The polar vortex has struck again! Monday was cancelled, and today we had a two-hour delay, which on Tuesdays is really a three-hour delay because the 9:20 a.m. hour is club hour (no classes). This would have been the fourth cancellation we’ve had in one trimester. I’m not 100%, but I’d have to say this is a record. (Note to those in year-round warm-weather states: Winters in Iowa may be cold, but these extreme cold temps are not normal.)
At first it was awesome having surprise days off. Now it’s causing more trouble than good. We’re about three weeks from finals, and we’re four days behind in most classes. We’re really having to speed things along in every class so we are prepared going into finals. I’ve heard a lot of people saying they’re worried we aren’t going to get through the necessary material in time. So as awesome as having a surprise day off may seem, it will come back to get you in the end.
Playing catch up in seven or more classes isn’t the most pleasant experience, but we always seem to get through it. Then we get a nice break to relax and do something fun. Which is exactly what I recommend–spend your breaks doing something fun. Travel, go on mini vacations, go on real vacations, relax, take time for yourself, visit family. Do whatever you can to get away for a little bit. If you don’t take time for yourself while you’re here and get away, you may possibly drive yourself mad.
A few things I have done on breaks to ground myself are going to Des Moines (we went to the amusement park Adventureland), took the train to Chicago for a weekend, visited my cousin in Ames, and took a weekend trip to St. Louis (all these places are between three and four hours away from campus). During the upcoming break, to celebrate having made it half-way through the program, I am treating myself to a trip to Las Vegas.
There are a lot of cool places to go that are just a few hours away from the Quad Cities to re-group after spending all your time focused on school. I find it very important to take time for yourself so you don’t get burnt out. This is a very demanding program, and some days you’ll just need a break. That way when you come back your refreshed and ready to jump back in and get back to learning. Whether you believe it or not, the first time I went on summer break, which is our longest break (about three weeks or so), by the end of the break I was ready to get back into my routine and just get back here and start learning again. There will be days you have no idea why you’re here, then you will leave for a little bit, and you’ll miss it. You’ll be ready to get back at it, because all along you’ll know this is where you really want to be.