by Nick Terhall
Winter break – generally a time for college students to decompress after a stressful semester and final week, spend time with family, eat their body weight in home cooked food, and play way too many video games. While this may be the general recipe for a successful winter break, honors students like me just always seem to have to take things one (or two) steps further.
I did have a little over a week to generally be a bum around the house, but my adventures started on January first at the early hour of 3 a.m. My mother felt the need to book my family on a flight to Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve Day at an hour that was much less than holy. We went to a family reunion of sorts, which was actually the first time my entire mother’s side of the family has been in one place at one time, all the way from Grandma to her twelve grandchildren! While there I was able to listen in on plenty of family stories, play putt-putt with my cousins, visit the Hoover Dam, eat more cookies than was probably good for me, and experience the glory that is In-N-Out Burger. Having over twenty people staying at my Aunt’s house was fortunately both hectic and a ton of fun, but left me just about as exhausted as finals week did.
If five days of relative shenanigans wasn’t enough, I then hopped a plane to Denver to meet my college friends while my family struggled to get back to the frozen tundra that was Chicago. The five of us got a great deal on a rented condo at Keystone, Colorado, and spent three days skiing and snowboarding in the gorgeous Colorado Mountains. The conditions were excellent this year, with over two feet of powdered snow on the back side of the mountain and nearly all runs open. Densely wooded areas, steep drop-offs into powder, and more moguls than we could count made for a great time! However after three days of punishment and nearly a week in Las Vegas, my body was ready to call it quits. I ended up sleeping for a good chunk of the twelve hour car ride back to Ames from Colorado and took it easy the last weekend before classes started again, which unfortunately came again way too soon.
Overall, while I might not have had the most relaxing of winter breaks, it certainly was an enjoyable one! I figure I might as well take advantage of the free time during college breaks while I still have it (And my body can handle it). I’m definitely looking to go somewhere a little warmer for spring break though!