Just after Thanksgiving, students began scrambling to study for their final exams, eyes fixated on winter break. Right when the pressure of the fall semester ended, burned out students jetted off campus and out of town.
Some traveled home to enjoy the simple pleasures of sleeping in, home-cooked meals and quiet time away from the hustle and bustle. Others went straight from being full-time students to full-time employees, racking up money to be able to financially breathe throughout the spring. Of course, some college students took vacations, driving for hours or flying high to take a solid month away from the ‘Burg.
Southern Miss students made what they could of their traveling experiences to make it back just in time for the start of the semester.
Senior interior design major Mollie Williams did not leave the state but stayed in North Mississippi and in Jackson. She said she needed a break from the rush of school before her last semester at Southern Miss.
“I think it’s good to have a change of scenery every once in awhile,” Williams said. “Everyone needs a break because it’s good for your mental health along with your physical health. I take the trip often to just spent time with loved ones. I enjoyed my time and just took a ‘break.’”
Winter break for Southern Miss students was just over a month long, and several students made sure to savor their time off this holiday season.
Information technology alum William Heaney took advantage of his graduation gift and traveled to multiple areas over the holidays.
“I’m from Jackson, so I went up there to visit family, and we always go to my aunt’s house in Carrollton on Christmas day,” Heany said. “It was a good time spent with family since I don’t get to see some of them due to school.”
Heaney also traveled over Thanksgiving break to Orlando’s Disney World and Universal Studios.
“It was also an early graduation present for myself,” he said.
Senior communications major Cole Carlock used his break time to take a trip to Houston.
“A group of others from Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship and I went to the World Missions Summit, a conference devoted to giving people insight into what goes on with Assemblies of God missionaries, mostly overseas,” he said.
Carlock had a memorable experience and further visited his family after the conference.
“There were over 6,000 students from all over the country in attendance,” Carlock said. “They give us the opportunity to hear from these missionaries from these countries and gave us the opportunity to personally sit down and speak with some of them and learn more about where and how they serve.”
Junior polymer science major Julian Richardson went abroad for break – all the way to Germany.
“I went to Germany to reconnect with my mom’s family, because I don’t get to see them often,” he said.
Richardson said the most memorable part of his travel was celebrating his grandfather’s 77th birthday with his family.
“I was frustrated that I was only able to stay two and a half weeks, and that’s the shortest I’ve ever stayed in Germany, so I wasn’t able to see all the family I wanted to see,” he said.
Richardson said his motivation for making it through this semester are his plans to revisit Germany in the summer.
Wherever students ventured over the break, they found the value in travel, a change of view and precious family time.
“While I’m no stranger to bigger cities, it’s truly an awesome experience getting to go somewhere where everything is so much larger,” Carlock said. “It’s truly breathtaking to see. I live in Hattiesburg, so it’s definitely nice to be able to go leave and experience a bit of different culture for a while.”