Published: Nov. 30, 2020
JB Banks

As we reach the end of the semester, be proud of the work you’ve done to finish strong. This semester was not easy, but you worked through the challenges and adversity of this year and made it through. And after finals next week, it’s time to enjoy a well-deserved break.

Rest, relax and recover

Many of you may be feeling burned out after a tough semester, and that’s understandable. Winter break is the time to slow down, rest and recover. 

Use this time to do things that you enjoy, and that you maybe don’t always have time for during the semester. Maybe that’s doing craft projects, catching up on TV shows or reading for fun—whatever helps you relax and brings you joy. Personally, I love to cook. Cooking helps me relax and de-stress. And over winter break, I’m looking forward to my first Colorado winter and cooking soups like chicken and veggie soup and beef stew. 

Reflect on the past semester

After you’ve had a week or two to relax and recover from finals, take some time to reflect on this semester. While there were challenges, there are also things we can learn from those challenges. Think about those times when you were stressed. What was the cause of your stress? What could you have used in those moments? Was there anything that helped you make it through? 

We all go through periods of stress, even during normal times. As you’re reflecting on your semester, try to think of some things you could do now to help your future self out when things become stressful. Maybe that’s making a new playlist of some favorite songs to listen to, finding some healthy snacks you enjoy, getting a new planner and blocking out a schedule for yourself or setting up a weekly phone call with a family member to check in throughout the spring semester.

There are many ways to help manage stress, and what might work for some doesn’t always work for others. Try a few things out over winter break to see what works for you. Whatever you do now, I’m sure your future self will thank you!

Remain safe

I am so appreciative of those who showed up for their fellow Buffs this semester and followed public health orders to help us return to campus. And as we continue navigating a pandemic for the near future, I encourage you to keep showing up for your communities in this way. Please be safe and keep your Buff families and friends safe. Wherever you are over winter break, wear face coverings in public, stay physically distanced from those outside your household and make good decisions. 

We are already working to create a positive student experience for the spring semester, and to help ease some of the stress and uncertainty. I hope you have a great winter break, and I’ll see you in January.

JB Banks
Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs