Many people travel away from home over the holidays on trips lasting a few hours to a few days. But for college students, winter break means an extended trip back home.


Many people travel away from home over the holidays on trips lasting a few hours to a few days. But for college students, winter break means an extended trip back home.

Students sometimes struggle to find activities to occupy themselves, as breaks at many colleges and universities often last close to a month or longer.

Amanda Gayer, Washburn University freshman, works at The Cake Lady in order to fill her time.

“My break is so long I think I would be bored if I didn’t have a job,” Gayer said. “It takes the stress off of me because I know I have a way to pay for my books for next semester.”

Since Gayer had worked for The Cake Lady during the summer, she didn’t find it hard to return.

“It’s nice to come back and always have it (the job),” Gayer said.

Jared Menard, MidAmerica Nazarene University freshman, has taken advantage of winter break to have his wisdom teeth removed.

“I did it so I wouldn’t be disturbed while I was taking classes,” Menard said. “I’ve had several of my friends who are getting their wisdom teeth out.”

Menard has also spent part of his break traveling to Chicago to visit friends and Arkansas to visit family.

“I had never been there (Chicago) before and it was a good time to travel,” Menard said.

While at home, however, Menard has kept to a simple schedule.

“I spend a good amount of time just relaxing and taking it easy but I think most importantly for the rest is to stay in touch and spend time with friends,” Menard said.

For Rane Baldwin, Grinnel College sophomore, staying in touch has taken a new meaning as one of her friends is getting married over the break.

Other than that, Baldwin has stuck closely to Menard’s mantra of relaxation.

“I get a little bored but its not necessarily bad to be bored. It’s nice because you always have so much to do that not having to do that can be good,” Baldwin said.

The best relaxation for Baldwin has come in the form of sleep. Baldwin said that while at college she got around seven hours of sleep, at home she has gotten around 11 hours of sleep every night.

For Baldwin, this break has also meant changing her habits as she tries to balance time spent between family and friends more fairly.

“It is hard and in the past I don’t think I’ve done a good job but I’ve made a conscious effort to be more laid back,” Baldwin said.

To accomplish this Baldwin has set aside more time to see her parents and has spent more of her free time at home.

Gayer, Menard and Baldwin all agreed that spending time with family and friends was the best part of coming home.