The end of the fall semester felt like a rush to the finish line, wrapping up final presentations and assignments.
I remember finishing my last presentation and taking a big deep breath. It was long and hard, but most of all rewarding to know that’d we had made it.
The next day I had a flight back home to see my family and friends. My first stop after touching down in Missouri was going to see one of my friends graduate with his engineering degree.
It was a blast catching up with my friends who now have jobs and live in different cities. It was a special time to cherish because it’s becoming more and more rare that we all have the opportunity to be together like this.
I really value friendships because they are the most unique and special relationships you’ll have as an adult. You are truly choosing to make those people a priority in your life.
Next up, I traveled to Illinois to spend the holidays with my boyfriend’s family. We decorated cookies, built gingerbread houses, held game nights and watched plenty of Christmas movies.
Throughout the couple of weeks there, I didn’t open my laptop one time. I think it’s important to unplug in order to spend genuine quality time with people that you don’t get to see that often.
After wrapping up all of the Christmas festivities, we then made a short trip to Chicago for New Years. Since New Year’s is my favorite holiday, I love to do something memorable every year.
I also love the city of Chicago as a whole and it was a good excuse to visit seeing as we were already in Illinois. Once we arrived, we met up with one of our friends from college and grabbed dinner at Portillo’s.
During our trip we visited different neighborhoods to get a better feel of the city, and per my request, plenty of coffee stops were made along the way.
The best part of our Chicago trip was definitely attending the Bears game at Soldier Field as one of the first events of 2022.
Overall, it’s important to take some time to yourself and recharge after working non-stop throughout the semester.
The fall semester consisted of long nights, group work and study sessions which can become exhausting. I try to prioritize self-care throughout the semester, but nothing beats a month break where you can disassociate from work entirely to focus on spending time with your loved ones.
Now that we’re heading into the spring, I’m excited for the new challenges that this new year will present.
The lessons I learned in the fall semester have equipped me to push myself a little further outside of my comfort zone and given me a sense of appreciation for my desired field.
I’m walking into the semester with more knowledge and confidence, ready to tackle the tasks ahead.
Halle Upshaw is a graduate student in the advertising program at the Newhouse School.