Somehow way too long, but also far too short, winter break is about the best blessing there is. After a strenuous semester full of prelims and finals that crept up too quickly, finally there’s a blissful break and a chance to start fresh. There’s also the opportunity to escape the harsh Ithaca tundra –everyone is jealous of the kids that get to go home and go to the beach three times a week. But no matter how much relief it can offer, winter break has its cons, hard as you may try to forget they exist. These five stages sum up the highs and lows of the last several weeks.


5Stage 1: The Honeymoon Period

You’re home. You’re free. Somehow you walk into your house and your life magically falls back into place. The fridge is stocked full of fresh fruit and a home cooked meal is waiting for you on the stove. You can’t wait to see all your friends and spill everything that happened over the semester, go out to brunch like 60 times, and start filling your calendar with all the plans you know will never actually happen.


4Stage 2: Frustration

Seeing Mom was great, as was learning your sister had somehow managed to fill her closet without stealing any of your clothes. But by now, somebody’s getting on your nerves. The homemade dinners have stopped and nobody is excited by your presence anymore. With tensions stirring, you get the feeling that things are going to get real ugly, and fast.


3Stage 3: Panic

Before you know it your friends head back to their respective colleges, leaving you to confront the  internship deadlines that crept up on you too fast. You tried to stock up on a ton of supplies for school, but your coupons just expired. There’s a period of a few days where you’re ripping your hair out contemplating your every move, but it’ll pass.


2Stage 4: Relaxation

This usually settles in a little bit before you start gearing up to head back to school. Suddenly all your friends are gone and you can confidently and calmly sit on your couch all day until Netflix asks you if you’re still watching. You realize you haven’t actually done any of the things you promised yourself you’d accomplish over break except for starting The Bachelor, but you couldn’t be more proud.


1Stage 5: Back to Reality

With the first day of school just days away, you realize that you haven’t thought about add-drop, you haven’t even dared to think about your textbooks, and you don’t even know how you’re getting there. Time to put your game face on for the start of a new semester so that you can hopefully live up to your promise to yourself that your GPA will improve.

No matter how you spent your winter break, a new semester is upon us, which means everyday Netflix binges will be replaced by procrastination and mind-boggling problem sets. Let the fun begin!