The fall 2020 semester at the University of Arizona was vastly different than those in the past. With classes being predominantly virtual and many events having been held remotely, student experiences across campus varied in many ways. The same variety can be said for the upcoming winter recess.
While some students have been at home the entirety of the fall semester, others are returning from Tucson closer to the holidays in order to join family and friends. Speaking with several UA students revealed the different ways in which they intend to spend the break, whether that means working, school, leisure activity or travel.
Antonio Ramirez is a UA senior studying communications and urban and regional development. Ramirez has been home for the whole fall semester, which is something he plans to continue over break.
When speaking with Ramirez, he revealed his plans to delve into his future career during the temporary time off from school.
“I plan on finding work in the realm of city planning around California somewhere,” said Ramiez. “I want to find something that will get me into the job market and future opportunities.”
Nicholas Ernenwein is also a UA senior who has slightly different plans than Ramirez in regards to his winter plans.
“My winter break plans include traveling back home to California and then spending probably most of the next month out there as well. I don’t think I am going to do much traveling this break other than that and I’m not in a rush to get back to school anytime soon,” said Ernenwein.
Ernenwein mentioned possible changes to his travel plans.
“I might try and get out to Oregon to see a friend,” said Ernenwein. “But considering it’s pretty risky to travel right now and since I’m going to be around my family a lot, I don’t want to put them in jeopardy.”
Ernenwein included that he still hopes to get out and about a little this break, even just for short amounts of time.
“Although this break is going to be much different than others in the past, I feel like I will still be able to have fun,” said Ernenwein.
In contrast to Ernenwien and Ramirez is UA student Katie Baird. Baird reflected on her plans to stay in Tucson, due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, and explained ways she hopes to be productive during this unusual winter break.
“Because I will not be visiting with family or friends this winter break, due to the pandemic, I plan on using this extra time to work on personal music projects and pick up some new hobbies,” said Baird. “Some of these projects include continuing research and data entry for the Underrepresented Composers Database and start learning a new piece of contemporary music for a mini film project I am working on next semester.”
Although Baird did relay her excitement to pick up hobbies such as reading and embroidery over break, she too reflected on the differences this winter season poses in comparison to previous ones.
“Before the pandemic I would get together with extended family and friends for traditional Christmas celebrations, and it has always been one of my favorite times of the year because of that," said Baird. "This year I will stay at home though, and all visits will be virtual. Additionally, each year I look forward to performing music in local Christmas musicals or concerts, and this is the first year where playing music with others in a live setting is not possible.”
It is certain that this holiday season will differ greatly from our traditional views of packed family gatherings and trips home, yet it appears that there is hope this short time away from online classes and virtual lectures will have its benefits. Regardless of the fall semester's abnormality, sentiment seems relatively positive that the time leading into 2021 will be spent in a productive and equally relaxing manner for many UA students.