Published: Dec. 13, 2021
JB Banks

Buffs, you did it! We’re almost at the end of the semester and it’s time to enjoy a well-deserved break. 

I am so appreciative of the students who showed up for their fellow Buffs this semester. We’re all a part of the Buff family, and I’m grateful for those who supported and leaned on each other during challenging times. Thank you for looking out for each other. Thank you for continuing to wear face masks this semester. Thank you to the students in CU Student Government, Program Council, Cultural Events Board, Distinguished Speakers Board, CU GOLD, HealthBuffs peer educators, resident advisors, Residence Hall Association, Journey Leaders, Neighborhood Ambassadors, ASAP tutors, student employees, recognized Greek organizations and recognized student organizations who planned events and helped fellow Buffs out this semester. Each of you have contributed powerfully to the belonging and engagement of students at CU Boulder. 

As we continue navigating uncertain times for the near future, I encourage you to keep showing up for your communities in this way. With the start of winter break later this week, here are three things I encourage you to do over the next few weeks. 

Rest and relax 

Winter break is the time to slow down and rest or focus on other areas. Use this time to do things that you enjoy, and that you maybe don’t have time for during the semester. Maybe that’s doing craft projects, getting outside for skiing or snowboarding, catching up on TV shows or reading for fun. Or take the opportunity to work some extra hours at your part-time job, or work on a passion project outside of your academics. Whatever you choose to do, I encourage you to be intentional with your time and make the most of your break.

Reflect on your past semester

After you’ve had a week or two to recover from finals, take some time to reflect on this semester. What went well, and what did you find challenging? Are there lessons you can learn from those experiences? 

Think about those times when you were stressed. What was the cause of your stress? Was there anything that helped you make it through? As you’re reflecting, try to think of some things you could do over winter break to help your future self out when things become stressful. Maybe that’s making a new playlist of some favorite songs to listen to, or getting a new planner and making a schedule for yourself. Perhaps it’s setting up a weekly phone call with a family member or friend 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. 

Be proud of your accomplishments, big and small

When reflecting on the past few months, it can be easy to focus on the areas for improvement. Remember to also reflect on all that you accomplished this semester.  

Maybe you received high scores on a paper you found difficult to write. Or perhaps you stepped outside of your comfort zone and tried something new. Maybe you expanded your social circle, or had a breakthrough with someone you weren’t getting along with. All of these efforts are reasons to be proud of yourself, and I encourage you to take pride in your accomplishments this semester—no matter how small they may seem.

And to our senior Buffs who are graduating this semester—congratulations! These past few years have not always been easy, but you have worked hard and made it through. You’ve shown resilience and persevered through difficult times. I am proud of you and you should be extremely proud of yourselves. Congratulations again on your academic achievement, and I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Buffs, I hope you have a great winter break, and I’ll see you in the new year.

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