How students plan to spend winter break


Will Simmons, Campus Reporter

Winter break is right around the corner, and for a lot of students it can not come soon enough. Some on break will be celebrating the semester’s end, and some will be crying over their scholastic misfortunes. Some will open presents and participate in family traditions, while others will enjoy the time alone to unwind without the burden of schoolwork, but the majority of students will be heading somewhere other than campus.

Students like Alex Brandenburger, a exercise science and kinesiology major, won’t have to travel very far. His family home is in Effingham, Ill., where his main focus will be hanging with family over break.

“I’m a big family man, and just gonna relax and hang out with my friends who come to the town and maybe play some sports,” Brandenburger said.

Lekhana Dhulipudi, a computer technology major from India, is going to see family as well, although, she has a much longer trip than Brandenburger.

“Twenty-three (hours) to be precise,” Dhulipudi said, with a 3-hour layover in Abu Dhabi to boot.

Dhulipudi’s friend Nishma Talam, who is also a computer technology major from the same city in India, said that Dhulipudi should be a little concerned about the new COVID-19 variant since she will be spending almost a day confined in an airplane.

Talam, on the other hand, will not be traveling home to India.

“I am planning to visit California with my cousins,” Talam said.

Of course, winter break for many means gathering around the tree to participate in the gift-receiving event known as Christmas.

Although, according to Evita Schaefer, a business major, just because you are from this magical land does not mean you are obligated to send a tree to its death so that you can indulge in Christmas frivolities.

“We don’t have a Christmas tree because my mom always felt sorry for the trees, so that’s a tradition we don’t have,” said Schaefer, who is a business major from Germany.

Your average Christmas caroler might think Christmas in Germany is surely a magical experience, but to Shaefer’s friend and compatriot Marie Walk, a history major, this is not necessarily the case.

“We celebrate Christmas, I think it’s pretty similar to American Christmas,” Walk said.

However, there is a discernible difference with the food around Christmas, specifically the cookies.

“In America they are more like sugar cookies, and (Germany) has more like gingerbread types that aren’t as sweet,” Walk said.

Walk isn’t the only person thinking of the food over winter break.

Victoria Jackson, a senior with a major in social work along with two minors, is from Chicago where she plans on eating food prepared by her mom and grandma.

“We do a big soul food dinner most of the time, if not my mom makes my favorite Mostaccioli and my grandma usually makes sweet potato pie,” Jackson said.

Jackson will not head back to campus empty handed, either. Not only does her grandma bake her a pie for Christmas, but she bakes another for Jackson’s return to campus.

On top of that, she is treated to a tradition her mom started that involves sending Jackson back to school with “a bunch of food.”

Trees, food and fun are common themes for many students during break, but if there is one thing all students agree with, it is needing a little rest and relaxation after an abnormal semester.

“I was really exhausted this semester, this semester really wore me out, so I really plan on catching up on sleep,” Jackson said.

Will Simmons can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].