How to relax: A type-A guide to the break

| Senior Scene Editor

Perhaps the most common affliction of the Washington University student is sleep deprivation. There can be complications of this condition such as impaired decision-making, poor memory, weeping and anhedonia. But a pre-med assured me she knows how to treat this illness: the only cure is Winter Break.

It is my sincere wish that each student at this university take an actual break. Please don’t work ahead in Orgo or spend your time doing LSAT prep. Because Wash. U. students know almost everything except how to relax, I have compiled a list of thoughts.

1. When you wake up, don’t get out of bed

Woah there tiger, this is where you make your commitment clear. Leaving bed before noon might alert your family that you’re willing or able to be productive that day. It is imperative that you make your exhaustion known so that others will not expect you to be chipper and run errands in the wee hours of the morning, like 9 a.m.

2. Have a spa day

This can really entail anything; mostly, having a spa day is about self-care. Maybe get in the Jacuzzi or the bathtub and listen to relaxing music. Maybe catch up on all the treatments you’ve let go through the course of the semester. Those dark circles aren’t going to fix themselves.

3. Read a book

Now, I know we do this all semester long, but treat yourself to the sheer beauty of reading for pleasure. When your text of choice isn’t a dense exploration of post-war philosophical notions, you’re more likely to actually enjoy your time.

4. Turn off your phone

This is the holiday that doesn’t require you to move a single inch. While I love Snapchat as much as the next person, the freedom from notifications can’t be overestimated.

5. Get out of town

This doesn’t require big bucks—you can even do a day trip. There is no better way to catch up with old friends than to hit the road, even if it’s as simple as taking a train into the city to check out an exhibit or just eat great food. When I’m home, for instance, I love to drive out to the country and go vintage shopping. Really, all you need is a change of pace with some good company.

6. Make gifts for your friends and family

The mall can be a frightening place. The soccer moms throwing elbows to get the it-gift for their kid. The toddlers throwing tantrums in the bathroom. It’s best avoided in my opinion. We’re college students, anyway, so there’s not much money to be spent on gifts. I like to just write letters to all my friends, for instance, and include inside jokes and many thanks for them putting up with me.

7. Have a film festival

This isn’t just one movie or even two. This kind of viewing party takes commitment. You need proper snacks (see: “Gilmore Girls”) and appropriate seating. Then you need to select an appropriate flight. All the “Godfather” films. A selection of “Bond” movies. The whole “Harry Potter” series.

While I cannot claim that this article is comprehensive, perhaps it will remind you to take some time for yourself. And until you get to finally sleep in peace, may the odds of finals be ever in your favor. Everyone knows an A in Orgo is the best holiday gift any of us could ask for.

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