’s around the holiday season. For many, this includes travel, family traditions, spending time with hometown friends and taking a break from the stress of school. The holiday season is a time to bring us all together in many ways.

For Anna Samuelson, senior in life sciences, the holidays are an important time when it comes to family and the traditions she looks forward to every year.

“Every year, my entire extended family comes to my grandma’s house to celebrate Christmas. There’s about 28 of us in one house for five days, so it gets pretty crazy,” Samuelson said. “We have special meals every night, play games and just enjoy each other’s company. On Christmas eve, we all open pajamas from my Grandma and wear them that night. The next morning, we wake up and run down the stairs to see what Santa brought in our stockings.”

Jess Nichols, senior in finance, also has traditions she has continued to love over the years.

“My favorite part about going home over Christmas break is seeing all of the Christmas decorations around town and in my neighborhood,” Nichols said. “A lot of houses on my street have crazy Christmas lights, and all of the stores decorate a lot for Christmas. The lead-up to Christmas is my favorite time of the year because of the atmosphere.”

The holidays are also a very busy time for traveling, whether that be spending the holidays on the beach or seeing family members we don’t usually get to see.

“This year, my family is going to a cabin in the mountains of Colorado for New Year’s with our family friends from Pittsburgh,” Nichols said. “I am excited because we haven’t seen these friends for a long time and because we are going to go skiing as well.”

Fun activities are also brought back to life over the colder winter months.

“After Christmas, I am spending a lot of my break in Colorado,” Samuelson said. “I am going to Snodaze, which is a skiing trip for college kids. This year we are going to Keystone, which I am really excited about, and after Snodaze, I am getting an Airbnb with a few friends, and we are going to stay and ski even more.”

Winter break is also the perfect time to see friends and family and catch up with one another.

“I’m excited to be home and hang out with my family for a while,” Nichols said. “My sister is also in college, so it’s not very often that everyone is home at the same time besides during the holidays.”

Mackenzie Moran, senior in human relations, expressed how excited she is to get back home and enjoy her last winter break.

“This is my last winter break, so it’s really bittersweet,” Moran said. “I remember freshman year I was so ready to come back to school and be back with all my friends in Manhattan, and now that I’m a senior, I’m going to be a little sad because this is my last time having a whole month at home to decompress before I get into the real world. I think it’s really important to take it all in and have fun at home while I can.”

The holiday break is a great time to start those New Year’s resolutions and to try new things you had never thought of trying before.

“I highly recommend anyone who hasn’t been skiing before to give it a try,” Samuelson said. “Give yourself three days to get the hang of it, maybe a quick ski lesson, and you might just fall in love. Snodaze is a great way for people who have never skied before to try it out because you can go with your buddies and make a trip out of it.”

Winter break can look very different for everyone. One thing to keep in mind is taking time for yourself this holiday season and enjoying time with those you love.

“This is a great time to catch up on things that you didn’t really get to do during the school semester,” Moran said. “This is a time to relax and take some time for yourself and also time to decompress and unwind. It’s super beneficial to spend time with your friends and family and to sometimes take time away from your phone and spend time with the people around you.”

With winter break coming up fast, make sure to care for yourself while studying for finals and make great memories with friends and family over the holiday season.