Being from out of state and from what seems like a totally different place at times, going home for Winter Break proved to be a much needed vacation. I am originally from Virginia and as an only child I sometimes struggle with missing my family and friends. I went home about 8 or 9 days earlier than I have in the previous two years. Over the break I visited New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and Georgia. Whew! There were a lot of people to visit, but I enjoyed every minute of it.
Often when I am in my apartment at school, I find myself slightly nostalgic and searching through pictures on Facebook for comfort. Bloomington and IU are absolutely wonderful and I have met amazing people while here, however returning to my comfort zone is much needed for my success in my doctoral program. I am growing in how to manage my personal, academic, and professional life as a full-time doctoral student. Taking advantage of every vacation or break and using occasional weekends to recharge are absolutely necessary for me to feel comfortable in my academic pursuits. My winter vacation was absolutely wonderful and now I look forward to a successful and amazing semester complete with research projects, presentations, conferences, and classes!