February 11, 2016

NDLOVU | Yvette’s Guide on How to Survive Winter Break in Ithaca

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After a stressful fall semester, the long-awaited winter vacation finally arrives and you find that for whatever reason, you cannot go home for Christmas. With the prospect of spending five weeks on an empty college campus ahead of you, do not despair: this guide is here!

There is so much Netflix, Hulu and even Freeflix to watch. At some point, you get bored of using the free Wi-Fi, watching an abundance of TV shows, reading books and viewing others’ Snapchats of their families and hometowns. And yes, the classic starving student’s breakfast, lunch and dinner of ramen becomes a bit stale. These are the first signs of utter boredom. Having spent my first winter in Ithaca, I think I have some useful tips on how you can keep the chills from entering your mind.

First, find a means of distracting yourself (and no, Netflix and social networks do not count)! Get a job, the nine to five kind. Not only are you making money to buy yourself more ramen (yay!), you are building up your resume and all that good stuff. I worked at a library on campus with one of the sweetest old ladies. If not a job, then volunteer, write poetry or start working out. My mornings consisted of finding the will to do a dance workout in the comfort of my room for an hour, writing (aspiring author struggles) for most of the morning and then working at the library with great company.

Keeping busy is great, but all work and no play can become quite dull. This leads me to step two of how to survive Ithaca – find a winter romance. Whether it’s that cute guy also stuck in Ithaca for break or an Ithaca local, there are plenty of sharks in the sea to tame. There is something thrilling about a short-lived affair, and isn’t that what college is about? Exploring the perks of commitment or having no strings attached or whatever else floats your boat?

My last piece of advice is to find other remaining Cornellians and explore Ithaca together! There are plenty of interesting places in the Commons to visit that you may never have had time to drop by during the semester and you can bond over All You Can Eat Indian buffet for under $9.00! I became very close to someone I rarely talked to during the semester and we found out we had so much in common! When you start missing your family and those long Skype calls just can’t beat seeing them in person, get together with your fellow college hibernators to cook, bake, chill and celebrate the coming of the new year!

There is no reason you should be locked up in your room staring at the walls whether or not you go home for your winter break. I found my first winter in Ithaca very much enjoyable just by doing the simple things in life!