After being home for five days for Thanksgiving break, it’s a relief to know that Christmas Break is right around the corner. The three weeks in between the two holidays have been the most stressful days of my life. Between studying for the dreaded finals and wrapping up end of the semester projects, I haven’t had time for myself. Luckily, the holiday cheer is too great to put a damper on my Christmas spirit.
Maintaining family traditions while at school has been a struggle for my family. Every year we decorate our house the day after Thanksgiving and buy our tree the first weekend in December. I won’t let my family decorate without me, so I made them wait to buy a tree so I wouldn’t be left out; not that my mother would have let me be left out anyways. When we put up our tree, she makes a feast for us, and I don’t think she wants all that food to go to waste. I usually am able to sit down with my little sister and watch classic Christmas movies before she goes to bed. My mom recorded them for me, but it’s just not the same.
Decorating my dorm wasn’t half as much fun as decorating at home with my family, mostly because there isn’t as much space. I also don’t have any decorations. My roommate decorated our door, but that’s as festive as it gets when it comes to my room. When I’m walking down the hall, however, you can tell that Misericordia has the Christmas spirit. Almost everyone has some sort of decoration on their door, from a wreath to an advent calendar. Our RA has also put up a board with information about a bunch of different holidays around the world. There are at least two Christmas trees in every building around campus. A fresh coating of snow has officially turned Misericordia into a winter wonderland.
As much fun as I’ve had on campus, I can’t wait to get home. I miss sharing a room with my sister and having a home-cooked meal more than twice a week. I also miss the familiar buzz of my home. Having an active family and a five-year-old sister means there is never a dull moment in my house. The solitude of my dorm is great for studying, but I can’t help but miss my brother pestering me or my sister’s attitude. After the stress of maintaining a good GPA, it will be nice to sit back and relax for a month.
My favorite part about going home is that when everyone goes back to school on January 2nd, I’ll still be sleeping.
I get off a week before my family, so that leaves plenty of time for me to buy their Christmas presents and reunite with old friends. My best friend from high school went to IUP, so I haven’t seen her since the summer. I’m crazy excited to spend my Christmas break with her and a few of my other friends that I haven’t seen since we all left for college.
Going home for Thanksgiving was like a tease. I pride myself on not having homesickness, but I also go home every weekend due to how close I live to the school. There was just something about being able to sit on my couch for five days with minimal worries that made me anxious for Christmas break to start. I was worried that I wouldn’t feel the Christmas Spirit on campus like I did at home, but being able to decorate my door and seeing all the decorations around campus have kept the spirit alive, just with less lights. As much as I love Misericordia, I cannot wait to be home with my family for the holidays.
- Rachel Miroslaw '21, Speech-Language Pathology. Rachel is from Tunkhannock, PA, plays field hockey, and enjoys reading and writing
For more information on Misericordia University's Speech-Language Pathology program, click here.