I’m sure that many fellow Obies can relate when I say that fall break came around at the perfect time.
Things were feeling a little extra hectic around here lately because of midterms and everything else that occurs during the fall semester. Midterms are... well, they’re midterms. People are usually stressed out around this time, and it’s for legitimate reasons. Midterms can be a really difficult thing for people to overcome, especially if there are more than one for them to deal with.
Personally, I think fall break is the reason for the season. If everyone didn’t receive a break that lasts for a week, then midterms wouldn’t feel as “in the way” as they do. I’m sure that the work that is required from these midterms also has some influence from fall break being right around the corner. I understand the method behind it. It’s just one of those things that students complain about but they have to endure anyway. That’s just how life is as a college student. Part of being a college student is having to finish a ton of midterms within a small period of time. They act as a barrier to the source of happiness that is fall break, and while it might seem like the end of the world at times, fall break makes all of it (almost) worth the stress and effort.
Just imagine having an entire week without classes. Think about all the time that is available in one week. People have the opportunity to go back home during fall break, and that alone is enough motivation for professors to get those midterms out of the way.
This is a year full of “lasts,” and I thoroughly enjoyed my last fall break here at Oberlin.
Since I play football, I had to stay on campus for fall break. There was a game that Saturday, which means that the team had to remain on campus in order to practice. There may be a little time over the weekend to travel, but you can do that during any other weekend at Oberlin. Fall break presents most students with the opportunity to go back home, but us? We had to stay on a campus that was missing the majority of its students and staff. Did I want to go home? Absolutely! However, I’m obligated to my team. I couldn’t just leave out on them, especially during my senior year. That’s just unacceptable.
So, we had our usual “football stuff” for the week. This consists of practices, lifts, walkthroughs, meetings, and more. Luckily, there were no classes to make the schedule as hectic as it normally is. That automatically made the week less stressful. Along with this, there wasn’t (as much) work for us to do this week. Unfortunately, many professors schedule important readings and assignments during fall break, so it’s not a complete break from everything. In my case, I actually had a midterm to complete during fall break. Luckily, it was a take home exam, so it wasn’t too bad. However, it was a slight inconvenience to the “chill mode” I wanted to put myself on throughout the break.
Oberlin definitely feels more like a ghost town when most of the people here are gone, and it’s nice in some ways.
It’s weird when you go to a location that is usually really crowded like Mudd Library or Stevie and notice that there aren’t a lot of people there. It’s also nice, because there’s this peaceful aspect to a less crowded environment that is more enjoyable than I initially thought when I first experienced fall break. When I was a freshman, I immediately assumed that fall break would be this really boring time because nobody was on campus.
While there is some partial truth to that statement, there’s also a sense of enjoyment that I receive from not being around Obies nonstop. That doesn’t mean that I dislike being around them. I love my school and the people who make Oberlin the way it is, but sometimes it’s just nice to experience a break from them. It gives me time to focus on myself and even my teammates.
As a senior, I find myself observing more about this school than ever before.
It’s my last opportunity to experience fall break here, so I really got to sit back and appreciate the little things that Oberlin has to offer. For instance, I got to actually take a breath and observe the beautiful fall colors that surround me. When I would walk around campus, I’d notice the townspeople and spark conversations with them a lot more than I usually would. I just focused on being more attentive to my environment here, because I won’t be here next year to embrace it. I might as well appreciate everything while it’s right in front of me, right?
I really took the time to be around my teammates and bond with them during this fall break.
With this being my last year of playing football, I want to make as many memories as I possibly can. Fall break was the perfect opportunity for me to do just that. There weren’t any classes for the entire week, so I would often spend that time with my fellow teammates. It could be the simplest activity and I would do it, as long as I was around at least one of my teammates. I could be sitting in a room with a few of my teammates and we could just sit there and talk for hours at a time if time permitted that. It’s so easy for me to bond with my teammates because I spend so much time with them already.
Football is a huge time commitment, and my teammates are heavily engaged with that commitment as well. This means that when I’m at a meeting, they’re right there at that meeting with me. After all, they are my second family. This team is the reason why I even decided to come to Oberlin in the first place.
My greatest takeaway from my last fall break is to cherish this place as much as you can while you’re in the moment.
Fall break gave me some time to reflect on my experience at Oberlin College, and I can honestly say that I’m going to miss a lot of it. I also noticed how much you can really do when you have more time on your hands. A week is a very long time, and while it may seem like it flies by quickly, it can really be utilized more than I realized before the break. Taking advantage of the time you have available to you is one of the most important aspects of college. Time management is involved with nearly everything you do in school, from the time you wake up to your alarm clock in the morning to the time when you end up sleeping in your homework. Take the time to appreciate Oberlin and everything that makes it what it is. Your perspective on everything just might change!
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February 16, 2021