How I Spent My Midterm Break Abroad (It’s Not What You'd Think)

Nov 5, 2020 10:15:00 AM / by Will Baldwin

Midterm breaks can be a time for students to check off items on their bucket list. However, it can also be an opportunity to turn those plans on its head and just do what feels right! Check out what Will and her roommate got up to during their break.

And on the 5th, 6th, AND 7th Day… We Rested.

Spring break — people making plans, hitting several different countries, and checking things off their bucket list. There are planes to catch, trains to get you there, taxis that show up to the wrong place, and LUGGAGE FEES.

Walking Up the Stairs to board an Easyjet flight.Walking up the stairs to board an Easyjet flight.

My spring break started like that. My flatmates and I went to Amsterdam for the first half of the week; we stayed in an amazing hostel and made friends from all over the world. We walked every bit of that city until Thursday came around and it was time to go home… at least for me and my flatmate Maia (the others went off to Scotland immediately following the Amsterdam trip).

A photo my roomie Spence took of me at the Van Gogh Museum (she always has her camera out!).A photo my roomie Spence took of me at the Van Gogh Museum (she always has her camera out!).

Maia and I got home, unpacked, and did absolutely nothing for two days. We were exhausted. We just went two months in a new country, new jobs, classes, midterms, exploring, budgeting, new transportation, an apartment building without an elevator… and we just wanted to do. absolutely. nothing.

So, we combined our two couches to make our “mega couch” and watched Netflix for 48 hours. And ya know what? We had absolutely no regrets. We didn’t shower, we didn’t think about school, and we only changed out of our pajamas to change into other pajamas that didn’t smell musty.

On the mega couch with my roommateMy beautiful partner in coziness this weekend.

We cleaned up a bit and started laundry, but for the most part we just lounged. I cannot think of a better way to have spent the last bit of break. I even thought that at some point I would start applying for summer internships back home, just to do something productive. I didn’t—and I really thought I would feel guilty and gross after those couple days, but I just felt rested. That is the main point of writing this: resting.

Cozy with a Pillow from Notting Hill MarketA pillow I got in Notting Hill Market (and adds to our comfy couch).

There were days in Amsterdam when I thought it would be impossible to pull me out of bed, but I got up and I walked 6 miles. When I wanted to retire for the night, I pulled myself together and went out with everyone else.

I haven’t missed a day of school (which, admittedly, is a huge victory for me), I have turned in every assignment on time, I have taken an hour commute to and from my internship that I work 20 hours a week, and all that has got to add up to some deserved days of pure indulgence.

Indulging in Chocolate - A Receipt for Items from TescoOnly bought the essentials at Tesco.

This was probably my most fulfilling weekend in London that I have had. It wasn’t the most spectacular or most adventurous or even the most fun. However, the difference I felt from beginning to end was so stark that I felt completely prepared for the last half of my study abroad experience. I started the weekend drained, tired, cranky, and tired of the noise of the city. I ended it lively, curious, clean, and writing again…

I took a second to give myself what I needed, and now I can go on and enjoy the remainder of my time here.

Thanks, Will!

Will Baldwin


Emma 'Will' Baldwin was an official CAPA blogger for spring 2020, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Technical Writing and Communications and Political Science major at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, she studied abroad in London.

Read more from Will's journey.

Learn More about the CAPA London Program

Topics: London, England