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Four Years at the Mount

Sophomore Year

Time Most Needed

Samantha Strub

(Nov, 2010) Itís ironic that, while all the students couldnít wait to get back to Mount St. Maryís after three months of summer vacation, as soon as October hits every student is itching to get back home. At the end of the summer everyone was sick of working their dead-end jobs and having to deal with their parentsí rules. They wanted to be the independent people they can be while at college. Now, after being back at school, every student just wants to go home to eat some home-cooked food, sleep, and spend time with their parents and friendsóto get away from the stress and lack of sleep that they have had for the past few weeks.

You would think that, after only a few months, all the college kids would be fine, still eager to hit the books and hang out with friends that have become like family. This is so not the case. Every student is more than ready to set college on hold and relax at home. No one understands that, by October, right after midterms are over, our brains are toast. Itís like a subconscious part of our minds shuts down. As soon as that time rolls around, every college student needs a mini vacation in order to be ready to study again.

Contrary to popular belief, any field in college is difficult and the stress is endless. Sure there is a lot of fun in college, and adults tell me that I should enjoy the fun while it lasts because itís the only part of life that produces such good memories along side of hard work. There are good times later on, but in college youíll really start making memories that will last a lifetime. Once college is over, you are thrown out into the real world and are just told to live with it. That is where a lot of the stress comes from in college, knowing that you have to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life, which is very scary, on top of the overarching stress of attending classes, writing papers, and taking tests.

We were drowning in homework even before we set foot in the classrooms. I had a few professors who assigned homework before the first day; that suggests Iím going to have a wonderful semester in that class! Every college student has a lot of homework, especially right before break. I had a midterm, paper, or both due in every class. Needless to say, I was mentally exhausted after that week; every midterm took more and more out of me until my brain was fried.

That is why college students need a fall break. Most colleges donít give students a full week off, but having it is wonderful and makes students ready to get back to work when they do return. Going home clears up all the stress in your life and lets you relax. Itís like a vacation or personal day for those in the working world. You need the week to take time to enjoy the little things in life, like eating home-cooked food and spending time with friends and family. Everyone does different things to relax so everyone has different things that they do over fall break. For some people itís going out of the country, or taking a road trip discovering places out East, while others are spending time with best friends back home or just working. I was able to enjoy family time by helping my mother out with my younger siblings after spending a day of mother-daughter bonding by shopping and having lunch. The most relaxing and refreshing moment over fall break occurred when I was able to visit and ride my horse, Sona, that I was forced to sell due to serve arthritis this past July. This simple moment with my horse helped put things in perspective, proving that itís the little things in life that mean the most. I donít know if all the students at Mount St. Maryís had a similar experience during break that helped put life in perspectiveóa little reminder that everything is going to be okay and life isnít as bad as you may think it is. If they did, then they fulfilled the purpose for fall break, a simple breather from the constant run of going to classes, working, practicing, attending meetings, and doing homework to enjoy the things in life that mean the most.

As much as people think that we are crazy to have a ten-day break and that we are just being lazy college students, in reality the professors need the break as much as we do. They have so many papers and tests to grade and lessons to plan that they enjoy the time with their families as well. Thatís evident when we come back to school and not a single professor has anything graded. When the professors save the grading until after classes are back in session, it proves that they needed the breather as much as we did.

That said, I so wish professors would go a little easier on the homework over breakónot that my saying anything means that it is going to change, though it would be wonderful if it would. We still have piles of homework to do over break, but no one does anything until the day before classes start up again because everyone is taking the mental-health week seriously. That is the life of a college student; when we get back to campus we still have to do all the homework that was assigned over break. Not having any would make the break that much more enjoyable.

At least sleep deprivation was over when cars filed back into the Mount, filled with college students who were refreshed from the pre-break stress of papers, midterms, and homework. They were as ready as ever to get back to the grind again. Sure the stress of life is still there as we return to our studies but the benefit that we gain at college is that we have friends to turn to. You turn to your friends at home as well but the benefit with college is that they are just a few feet away or across the hall! They are there to make sure that you are never bored, help you with your classes, provide moral support, wake up in the morning and listen to your problems. Having your friends close by for the support and good times is what makes those irreplaceable college memories. With that support, your family at home, and a few breaks in the school year you will undoubtedly succeed!

Read past editions of Samantha Strub's Four Years at the Mount