Spring Break: Break or Not

by Molly Robinson

Depending on your major, Spring Break can mean leisure and relaxation or simply catching up on course work and studying.

For a student in a science or math class, such as physiology or calculus, chances are that you have an exam the week following break. Many may plan on pulling a bunch of all nighters to make up for lost ground. But for those of us who except that all-nighters are more detrimental than not to our bodies and grades, then at least half of break will be filled with course work that, unavoidably, needs to get done before returning to school.

On the other hand, there are those students who will not be returning to a difficult course load when returning from break who eagerly await kicking their feet back at the beach or a cruise and not even dreaming of exams in the future.

Although Spring Break is well needed for everyone, there is, undoubtedly, two completely different spectrums of break usage- to get academic bearing back- together or to have fun and unwind.

 

Take a Mental Health Day

by Elizabeth Short

A couple of weeks ago I took a day off; I did not do homework, send emails, or think about anything happening the upcoming week. It was perfect and just what I needed after a hectic and sleepless two weeks.  The next morning I woke up feeling great and ready to take on another busy week.

As college students, we need to plan to take mental health days more often. As I walk to work, through Warren, I see many stressed out students rushing through the halls to get things done. Most of our schedules probably don’t allow for days off, but according to the Associated Content article, “Benefits of Taking a Mental Health Day,” having a day off will decrease stress, increase productivity, and provide life balance, three things that college students strive for.

Therefore, make it a goal to take at least one mental health day a month. During your day off take the time to relax, catch up on TV shows, and hangout with friends. I guarantee you will feel refreshed the following day/week!

Freshman Claustrophobia

by Molly Robinson

Sometimes living in a dorm can be fun- you might room with a friend and have some fun people to hang out with across the hall. All you need to do if you want some one to get a bight to eat with is just knock on a few doors and chances are that someone else is hungry too.

But there’s a different side of dorm life. There’s undeniable fact that the person next door to you knows more than you would like them to know about your life just because of close living quarters, word of mouth, and hallway gossip. There’s also the possibility that you’ll be stuck around people you wouldn’t have chosen to be around in your wildest dreams. Initially, there’s also this assumption that you should hang out with the people you live around because, as a freshman, you’re ignorant to the fact that, while proximity is convenient, it does not encompass the quality of other people that exist beyond your hallway in such a large undergraduate population.

Living in a dorm is one thing, but not having a car in another. Some days feeling absolutely suffocated is not out of the question- on a freezing cold Friday night there is a very little list of things to do if you don’t want to brave the weather to walk across campus to some free event. Whereas, if you had your car, you could spend the evening at a coffee shop in down-town Harrisonburg or scope out a new movie at Regal. A few days of weather in the late 60s, peaking at 70s is a nice break from the indoors of classrooms and dorm rooms for those who live on campus without cars. A walk on the quad in shorts is a blissful tease of spring, knowing that temperatures are sure to plummet again sometimes soon. The reality is although, on-campus life without a car can sometimes seem limiting, it definitely will be even more rewarding when the upperclassmen years of having your own room and possibly a car to use finally come.

The Big Event

by Elizabeth Short

On Monday, The Breeze printed a front-page article, “On-Campus Block Party?” I just got around to reading the article and at first glance I thought, ‘there is no way that an event like this will be successful at JMU.’ However, as I was reading the article I had a change of thought.  This event has a strong potential of being successful at JMU and it might help to improve our relationship with the Harrisonburg community.

The Big Event is tentatively planned for April 9. (Correction: It’s definitely planned for April 9!) The idea behind the event is that students would go to local neighborhoods and help with home improvement or different neighborhood projects. After the event, the students can possibly look forward to an alternative-Springfest celebration with live music.

I didn’t attend Springfest last year and would never attend one in the future. I know there are many other students at JMU who would say the same thing. The Big Event, as described in The Breeze article, will provide students who do not party a chance to celebrate the beginning of spring and relax with friends. I am now looking forward to The Big Event on April 9!

Anti-Valentine’s Day

by Mike Bock

I, along with what seems like 3% of the JMU student population, will be spending this Valentine’s Day single and alone. It’s easy to see why this day sucks if you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend, but I’m here to tell you readers that being single isn’t the worst thing in the world. So put down that half-pint of Chubby Hubby and read a few of the reasons why spending Valentine’s Day alone is awesome:

  1. No fighting about what movie you want to watch. Guys, you won’t have to sit through The Notebook again, and girls, if 300 isn’t your thing, today is your lucky day.
  2. Slackers, take note- you don’t need to worry about not having a reservation for a restaurant.
  3. Since nobody’s buying you chocolate or candy, you don’t have to burn it off at the gym tomorrow. Sorry, Stairmaster, looks like you’ll be spending Valentine’s Day alone, too.
  4. You could get a lot of homework done. Actually, this isn’t really a benefit.

Valentine’s Day- the hype, happiness, the hydrangeas, and the heavy expectations on one day of celebration

by Molly Robinson

The end of January can be compared to the end of the November, but instead of the green and red bombarding every surface imaginable, red, pink, and white invade from frosting on the cookies and cupcakes in the grocery store to the heart decorations on the windows.

It seems to me like every American holiday gets commercialized. The focus of the holiday shifts from why it exists and the reasoning behind celebrating to material goods and a lot space-filler junk- paper decorations, gifts without meaning, and excess food just because it’s a holiday, of course. So how did a story about Emperor Claudius II outlawing marriage in order to promote soldiers and the military, and, then, ordering the death of a priest named Valentine who went against the law to marry couples in love go to “Here, toots, here’s your box of chocolate?” Over time, our society has made Valentine’s day a routine, flavor of the month.

But, when push comes to shove, what the public makes of Valentine’s Day doesn’t really matter. Everyone knows Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, and everyone does celebrate it. The people who celebrate “Anti-Valentine’s Day” parties celebrate the company of friends who all happen to dislike the open expression of love.  Some spend it with their families and celebrate a different kind of company. Others will spend it on the couch alone watching their favorite movie with ice cream, celebrating what makes them happy. Others will spend it with a significant other, celebrating what they have together. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be cliché, it can be an expression the people or things that make for the good in life, and the word love definitely falls under that category because we all couldn’t live without it.

Undergrad- Make or Break

by Molly Robinson

There are so many varying opinions about what undergrad means for the individual. Some say it means nothing and that it’s just a time in your life to have fun and get blanket degree. Others insist that it is the gateway to success in life in that how well one does academically leads to what programs, jobs, graduate, and medical schools they get into. Still, another way undergrad is presented is that it is an outlet for personal growth suggesting that dorm life, classes that allow for personal time management, and the ability to choose how spend free time independently allow for discovery of self meaning.

Whatever the varying opinions, it is pretty apparent that the undergrad experience isn’t one way or the other- it’s simply what you make it. One could spend their entire college life outside of class in their room and not take in any significant meaning apart from what they have already experienced. Or, instead, they could be involved in every student organization possible: meeting people, gaining connections, and being completely consumed in the atmosphere. Still, there is always the avenue of getting by classes, and simply finding an amazing group of friends that are unique to you compared the drones of students. There is no winner in theses scenarios because undergrad is four years of one’s life (in most cases) and it’s a matter of choice in labeling it a phase, chuck of time, defining moment, or critical period.  Maybe it’s only our futures that will tell whether undergrad will or will not be the end-all-be-all.

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