It's Fall Break and you are a quarter of the way through the school year. You made it through midterms and have earned some well-deserved rest. Now, what you will do with this week is the real question. You can return to your home city, go somewhere else during the break, or you can stay on campus.
Transportation back home can be expensive. For some, it is a two hour, $15 train ride but for others, it is an eighteen-hour flight that costs $800. Some students prefer to stay on campus for the freedom and the serenity that it brings, and will use this time to catch up on sleep and school work.
I decided to stay on campus for Fall Break because I will be going home for Thanksgiving. You, of course, can go home for both breaks, but I decided that it would be more financially responsible if I just went home for one.
I was excited to see what campus was like without the 8000 plus students bustling about campus. I was pleasantly surprised by what I observed. Campus is so peaceful when there are fewer students! I was able to walk around St. Mary’s lake and take some time to myself and simply reflect on the first half of the semester. It was amazing to have that time to myself to put things such as grades, friendships, and my health into perspective. Everyone should take some time for themselves, and Fall Break was the perfect opportunity for me to do so.
While it is very important to take the break as an opportunity to catch up on sleep and school work, I also decided to have some fun. My friends and I decided to take a day trip to Chicago. The South Shore Line, which leaves from South Bend International Airport and runs to the Millennium Park station, costs $29 round trip and is two hours each way. I had only ever been to Chicago to go to the airport, so this was my first time in the city.
Luckily, 350 sites in Chicago were offering free admission for the weekend, including the iconic Chicago Architecture Museum. In the Architecture Museum, we were able to see a miniature 3-D model of Chicago, along with a short film that briefly explained the historic and architectural growth of the city. The museum also housed miniature replicas of some of the tallest buildings in the world. It was very interesting to see these buildings next to one another and to see how they measured up against each other.
We could not go to Chicago without trying Chicago-style pizza, and I can confidently say that I prefer it over New York-style pizza. We went to Giordano’s, and it was delicious! I am not a big pizza fan, but I would love to have it again.
The rest of our trip was filled with shopping and sightseeing. It was nice to get out of South Bend for a while and experience a new environment. While Chicago is great, South Bend has some jewels as well.
The food scene in South Bend is quite impressive. From Hacienda to Sushi Garden, there is something here for everyone. The options are affordable as well. Sushi Garden has all you can eat sushi for $15! Fall Break was filled with great food.
Fall Break is a wonderful opportunity to not only get rest, but to also explore parts of the Midwest. You do not even have to leave campus to enjoy yourself, as the university puts on events for the students who remain on campus. I am just so grateful that we are allowed this break so that we can recharge for the next half of the semester!