Entering this spring semester brings my anxiety to a new level; I just spent a whole month being stressed to max capacity by my family and now I have to go back to school and push even harder? I need more time! I’m not ready!

Before I knew it, I was packing up my car and heading back to San Antonio. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and busy schedule here; however, I enjoy it a lot more when I’m not dealing with the stress of the holidays and their aftermath.

As we enter the spring semester, we adjust ourselves back into our daily routines as college students. Winter break allows us four weeks to decompress, recover from the fall semester and spend time with our friends and families back home.

While four weeks sounds like enough time to get your groove back, it actually gives you just enough time to fall into a new routine before having to revert back to student life.

I entered winter break in hopes of spending my time doing things for myself, since during the semester I have a difficult time balancing work, school and leisure.

Unfortunately, this didn’t happen. I spent the first two weeks of the break rushing around town from store-to-store buying Christmas gifts for my family and driving my dad to doctors’ appointments. Just as the stress of shopping ended, Christmas arrived.

My sisters, accompanied by their husbands and three dogs, came into town, creating a whole new element of chaos.

Picture this: I’m running around my house making sure the dogs don’t kill each other, checking on food in the oven, all while trying to make sure I was spending this limited quality time with my family.

By the end of the week, I was a total grinch and couldn’t wait for Christmas to be over and done with.

While I love going home for the holidays, this year was not relaxing whatsoever. I hadn’t spent any time doing the things I told myself I was going to do. Winter break doesn’t allow for much alone time if you’re anything like me: I have a big family, have to act as a caretaker, have divorced parents and I’m also an acting family member to my best friend’s family.

When the fall semester begins, I am ready to take on the semester as I am rested, carefree and just spent three months living my best life, compared to entering the spring semester, where I am tired, stressed and not ready to face my responsibilities. I’m not saying we need a longer winter break, but I am saying that going back to school afterward is definitely much harder.

As stressed as I was during the holidays, saying goodbye to my family and friends was all the more difficult knowing that I’m not going to see them again until summer. I’m not able to travel home for three-day-weekends and I’m travelling for spring break, so this goodbye stung a little more than usual.

As we enter our second week of the spring semester, I have almost settled back into my hectic routine of classes, work and trying to get enough sleep at night. Another day, another to-do list. I hope to find the time for myself that I wasn’t able to have over winter break, and I hope you do too.

Here’s what I recommend if you’re struggling this semester: call your mom – she will always be happy to hear from you. Go on a hike – San Antonio has some beautiful trails that will take your mind off school and give you a dopamine boost. And lastly, make time to do things you enjoy no matter how busy your schedule gets. There is time, I promise.

Getting your groove back is hard no matter what time of year, but I know it’s hard out here in the spring.

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