I’m officially done with fall semester and out for winter break! I don’t think it’s really hit me yet that fall semester is over, it seriously flew by. It feels like one month ago that I was moving into my apartment and starting classes, not four, haha. I don’t have any crazy plans for winter break, but I want to focus on relaxing, spending time with friends and family, and having more time to work on my side projects. I can’t believe Christmas is less than two weeks away, how is it coming up so soon? I feel like I’ve been so focused on school and finals that I haven’t felt as in the Christmas mood like I usually am. I wanted to write a little recap of my junior year so far and brainstorm some fun things to do during the break!
This semester was probably my most stressful school-wise, because I took eighteen hours of classes. I was planning to graduate early and just needed one extra class to be on track, so I took an extra three hour class… definitely regret that haha. Now I don’t think I’m even graduating early and it added so much extra stress. Oh well, now I can have a chiller schedule next semester. I had all my classes in the afternoon, from 1-4 M/W and 11-5 T/TH. Even though it was a lot of classes and time on campus, it was really nice to be back in person again and to see my classmates. I forgot how nice it is to be around people for school!
When I wasn’t in class, I spent lots of time at coffee shops or at my desk doing homework, training for my half marathon and going to the gym, and getting involved in a bible study. I had a smaller bible study on Monday and larger group at Wesley on Tuesday, and those were always the highlights of my week. I’m so glad that we were able to meet in person again and get more involved! I also had Brickfire mentoring, a kids’ after school program, on Fridays, and that was fun to get more involved in. I had a boy that I mentored every week and we read, did crafts, and played outside most days.
Even though this semester was probably the best yet, it also came with a lot of stress and hard days. I got really overwhelmed with school and anxious about the future, especially in September/October. I think the reality of only having a few semesters left of college was really hitting me and I got really stressed about future jobs/careers. I also grew a lot in my faith this semester. I really made it a priority to do my morning devotions (and usually night ones as well), and I think this has been the most I’ve learned and grown in a short period of time. It’s honestly so cool to look back on who I was at the beginning of this year versus now and see how far I’ve come!
Now for winter break, I’m excited to take a step back from the craziness and have a more relaxed schedule. I am taking an online class, but I’m hoping that it won’t be too stressful. Other than my class, work is my only main “time sensitive” priority, so I’m hoping I have plenty of time to work around the class in my schedule. It’s a PR Research class, and I’m working with a few other people in a group. Besides that, I have work at a local boutique, a few day trips with my family for Christmas, and I’m going to Passion in January! Even though I have lots of time to relax, I still want to focus on staying productive and not just laying around on my phone all day. I’m trying to start good routines early on so I can go ahead and establish a good schedule and stay productive throughout the day.
I don’t have a specific time I want to wake up, I definitely would let myself sleep in except I’m so used to getting up early for school that I usually wake up around 7/7:30. Then I want to wash my face, stretch, tidy my room, and go downstairs for my devotion. I love reading by the Christmas tree, it’s so cozy. I’ll make a cup of tea and drink while I read/journal. Depending on the weather, I may run outside, but I usually wait and go to the gym later in the afternoon. Even if I’m working out later, I want to try to get a little movement in when I first wake up, whether it’s stretching, a pilates video, or walking my dog.
My nights aren’t super structured either, and I go to bed at a different time every day. We’ll usually have supper together as a family, then watch a movie, play a card game, or just chill and do stuff on our own. I’ve been bad about just being on my phone or computer a lot at night, and I really want to get back on my reading grind. My goal for my night routine is follow my screen time limit for 9 p.m. and don’t scroll mindlessly. Before bed, I wash my face, journal, plan out my day for tomorrow, and read until I fall asleep.
- Follow a pilates plan and do a pilates video every day // I found a playlist on YouTube of 24 pilates videos, one for each day leading up to Christmas. Yes, I’ve missed a few days here and there, but so far I’ve stuck with it pretty consistently!
- Read at least five books // Not doing too well on this one. I’ve been reading the same book for almost two weeks now, and I’ve just not been int he reading mood as much, I don’t know why! I rounded up all my winter book ideas here.
- Focus on skincare and being more put together // This is probably random, but I just really want to be better about taking care of my skin and body. I have pretty clear skin, thankfully, so I would be really bad about washing it and never really wore makeup. I’ve been trying to test out new products and find a simple skincare/makeup routine that works for me. Maybe I’ll do a post on it in the future! Also, since I’m going to work almost every day, it gives me something to dress up for, and it’s been fun to wear new outfits instead of leggings and a sweatshirt like I would for class.
- Eat whole, unprocessed foods and nutritious meals // Definitely haven’t been doing the best with this one. It’s hard to eat healthy around the holidays, and I have been indulging quite a bit, haha. I really want to focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, homemade meals, and less sugary, processed foods.
- Daily advent readings // Christmas is my favorite time of year, but it’s also a really hectic and busy time, and I feel like I get so caught up in the craziness that I don’t take time to actually focus on Jesus and the real meaning behind Christmas. It’s so easy to get consumed with the materialistic side of Christmas, which is sad, because that’s not the purpose of the holiday at all. I’ve been reading Come, Let Us Adore Him each morning and journaling through the New Testament and it’s been a great way to refocus myself each day on Christ and the actual meaning behind Christmas.
- Be more creative with vlogging and Instagram // Now that I have some extra time, I really want to use it to my advantage and focus more on my social media! I just do it for fun, but I haven’t had much time during the school year to take pictures or try new editing styles, etc. If you want to follow along with my vlogmas or keep up with me on Instagram, I’d love for you to!
I did a whole post about this a few days ago, but I really want to get back into reading and knock out a few books while I’m on break! I think my top few are You’ll Be The Death of Me, For Your Own Good, and Winter in Paradise.
I haven’t watched much TV in forever, usually just a few movies with my family or roommates here and there. I really want to get into a new TV show, and a few I’ve been thinking of are The O.C. or Manifest. I’ve also had a few movies on my list: The Proposal, The Intern, The Other Woman, and Red Notice. Have you seen any of them?
Being home means access to a big kitchen again, yay! I always love trying new recipes when I’m home. I really want to try cinnamon roll pancakes, a new homemade granola, and some homemade chicken noodle soup.
Besides working and taking my online class, I really want to have time for fun during the break. Shopping and getting everyone gifts they love, lunch dates with friends, going for runs at the trails, getting my nails done, game nights with my family, going to the movie theater, shopping trips to Memphis, and going on walks with friends are just a few things I’m looking forward to. I’m just excited to have a step back from the busyness of the fall semester and enjoy some rest at home!