The Daily Northwestern

Patel: Make a decision about Thanksgiving break

Meera Patel, Columnist

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It’s the time of year that we all look forward to:  finals season!

Okay, maybe that wasn’t exactly what you had in mind, what with Turkey Day coming up and all. Yes, we do have two breaks coming up soon — with Thanksgiving being the closest — and we can’t wait to take a respite from classes and relax.

We all know we’re going to have a ton of work to do over Thanksgiving. Because let’s face it: When we have a break coming up, we tend to push assignments off, thinking, “I have an entire five days of sitting around and not going to class to do all these — why do them now?”

We couldn’t be more wrong.

When you go home, you have a long list of things you want to get done:

  • Laundry.
  • Bringing back to school your winter coat that you somehow didn’t think you’d need before January (come on guys, we live by Lake Michigan).
  • Buy all those things you think you need in your dorm room, like extension cords or a new Adam Levine poster.
  • Bring all the junk in your closet that you don’t actually need home.
  • Put your sibling’s stuff that you “accidentally” took to college back before they notice it’s been gone for a quarter.
  • Do ALL your homework from the past quarter that you’ve been putting off.
  • Study for all your finals.
  • Figure out what you want to do with your life.
  • Somehow earn enough at your retail job back home in five days to make up for all the deep dish pizza and wings you ordered at 2 a.m. every night during the past quarter.
  • Eat healthily enough to make up for your abysmal college dining habits.

Here’s what actually happens:

  • Your parents make you take out the garbage and do the dishes.
  • You don’t do your laundry. If you do, it’s at 2 a.m. the night before you’re coming back to campus.
  • You forget your winter coat.
  • You forget to take the junk in your closet home.
  • You bring back a giant suitcase filled with more junk you “need.”
  • Your parents ask you a gazillion questions about your major and what you want to do it, leaving you a thousand times more confused than before.
  • Your friends from high school are never around while you are, so instead of being productive you watch Netflix.
  • You binge-watch at least one TV show. As in, you finish two seasons in three days.
  • You eat as much junk food as physically possible because you forgot that your favorite snacks from high school still exist.
  • You eat enough turkey that you’re in a state of hibernation for almost all of break.
  • You vaguely remember you have finals, yet don’t do anything about it.

See, although you think you’re going to do all your homework, are you actually going to do it when your Xbox360 is finally back within your reach? When the prospect of seeing your family, who you haven’t seen for the past few months, is right there next to you? With your best friends from high school down the street, begging you to go shopping or skateboarding with them?

No. You’re going to take advantage of those few precious days you have back in your hometown reliving your high school days, but all the while have that nagging feeling of guilt following you wherever you go.

What are some easy solutions to this?

Instead of doing your laundry, donate all your clothes. This way, you’re forced to go shopping! And you have an excuse for being broke — it’s for charity! Or you could not book a flight back and skip all your finals! In fact, just take an early break and don’t bother coming back to campus. Be sure to email your professors explaining that you didn’t think it was worth it for you to show up to their final – they’ll take it well.

OK, so these aren’t actual ways to get around the problem. While getting rid of all your clothes is laughable, at least it would resolve the indecision of whether to buckle down and be responsible, or to forget about laundry and have fun. What we can do, however, is make a decision as to what we want our break to be.

That may mean getting enough work done in the week leading up to Thanksgiving so that you can relax and have fun once you actually leave campus. It could mean putting everything off until break and actually completing your to-do list while you’re at home. Or it could mean taking it easy both before and during break and making the choice to fail your classes.

Either way, make a decision and stick with it, rather than endlessly debating between whether to do work or not. That is how you can make sure your break is what you want it to be.

Meera Patel is a McCormick junior. She can be reached at meera@u.northwestern.edu. If you want to respond publicly to this column, send a Letter to the Editor to opinion@dailynorthwestern.com.

Comments

About the Writer