You wake up to the annoyingly persistent buzz-buzz-buzz of your alarm clock. The sun has just begun to creep up over the horizon, starting its day just as you are beginning yours. Your bed is so warm, so cozy. It is almost painful to force yourself up and out of bed. Yet, you know you must because there are essays to write, projects to do, and notes to study. It is another morning, another day, and you find yourself just counting down the hours, the minutes, the seconds until you can crawl back into bed and get some much-needed rest before taking on the next day.

Throughout the semester, we can all find ourselves feeling this way, like we are in a constant cycle of work and worry. As Honors Students, taking many challenging classes, getting involved in exciting research opportunities, and participating in time-consuming extracurriculars can begin to make life feel overwhelming at times. The work may keep piling up, but the desire to accomplish that work keeps finding a way to remain out of reach. And yet, while I have found myself in this position a time or two this semester, I have also found a way to break out of this dangerous cycle, and hopefully you can too.

Take a time-out from studying and go to a UD sporting event. 

A few weekends ago, I was in the midst of another round of midterms, spending hours reviewing my notes each night. So, when Homecoming weekend rolled around, I took this a chance to go outside, get some fresh air, and have fun with friends at the Homecoming football game. Being surrounded by all the other students in the student section made me forget for a bit about the work I had to do. I could focus on just the players on the field and watch as UD won another home game.

Put down the pencil and pick up a fork; get some food with friends. 

I had a full week of reading essays and holding conferences as a Writing Fellow, and I decided to treat myself. I hadn’t been back to UDairy creamery in over a year, so I knew we needed to make a trip down there. Also, I couldn’t pass up the pumpkin latte flavored ice cream. It was everything I had hoped for in a fall themed ice cream and everything I needed for taking a break from my work.

Get up from your desk and go on a daytrip off campus:

Recently, school found a way to get busy again as I began to work on essays and assignments for the end of the semester. My friends and I decided to put down the books and to make the trek over to Milburn Orchards—I guess I am sticking with the fall theme here. Anyway, it was a little too late in the season to go apple picking, but we still found a way to forget the assignments for a bit and enjoy the day walking around the market. We picked out a yellow and orange striped pumpkin that we ended up carving in our living room while watching Hocus Pocus.

Moments like these, away from the screens, computers, and textbooks, helped me catch my breath when the semester got to be too much. The motivation that I found slipping away was slowly coming back to me. I found ways to give my mind and body a break from school and to enjoy all that campus life has to offer. So, with finals coming up quickly, and the desire to just stay inside all day and study remaining strong, remember to take a moment to break the cycle of work and worry to take care of yourself and take a break.

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