Ever since high school, the concept of a college spring break has been fairly clear in all young people’s heads. Unsupervised trips to Cabo, Texas and Florida with all of your friends and nothing but trouble seem to be the norm. Anybody with a Snapchat saw the “Spring Break” story that our friends posted their crazy concert and beach videos, all surrounded completely by twenty-somethings.
Even though the Cabo trips are limited among freshmen, a group of my friends and I spent the first half of our break having our own fun in the mountains. However, around Tuesday and Wednesday after the first weekend, my friends headed home for a few days. Instead of buying a plane ticket home, I headed to Denver to spend the rest of my break with some not-distant-but-not-immediate family.
The “cousins” I stayed with are 30 somethings, with just year-and-a-half old twins, a stark change from the intense community of 18-24 year olds we are all so used to. Watching them interact with both their careers and family lives gave good insight into how I might want to do that someday. I realized I had some big questions and decisions ahead of me, and those are a lot more important than what we deal with on a day to day basis.
Being in a world where many of us don’t have to worry about things beyond what our friends are planning this weekend and the homework assignments in front of us, we lose sight of what’s really important. We toss and turn over the little things, and it makes sense, because at this point in our lives, it’s our whole world.
A lot of the time, we build our choices and decisions up in our heads to be these huge life changing actions, that what we decide will alter the course of our lives. In the grand scheme of things, whether you get an 88 or 90 on a paper won’t affect the success of your career, and whether you don’t go out on a night you’re really feeling a Netflix binge won’t make you a hermit the rest of your life.
Some of this comes with maturity. As we get older and have to deal with more “adult” decisions, we see the bigger picture. Many college students had to mature quickly, working while taking a full set of courses and paying for things on their own early on, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get caught in this college bubble either.
Instead of spending every second you can with your friends and peers, try spending a long weekend with your grandparents or aunt and uncle. Try to get a reality check on the way the world works, because it doesn’t revolve around the newest Yik Yak. It’s important to keep this fresh perspective so you can remember why you’re getting this education in the first place.
College is no doubt a time to be young and have fun, but this constant stream of information from our peers and social media that it’s non-stop can just make us more strained than we need to be. Taking a weekend off to really enjoy the little things rather than be stressed out by them will be beyond refreshing, for you and your older family members who are jealous of you in college.
Collegian Columnist Alexandra Stettner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @alexstetts.