By Anna Gaw
Block break: the four-and-a-half days of bliss (or a different kind of chaos) after the busy, condensed craziness of one class and before the stress of the next. Many students choose to embark on wild adventures like backpacking through a national park, driving farther than one would think doable in a few days, going home, visiting a new city, or exploring the great outdoors. While I am a self-identified homebody, I do appreciate a good adventure, and there is nothing I love more than being outside. I have spent Block Breaks doing just about everything I listed above. However, there is nothing more rejuvenating than a Block Break spent on our very own Colorado College campus. Wondering how you might possibly fill four-and-a-half days without going far from campus? Here’s a list of ideas, somewhat inspired by my own experiences, that can be done alone or with friends.
1. Clean your room, apartment and house
I’m living in an on-campus apartment this year with four other people, so there is plenty to clean and little time to do so. While the job is more efficient with other people, it’s kind of a nice activity to get done by yourself in order to start the Block Break off with a bang. It’s great to disinfect literally, and to metaphorically ‘wipe away’ the past block. And besides, a tidy space is just begging for you to mess it up again, which leads me to the next idea.
2. Do a Craft project
I love getting myself involved in overly ambitious do-it-yourself projects, and when is a better time to do this than over a Block Break? See where inspiration strikes or return to that Pinterest board full of crafts you’ve never gotten around to. A few suggestions: make a terrarium with plants and dirt in a container you find at the Arc; embroider, sew, cross-stitch, knit, or crochet; make a papier-mâché unicorn; do a craft using flowers, leaves, or twigs you find outside; or construct a clothesline in your dorm room.
3. Read a book
As CC students on the Block Plan, we get pretty good at reading books quickly, but very rarely does this skill get used for something you choose to read for pleasure. So, grab the book that’s been sitting on your bedside table all block and get reading!
4. Explore the Springs
As soon as I think I’ve become pretty familiar with Colorado Springs, something brings me to an entirely new part of town or an unexpected spot. There is plenty to explore within a small radius around campus accessible by bike, foot, bus, or car.
5. Volunteer or work
If you have a job that doesn’t allow you to take time off for Block Break, you’ll likely be working. Also, volunteering could be a great option if you want to do some good with your days off.
6. Cook or bake something
Use the time off to make yourself a nice meal. Maybe gather some ingredients from the farmer’s market and whip up something elaborate and delicious. You also could bake cookies, or just eat the cookie dough. Even just going to Rastall can make you feel like a chef as you combine some unexpected components.
7. Check things off a to-do list
As you may have guessed, I am a list person. There are always lots of things on my to-do list that may not be the highest priorities during the block; which means that Block Break is the perfect time to get them done. Whether these include a trip to the DMV or sending a thank-you note, allotting time to the little things can make a big difference.
8. Go on a date
You know that cute person you’ve been messaging for a few weeks on Tinder and Snapchat? Go meet them for a fun activity in person. Now that the crazy block is over, there are no excuses to stop you from taking them on a nice hike and out to dinner (which may or may not be a date, but either way it’s a nice outing and opportunity to get to know someone).
9. Self-care and reflect
Take some much-needed time for yourself in whatever form that may be. Block break allows for the time and space to put your needs before school or anything else.
10. Hang out outside
You don’t have to drive to a national park or trek far into the mountains to spend some time in nature. Hang a hammock between a couple of trees (which won’t be taken because almost everyone else most likely is off campus), lay in the grass, go for a local hike, play in the snow, or look for wildlife.
11. Go to an event
Often there are cool events around CC or Colorado Springs that are easy to miss during the block, but don’t have to be missed over Block Break. You can attend a speaking event on campus, go to the symphony, rebel at a climate strike (or other activism event), or find other happenings nearby.
12. Watch Netflix
Sometimes, at the end of an exhausting block, you just need to sit in bed eating overly priced C-Store ice cream and binge watching a TV series.