This past weekend I took a trip to Duluth, Minn. with my family. It was about a four and a half hour drive that turned into just over five hours because of the wonderful two laned highway that I had to take. Although the drive seemed never ending, the trip itself was worth it.
Getting away from the place you call home is something that many people don’t realize they need until they are at their breaking point. I knew I was approaching mine when my room started to slowly get messier as the days went on. Luckily for me, I knew I had this trip planned the weekend after finals week.
We didn’t do much while in Duluth. We didn’t do the local touristy things like take the train or go to Two Harbors, MN to see Split Rock Lighthouse or go to the Glensheen Mansion. Rather, we took each hour as it came. We ended up eating brunch at this hole-in-the-wall restaurant, then later eating lunch at a local favorite, Tavern on the Hill. We went to Canal Park, saw the sights and did the things. After that, we went back to the hotel and simply hung out as a family. We sat around a fire for hours and simply talked.
It was the small conversations that led to some pretty fun memories that will last with me. If it wasn’t for this weekend of getting away and taking a breath, I would be bursting at the seams for Veteran’s Day to come around.
I realized that taking a break and taking a step back is something that is healthy for all those around. It allows for a break from the harsh realities of being a student and the daily stressors we encounter, and it provides the opportunity to go into the next week or next phase of the semester with a clear head.
Taking a weekend away from the place you call home allows for you to love “home” so much more. It is an escape to a place that you are not as familiar with. It doesn’t have to be across the state, or really far away, it can be a simple drive to check out a new restaurant in the city over or it can be the expedition across state borders to expand horizons.
The break from reality allows for a fresh focus and a clear mind. As students, we have the crazy responsibility to go to class, work to make money, socialize, do homework, keep our grades up, put on a smile and pretend like we have it all together. I think a misconception for students is that we have to always have it together, 100% of the time. I know that it is impossible for me to do it because I barely make my bed in the morning, if at all. I think we need the reminder that it is okay to not be okay, that it is okay to learn to take a step back and take time to ourselves for ourselves. We are allowed to be selfish to keep our mental health supported.