Digital Diaries Season 2 Episode 9: To jet set or bed rest over spring break

Erica Schmitt, Audio Editor



On Season 2, Episode 9 of Digital Diaries, Northwestern students discuss their spring break plans and how they prepare themselves for Spring Quarter.

ERICA SCHMITT: The waves are lapping against the shore,

[sounds of wave]

ERICA SCHMITT: Your feet are in the sand, and the salty air is surrounding you. In your hand is a piña colada —

[slurping a drink]

ERICA SCHMITT: — and there’s no emails, no Slack messages, no midterms. This is the ideal college spring break … or at least it is for some people.

ERICA SCHMITT: But sometimes, it’s hard to plan the dream vacation when you are burnt out from school. Most Northwestern students usually spend the 48 hours before Spring Break taking final exams, and the time before that studying for them.


ERICA SCHMITT: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Erica Schmitt. This is season two, episode nine of Digital Diaries, a weekly podcast following the college experience and asking students a question about life at Northwestern.


ERICA SCHMITT: This week, we talked to students about how they’re spending Spring Break.
Weinberg sophomore Danielle Adekogbe says she wishes Spring Break was longer. But, this quarter is one she said she will never plan to think about again.

DANIELLE ADEKOGBE: I’m going to hide it from my memory and pretend it didn’t happen, but I’m here, so I’m happy I made it through, but I would never do it again.

ERICA SCHMITT: How are you planning to recover during your break?

DANIELLE ADEKOGBE: Not thinking about school. If I hear the word Northwestern, get away from me. I’m going to go home and be with my family.

ERICA SCHMITT: Austell, Georgia to be exact.

DANIELLE ADEKOGBE: And then I’m going to travel to Houston, Texas for fun and not think about anything related to school until I’m there at my first class on Tuesday.

ERICA SCHMITT: Her advice is simple: Remove any and every thought about school from your brain over break.

DANIELLE ADEKOGBE: Anything you need to prepare for Spring Quarter, do it while you’re at school so that when you actually step away from campus, you can step away from campus completely. Your mind isn’t lingering on registering for classes or figuring out if everything is sorted out, like, get your housing, get your academics sorted out, so that when you go on break, you can spend time literally just doing nothing if that’s what you want to do.

[scribble noise]

ERICA SCHMITT: Weinberg senior Mia Castle only lives an hour away from campus — in Elgin, Illinois. Castle says that because she lives close to home, she gets to travel home often. But, she knows other students who don’t have that luxury.

MIA CASTLE: My old roommate, Dora, she’s from China, and one week isn’t enough time for a lot of people to travel home. So I think for them especially, it’s not enough time. Personally, I don’t have enough time to prepare because we have another quarter.

ERICA SCHMITT: Castle said that her past college spring breaks were spent in quarantine conditions. She was a freshman during Northwestern’s fully remote learning.

MIA CASTLE: It didn’t feel like a break, honestly. I felt like I was doing the same thing day after day, just not having to log onto a Zoom. I still spent the whole day in my house. I still spent all that time sitting, watching Netflix, FaceTiming people as much as I could, just without the stress of having assignments.

ERICA SCHMITT: But Castle’s plans this year are filled with a little less rest and a little more partying — it’s her 21st birthday on March 24.

MIA CASTLE: I do have plans to go to TAO. It’s this nightclub/restaurant in Chicago. I might also just go to this place I discovered called The Puttery. It’s 21 and older, but it’s mini golf. And they have, like, a bar in it. That’s why you have to be 21. So it’ll be a lot of fun to be home and to be able to celebrate properly, especially because the last couple birthdays I’ve had, being a March birthday, has been highly impacted by COVID. So this is the first year I truly get to go out with no masks, no vaccination requirements.

ERICA SCHMITT: Castle says she uses her breaks to do the things she doesn’t have the time for during the academic year.

MIA CASTLE: …Planning things for the summer honestly, because the quarter system is so fast, you don’t have enough time. Last year over Spring Break, I spent a lot of time preparing for my summer internship. And that’s what I’ll be doing this time.

ERICA SCHMITT: But Castle also adds that students should focus on whatever they need over the break, whether that is getting rest or going out with friends.

MIA CASTLE: Don’t feel pressured to be super productive. Obviously, take advantage of the time, but if you do need to take a break, if you need to just relax, disconnect completely, honor that for yourself. But, if you do have things you have to do, and you have the bandwidth, then do take advantage of that time. But, if you can’t, don’t beat yourself up about it, because I’ve spent time on both sides of that.


ERICA SCHMITT: Bienen and Weinberg sophomore Quinn Shumway says Northwestern students don’t get as much time to relax as students who are on the semester system. He offers an alternative to extending Spring Break.

QUINN SHUMWAY: I think that a one-week spring break is very standard and it might be hard to change that, but the best thing would probably be to give us more three-day weekends in Winter and Spring Quarter. We literally get one, and it’s MLK Day.

ERICA SCHMITT: Shumway plans to catch a flight to that beach paradise I mentioned in the beginning.

[beach sounds]

QUINN SHUMWAY: I’m going to stay with my friend in Florida and I’m gonna sit on the beach all day.

ERICA SCHMITT: Shumway said he recommends spending break by simply existing. No schoolwork, just rest.

QUINN SHUMWAY: I think Northwestern has kind of a culture of always trying to get people to do more and more and more stuff. And everyone should remember that even if it seems like everyone else is doing something, it’s okay to not take on one more thing in favor of taking care of yourself.

ERICA SCHMITT: While Shumway gets to be chilling at a beach, maybe you will be binge-watching Netflix or reading that book you haven’t touched since Winter Break. No matter what you’re doing, maybe you picked up on a common theme — that you should be taking spring break to relax.


ERICA SCHMITT: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Erica Schmitt. Thanks for listening to the last episode of this season’s Digital Diaries. This episode was reported and produced by me. The audio editor of The Daily Northwestern is myself, the digital managing editors are Joanne Haner and Olatunji Osho-Williams, and the editor in chief is Alex Perry. Make sure to subscribe to The Daily Northwestern’s podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud to hear more episodes like this.


Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @eschmitt318

Digital Diaries Season 2 Episode 8: Sleepy and sleepless nights with NU students
Digital Diaries Season 2 Episode 7: The reality of having a roommate
Digital Diaries Season 2 Episode 6: Northwestern students’ worst first dates