Four Must-Dos of Fall Break at Smith

Photo by Michelle S. Lee '16

Photo by Michelle S. Lee ’16


Natasha Shah ’15J
Contributing Writer

It’s that time of year again: the trees are starting to change color, crunchy leaves coat the streets, the CC is serving pumpkin spice lattes and fall break is just around the corner. After Mountain Day, fall break is the most anticipated break of the semester. Mountain Day makes waiting for fall break even more difficult because it’s a short and sweet sample of the endless possibilities that four days off can hold. In a semester with no extended breaks, it’s important to make the most of what little time we have off.

I’ve spent one fall break at home and one on campus, and I think having both experiences is important to get the most out of fall break. For my first fall break, I went home to Connecticut and spent most of my time catching up on homework. While it was great getting to sleep in late and have home-cooked food, I regret not using the time to relax. For anyone who plans on using fall break to catch up on their work, I would recommend dividing your time so that you spend at least half doing things you enjoy.

When I returned to Smith after my fall break and listened to my friends describe all the cool things they did, I felt like I had missed out on a chance to have fun.  While my work was done, I had no fun memories to speak of or fondly look back on and was determined to do things differently my sophomore year.

That year, for starters, I spent two days at home and two at Smith. Dividing the time between places made the break seem even longer. While I know it’s not a possibility for everyone, I would recommend going to different places over break if you get the chance. It’s a way to make the most of your time. I also made sure to plan my time at home in advance. That way I was able to see my friends, go out to eat and get some work done. When you have a short break, it’s important to budget your time for what’s more important to you. Planning ahead is another great way to make the most of your fall break.

This brings me to the time I spent at Smith last fall break. Coming back to Smith for part of fall break was one of the best decisions I’ve made. If any of you are planning on spending fall break at Smith, there are a few things I would definitely recommend you do.

First, take a walk on campus. On our daily walks to class we often forget to look around and realize how beautiful our campus truly is. Sit by Paradise Pond and take in all that beauty. Look to see how the colored leaves on the trees reflect in the water or see how many different shades of red and orange you can spot. Walking on campus has a whole other vibe when you’re not rushing to get to class.

Second, watch a movie, play a board game or just sit and talk with your friends. Take this opportunity to spend some quality time with your housemates whom you might neglect otherwise because your busy schedule or commitments. Fall break is a well-deserved free time for everyone to have without feeling guilty about neglecting their work.

Third, take advantage of the fact that it’s fall and do something that you can only do during this beautiful and unique season. Whether you get a pumpkin spice latte, go apple-picking or make a pumpkin pie, do something distinctly fall-ish. In a few months, Halloween will have passed, the trees will be barren and there will most likely be snow on the ground. Make the most of fall before then.

Finally, make sure you do something for yourself. Four days will inevitably fly by and we will all return to our busy routines. Use fall break to read that book you’re been too busy to get to, go on a run or take a long bath. While it’s easy to become stuck on the fact that fall break is only four days long, focus on all that you can do during this time and use it as a way to recharge before classes start again.

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