As a man named Fred Rogers, but more well-known as Mr. Rogers once said, “I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense and the familiar climax and ending.”

As finals week snuck up quickly, students are geared up to head back home for the holidays and month-long break. Though relaxation is need, there are discussions about plans and worries about what to do with all of the extra time.

Between work, relaxing, the holidays and all else that students do, sometimes students find it hard to remember what it is like to be a student  when they return, struggling to avoid succumbing to the possible cabin fever that accompanies being home for four weeks.

Talking to several Keene State College students, the variety in plans and coping vary wildly.

Stefanie Diskin, a KSC senior, is using the time off to take care of her future plans. Diskin said, “I would like to finish my graduate school applications,” and added that she, “would like to line up a substitute teaching job.”

However, she, like many students, recognized the difficulties in returning home and finding those necessary part-time jobs in order to make money.

“I should really find a job for Christmas break, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. It’s really hard,” Diskin said.

She added that, “I have tried working retail, but it’s not my favorite, and now that I am in my major—I’m an education major—and I love it, I would like to do that all the time and not do anything else.”

Besides working, having time off from full-time academic work leaves some students both loving and hating the free time.

KSC student Kim Feener said, for example, “The break is torture because I like being busy. So when I get back I am like, ‘yes! Work!,’ and then I hate it again,” she said.

Also talking about what the break has to offer, another KSC student, Alexzandria Coon, said, “I just wrote a forty-seven page portfolio for one of my classes, so being able to go home and just take a break from everything is really cool. The only thing I will really miss is just hanging out with people. I get bored just sitting at home.”

How students combat that boredom varies.

Sophomore Mary Allen said her plans included, “going to the gym with my friend Justin…I am also working at the elementary, middle and high school as a tutor and am visiting family over Christmas.”

Allen also said, “It’s always tough to come back to school, but I will be here a couple days before as an RA [resident assistant]. So, I will get back into it quickly and I probably will fall off the beaten track of working out, but I will get back on. I will survive.”

As students begin leaving campus, it is important to appreciate the time away from school to work, rest, or visit family.

In the meantime, as television personality Giada De Laurentiis said, “The holidays stress people out so much. I suggest you keep it simple and try to have as much fun as you can.”



Nicole Carrobis can be contacted at

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