My plan since move-in day was to stay here for fall break. I wasn’t sure what to expect of the first time I would be on a mostly empty campus. I thought that fall break would be pretty relaxed, but still full of fun. Now that the long weekend is over, my opinion has changed a bit.
First of all, I did not like the fact that Café Mac was not open for the normal Thursday and Friday hours. Even though I paid the same amount for my meal plan last week as I did any other week, I had two fewer times in which I could use the meal swipes. The lunch-only opening on Thursday and Friday was also slightly annoying—I could understand the idea of opening late if students were supposed to sleep in and have breakfast at 11 (like any other weekday), but instead, it was only lunch food.
There were also few to no nighttime events on campus during fall break (or any that I heard of, at least), so I found that I was generally pretty bored on campus. I had friends around, so we all spent time together, but it would have been nice if there were some campus events to occupy the students who decided to stick around during the break.
On a more personal level, I actually found myself missing my friends who weren’t on campus. It was the first time since I met them two months ago that I had spent more than 12 or so hours away from them, and I felt an immediate disconnect when I thought about my friends who were gone. The lounge on my floor is usually full of friendly and peppy Dupre 4 residents, and walking down the hallway to see an empty room made me sadder than I thought it would. This level of detachment makes me wonder what a longer break will be like—I’ll be apart from my Macalester friends for more than a month after the semester is over. I also realized how close I’ve become with my friends in the two months we’ve been here. I spend all of my time with friends in college, whereas in high school I usually only saw friends in the hallways or for a couple hours on the weekend. Being with these people constantly has been like friend-making on steroids. I’m so much closer to them after two months than I was with friends from high school after the same amount of time.
I also missed my family a lot over fall break and was kind of jealous of my friends who got to spend time with their family members. It made me feel like I was much farther away from home instead of a three hour plane ride and a one hour time difference.
I’m not sure if I would have been better off leaving campus for fall break. It was cool to see what campus was like when it was half-deserted, but I found myself feeling slightly homesick and a little bored. I’m glad I had the experience of being around for the break, but I think next year I’ll try to find something else to do during this time.