Tag Archive: break

  1. After a week away, Yalies return from October break

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    As October break came to an end, students returned to campus — with snacks from home in hand — and prepared for classes to resume on Oct. 25.

    Yale students spread across the country and beyond it as some went back to their hometowns, some stayed in New Haven and others ventured to far-flung coasts. Students packed trips, events and fun into the five-day break to relax and relieve some of the stress accumulated so far this semester. Lizbeth Lozano ’25, for one, went on the Yale Chaplain’s retreat, headed to New York City and hiked East Rock with friends.

    “I had a very relaxing break!” Lozano told the News. “At the Chaplain’s retreat, we actually weren’t allowed to talk about Yale, which was pretty refreshing to not think about. New York was busy and lively, but I still felt stress-free not worrying about schoolwork or anything else. It was fun getting to hang out with friends outside of the place we’ve spent the past two months!”

    Some students, such as Julian Barrera ’25, decided to return home to reconnect with family and friends while making sure the break was restful and not filled with school work.

    Barrera went back home to southern Texas, visited family, reconnected with friends and even took a trip to Mexico to see his distant relatives.

    “During this October recess, I finally got Mexican snacks to bring back to Yale!” Barrera said. “I also finally got to eat authentic tacos from the taquerias in Mexico and I went to see my favorite Spanish-speaking band, Morat, play in NYC. I definitely reconnected with my home this break!”

    For others, the time off was spent rewinding, healing and preparing. Some students did not travel at all.

    Staying in New Haven, relaxing in residential colleges and reconnecting with hobbies was equally as fulfilling, according to Kylie Volavongsa ’25.

    “I basically turned into a tradwife which is to say I cleaned my sheets, laundry, dishes, and babysat someones fish,” Volavongsa said. “I also used this time to buy and read more books and I even wrote a little poetry. I also slept healthily, but prepared my Red Bull tropical edition stock for the coming weeks.” 

    This five day break from classes was considered a catch-up period for others. With midterms ongoing, papers assigned, non-stop problem sets and chunks of readings, some students needed this small break to catch up on work, get ahead in classes or study intensely. The “Yale Actual Weekly News,” an Instagram humor account, uploaded a satire post saying “Girl Accidentally Takes 3 Day Break During Fall Catch Up Time” on Oct. 22.

    Volavongsa added that she feels most students are ready to get back to classes as the “final hustle” before the holiday season begins.

    Yale’s October recess took place from Oct. 19 to 24.

  2. Transcontinental Homelessness

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    When I got back to New Haven, I was drowsy and bleary-eyed and my head ached. I rubbed my eyelids, and when I looked up, there was Yale. The intermittent naps that I took on my flight and shuttle-ride over had spread a haze over everything. As I got out of the shuttle, I remembered scraps of my day: tabloids, romantic comedies, security, the Band-Aid on my mom’s nose as she hugged me goodbye.

    Now I am in the throes of shopping, sleeping on my plastic mattress and eating cashew clusters in the middle of the night. The sky is pale and the ground is cold, and there’s always the sound of sirens but never of the airplanes back home. I’m starting to feel the brief pangs of agoraphobia that come with walking into a dining hall at six o’clock.

    Yet this has been by far the most seamless transition I’ve made from going home to coming back during my time at Yale, despite the dramatic change of scenery.

    There used to be something terrible in the prospect of moving. Moving meant swept floors, sweaty foreheads, boxing up my belongings and feeling those half-comforting waves of nostalgia. My mom cried when she sent me away freshman year. The following May, I cried when I had to move out of Farnam Hall. I hated that Ikea lamps had to be thrown out, I hated the beat-up couches on Old Campus and the people rummaging through piles of discarded clothing.

    Now, these motions and emotions have become routine. The jolt of displacement is still there, but it’s no longer new. What’s new is the complacency I feel towards the jarring nature of change. More and more I feel that I am leading two separate lives, one at home and one at school. My life at home consists of baking cookies with my brother and fighting with him, gossiping and laughing with my sister, watching movies with my parents. I kvetch. I yell and I call names and I storm out of rooms.

    I don’t do that here. The stakes are too high for me to unleash sincere anger on my friends — there’s the risk they’d drop me. I pacify resentments and offenses and desires into small hints, perpetual OK-ness. And what am I to do without the arguments and reconciliations, the hurt and unconditional love that lend a clearly defined rhythm to life at home? There’s only an unpatterned mass of days, the flux of intellectual arguments and hangouts and parties. I brew in new ideas and desires and become absorbed inevitably into the Yale bubble. I try to puncture it with phone calls to my brother and Skype calls to old friends; the bubble re-forms.

    The best I can hope for is to find some meaning in the blur of rain and meals and books here. Some community forms, fluid no doubt, replenished and emptied by a quarter each year. That counts for something, I guess. I switch rooms and roommates, seniors graduate and strangers live in my old dorm, but I’ve still got my friends and Harkness Tower.

    A professor of mine freshman year quoted someone who said we live in an age of “transcendental homelessness.” I didn’t know quite what that meant at the time, but I feel its meaning now. I jet from home to home and it is still unclear which is which. I wake up in the middle of the night, think I’m back in LA and let out a sigh of fear mixed with relief; I look at the window grille and know I am here.