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My Life

My Last College Christmas Break

By Alexandria Erin

Well this Christmas break has sailed by. I did a lot of traveling by everything but plane or boat and got to see a lot of friends I have been longing to see.

Friendships made before college, during college, at college and outside of college are sometimes difficult to balance.

I have my friends I have from high school, from ski instructing, from living in Hawaii, from Semester at Sea, from working in a coffee shop this past summer, from in college, from experiences in college such as Kappa Delta, and one’s I made living in Wyoming. Sometimes I find it hard to balance all of these friends and make sure they all see that although I don’t always have time to see them more than once a year or even once a year, I still think about them and care for them. 

It takes a lot of intentional communication to keep in touch with so many different friends from so many different places especially now that we are all growing up, graduating college and starting careers or families.

My example of this balance as far as this winter break went a little something like this:

I drove from The University of Dayton Ohio to Upstate New York to see my mother and brother in the Catskill Mountains. On my way there I made a pit stop in Philadelphia Pennsylvania to spend the night and part of the next day with my high school friend Illa whom I mostly write letters to during the long breaks we have of seeing each other and occasionally make time for a long facetime update every few months!

After getting to the Catskill Mountains I quickly made my way down to my grandparents who took me to the train station in Rhinebeck where I proceeded to take the train down to Penn Station in New York City. In New York City I met up with my two friends from Semester at Sea, Matilda and Jennifer. Matilda lives and works in New York City so we stayed with her for the week as Jennifer flew in from Seattle Washington. It was an awesome week, filled with reminiscing and making new memories, as we hadn’t been all together since disembarking from out travels December of 2016.

While taking the train back up to Rhinebeck to meet up with my grandparents and then driving back upstate to our family camp, I couldn’t help but appreciate social media as it had filled in the gaps for my two Semester at Sea friends as we went a whole year just snap chatting and texting to keep in touch until we were able to see each other in person.

After spending Christmas in the Catskill Mountains of New York with my family my brother and I packed up the car and proceeded to Jackson Hole Wyoming. 

On our way to Wyoming we made a pit stop in Chicago Illinois to spend the night at my boyfriend Dan’s and his family’s home. After spending a very short amount of time with them we were back on the road. Getting stuck in Laramie due to the road closing we spent the evening in Laramie Wyoming and got up to indulge in endless waffles before heading back on the road to Jackson Hole.

After arriving to Jackson Hole we spent the evening with my dad before passing out. Side note, I do have this appreciation for my parents relationship and their ability to be together despite the distance and constant travel they both do. I guess that’s where I get my travel bug from!

While in Jackson Hole I ski instructed during the day and babysat at night. I did this for 6 days straight and after day 6 I was exhausted. Taking a few days to catch up with my three really good friends, Roxanne, Melanie and Gerson, and our family friends, Sue, Jim and Cheryl, Jack and I packed the car back up and embarked on a journey back to the Catskill Mountains of New York.

On our way to New York we did stop in Chicago at Dan’s again. It’s always nice to see him even for a day so I was happy.

I am now back at our cabin in the Catskill Mountains with my mother and brother before college starts again. Mornings have consisted of my mom getting up for work turning the coffee pot on, making a fire in the cabin and me slowly making my way to the coffee pot then to stand in front of the fire.

As I catch up on my doctor’s appointment I am able to meet up with two of my high school friends, Abby and Anesh.

I am very blessed to be able to see all of these people and make it work with the budget I set for myself. I am not sure what will happen when I get a job and don’t have these breaks to travel around and see people during my traveling, however, I am positive it will all work out as it has been working out now.

It’s difficult to balance so many friends from all over the place, but as long as you make sure you’re both on the same page and it’s not just you making time for them but a joined effort, it works out.

I am blessed to have friends who understand only seeing each other every other year, once a year or only a few times a year is the only thing that can happen, but those friends are also the friends that when I see them it’s as if we saw each other only last week. We are able to pick right up where we left off.

It’s important to find friends who are able to work with your life schedule and you with theirs. I find myself always trying to find a way to see people and for them sometimes just that is enough until we actually can find a way!

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