An unpredictable winter break
Students share their holiday adventures.
Taylor Swift dance party cut short
Prisha (Maneka) Nuckchady
Back in September, I planned on visiting one of my closest friends in Ottawa to attend a Taylor Swift dance party. After booking a bus ticket, little did I know that it was not going to happen—I had gotten my days messed up. Turns out I had a doctor’s appointment that I could not reschedule.
Fast forward to December 25, my friend was preparing to visit me. Bad luck struck again, postponing her bus ticket to the following day. She had told me that she wanted to surprise me with a late birthday present on December 29, and that I should ensure I had nothing planned for the night. I could tell what it was—a thoughtful Taylor Swift dance party ticket that I kept seeing advertised on my Instagram.
I had never been to a nightclub or any kind of fancy dance party before, so I was restless waiting in line, worried it wasn’t the right venue. As we approached the entrance, I started hearing echoes of familiar songs. Yup, we were at the right place.
But literally, minutes into the dance party, I started feeling nauseous. However, nothing was going to cut our night short. Fully planning on returning by 10:30 p.m., or 11 p.m. at the latest (as per my worried dad’s hopes), we found ourselves jamming out to Taylor’s songs past midnight. Seeing everyone shamelessly vibing to her songs was enchanting. While I was telling my friend that we should probably leave as I nibbling on mint-flavoured candy, the dizziness got the best of me.
Finally, out for fresh air and starving, we stopped at Dominos—the closest food joint we could find—to recuperate before taking an Uber home. Feeling a little guilty that I was unable to stay longer, my friend reassured me, maintaining I should have said something earlier. We finished our night by watching old Disney shows till we fell asleep. Regardless of the night being cut short, spending this exciting evening with her and screaming to some of Taylor Swift’s best songs, was a memorable time—one I look forward to hopefully recreating with her soon.
Chills and Thrills of Winter 2022
“Make a pizza, make a pizza,” I repeated with exasperated breath as I picked up speed on the ski hill, trying to remember what the instructors taught us before releasing us on this hill of doom. Instead of going in a graceful zig-zag pattern like the other students, I went down the slippery hill with wobbling skis, desperately trying to stop by making a pizza slice shape with my skis. The grainy, blowing snow covered my view as I held on to the ski poles tightly.
The bitter rush of cold had me aggressively squeezing the hand warmers in my gloves, trying to drain out every bit of heat into my body. In a split second, I didn’t register that I fell, until I collided with the sparkling, cushioned ground. In that moment I felt grateful that it had snowed the previous day. I sat in the middle of the hill, catching my breath and watching the beautiful view of the surrounding forest from afar. I knew that nothing could top the adrenaline and ecstasy I experienced going down the hill.
I remembered this moment as I counted down the new year at Harbourfront. I looked back at the joyful memories I experienced, the new people I met, and the failed pizza slice ski I attempted. They all shaped who I am. I pictured the clock ticking closer to a new year as people counted down. I savoured my dearest memories and those closest to me like a wrapped gift. I knew I was to cherish these memories forever.
Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!
“No boba, no Starbucks, no fun!” I think to myself as I arrive in my small town of Fenelon Falls for the winter break. Fenelon Falls is the kind of small rural town you see in cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies where a successful city woman returns home and rediscovers “the true meaning of the holiday season.” In a way, that is exactly what happened this holiday season.
While living in Mississauga, I grew accustomed to constantly having everything I desired at my fingertips—shopping, fast food, friends. When I walked through the front door, I was greeted by my cats and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree—I was excited to be home.
But then, the first snowflakes began to fall. By noon, the peaceful snowfall was a monstrous blizzard. My mother’s phone started ringing nonstop as part of her job was to help coordinate the crews restoring power to areas affected by the blizzard.
Luckily, I was still able to celebrate Christmas Eve dinner surrounded by my family. As per our usual German traditions, we enjoyed delicious sandwiches with slices of fresh deli meat and cheese, warm bakery buns and steak tartare—a German delicacy.
Unfortunately, on Christmas Day, we were not as lucky, as my mother worked through Christmas morning and Christmas dinner. While it was frustrating not being with her on such an important holiday, it allowed me to appreciate the things that I was fortunate enough to have at Christmas. It also made me realize that the holidays are not about the gifts or the food that we eat, but rather the people we get to spend them with.
My long-awaited, not super eventful, but nevertheless special winter break!
“One more week, and I will be done.” “Three more days left.” “Only 24 more hours.” These were some of the thoughts that ran through my head during exam season. But for someone who was so excited to be done, I was very confused about how to actually spend my break.
It started off with a bang. I consumed about four seasons’ worth of TV shows in two days. Christmas approached, and I spent it with my family while eating copious amounts of delicious food. In the days between Christmas and New Years–when I kept forgetting what day it was–I had a lot of free time.
During the semester, I spent nearly every day on campus, and the introvert in me wanted some alone time during the break. After reflecting on my semester and catching up with friends, I browsed for new hobbies and decided on trying gel nails! It was incredibly therapeutic and inspired me to continue exploring my artistic side in 2023.
Much to the excitement of the people who usually drive me around, I also enrolled in driving school, which was equal parts fun, boring, and terrifying. This winter break was mostly about being comfortable with doing nothing, while figuring out what I did want to do since no school meant no concrete routine. Although my 2022 winter break lacked the familiar bustle, it was especially relaxing, which I have come to appreciate greatly.