cgefre's picture

The Spring Break Slowdown

I woke up today and realized that Spring Break was technically over. And then, appropriately enough, it began raining outside. The house was quiet, oddly enough -- my parents had gone out to lunch somewhere fancy and my older brother was cloistered in his room, as is his custom. With not much else to do, I sat down next to our lovable chihuahua, Blu, on the landing of the stairs. Together, we watched the rain splash onto the windows, everything silent save for our breathing and the pitter-patter sounds of Rain on Rooftop, the symphony Beethoven never had a chance to write.

This is a scene that sort of escapsulates my spring break up to this point. Honestly, my life has been exceedingly quiet since my arrival back in Meridian to visit my family. When I'm in Caldwell, it's like I'm always moving -- books to read, papers to write, important e-mails to send, people to hang out with. But here at home, it's almost as if I've found myself in a bubble of extreme introversion. It's a change of pace that has been both comforting and alarming; I'm enjoying finally having some time for myself, and yet it's so radically different from life on campus that it's hard to believe I'm only 25 minutes away from it.

But I really do appreciate this slowdown. By the end of last week, I felt like I was moving so fast to finish all of my outstanding projects that I was about to hit Mach 1. But by Friday night, I had finished with all of my major assignments. For the first time in weeks, I was able to play some computer games without that nagging voice in the back of my head passive aggressively reminding me of all the words I need to have written for X homework assignment done by Y o'clock on Z date. It was like I had turned my brain off, giving it leave to sleep in along with my body for the next several days. It's been blissful not to have those worries.

I didn't even have any major hangout sessions with local Boise friends this past week. Many of my friends already had their spring break the week before C of I's, so many were either back at school, back at work, or busy in some other way. My attempts to reach out fell somewhat flat, but this still suited me. It was more time to keep my brain off and relax, after all. That kind of thing is candy to introverts like myself. No responsibilities and I can just watch Survivor all day? Jackpot!

And yet here we are, two days out from the beginning of classes for the second half of the term, and the voice is returning. As of this writing, I have over 150 pages of reading to do for my literature seminar on William Faulkner, a series of essays to review before my Creative Nonfiction Workshop on Wednesday, research to start for my final paper in my journalism course, and a chapter meeting to prepare for with the rest of the Delts on Sunday night. I suppose it's like beginning a jog before starting to run. It's a lot of homework to still get finished, but enough to keep me working steadily through the rest of this weekend if I don't laze around too much. By Sunday night, I should be prepared to restart the craziness of the college life.

It'll be strange once I graduate and begin work in the real world. I doubt I'll find myself with these week long breaks for much longer. I wonder how I'll manage?

-Clayton Gefre

Clayton is a junior creative writing major from Meridian, Idaho.