With just around a month and a half left in the semester, spring break could not have come at a better time. Just as many of us had lost the will to do anything from assignments to basic adult things, spring break swooped down and saved us all from the slow death of becoming 100 percent burnt out. For us graduate journalism students, it seems we haven’t been able to catch up from the three-week boot camp that started our program in August last year. Even coming off of winter break, this semester has been knock-down-drag-out from the beginning.
By the midpoint of the semester, there was story after story due, interview after rewrite after assignment due. Anxiety, irritability, and exhaustion were all jockeying for shared custody of my brain. This is a semester where I piled it on a bit so that it’d be easier for me in the fall (and I’m absolutely paying for it) while psyching myself out with the cliche that it’ll all be worth it come May. And it will. But it has been and will be a fight for the next five-ish weeks.
I went from resigning myself to sleeping all of spring break to actively considering what would be the most relaxing, rejuvenating experience for me. What kind of affordable, exciting experience could I create for myself that would be self-care enough to jettison me to this semester’s finish line?
Is it family time?
Is it an adventure?
Is it catching up on all your shows?
Is it a combination of the three?
For me, it was. Thanks to Southwest’s Wanna Get Away fares (fire emoji for the two free checked bags as well), I had already bought my ticket to Denver. I used my status as the favorite child to get my parents on board with bringing me home to Texas for a few days after Denver.
I hiked Red Rocks Trail in Red Rocks Park near Denver and took in the cleanest air and most unforgettable views. I watched my dad and his dad friends play basketball against way younger dads (yes, it was a hard L). I drank beer with my mom and cracked jokes with my little brother. I ate crawfish with old friends and wrestled with my nephews. I got to visit my resident hall director/best friend and have a birthday dance party with her kiddos.
Journalism is a tough field to navigate right now. The program by nature requires us to be somewhat saturated with political and policy happenings, no matter how grim or nonsensical. You’re absolutely going to need a break if you’re going to be successful and if you’re going to last.
I challenge you to do a little planning. If getting out of the city is what you want to do, take advantage of low fares and Amtrak. Find a way to do some exploring, to breathe some different air, to create a refreshing experience for yourself.
Trust me– if you’ve made it halfway through your second semester here, you deserve it.