I just walked into my friendly neighborhood Starbucks and found it uncharacteristically empty. This time last week it was jam packed with sleepy-eyed undergrads with their books sprawled all over tables, headphones in ear, latte in hand. That's usually how this place is on a Friday night when I come to join the masses in some quality study time.
It took a few minutes for me to register why the Starbucks is so quiet tonight. Today was the last day of school. Classes are out, everyone's gone home.
School ending for winter break is perhaps one of my favorite times of the year. The burden of final exams are behind you. You worked your tail off for a couple of weeks, and now it's over. The near-term horizon is full of nothing but good things. Time with family. Holiday fun. The opportunity to put on your pajamas and just sit around the house catching up on movies you haven't watched for ages. Or reading some non-school-related books. Cooking a real meal. The feeling of not having anything that you're obligated to do is just so wonderful.
I see two people sitting in the comfy chairs here at Starbucks, just talking slowly and leisurely about whatever they want. You don't see that as much when school is in. The ability to just 'catch up' with old friends is something you lose when you're head deep in studies.
Don't get me wrong. I love learning and I enjoy the school environment very much. But as I've gotten older, I've come to realize the importance of taking a break. Getting away from school for a while is so necessary. It reinvigorates. It makes you excited to go back. Everybody needs a time to recharge. In fact, I think it actually makes you a better student. Getting away from class gives your mind some time to reflect on what you've just learned. Interesting things happen with reflection.
Anyway, there really isn't any point to this post other than to say, enjoy your breaks undergrads. :) I'm getting one of the last 'winter breaks' that I'll ever get to enjoy. I'm taking advantage of this time to do things I normally don't do. Priscilla and I ran away to the mountains of North Carolina for a couple days. I'm sleeping past 9 am. I watched some movies and quite a few hours of food network. These are pretty regular things for most people, but with demands of med school and the clinical year, even the formerly-mundane has become exciting.
I'll be heading back up north to see my family in a few days. I'm looking forward to that. Likely I won't do very much of anything related to school. Just family, friends, food, and good things.