By Sofia Netto || Copy Editor

Photo courtesy of Erin Maxwell.

Winter break is over and two weeks have passed since the beginning of the spring semester. For those who were not on campus for the break: welcome back! We missed you – the campus was definitely feeling a bit empty without everyone. As you may have heard, some students were allowed to stay on campus during the break and for the two weeks of online classes, so let me break it down for you: it was…interesting.

Some days, students weren’t able to eat in the dining hall (don’t ask me why, because I also don’t know. Perhaps it’s because it was the holidays?). You had to either spend lots of time in the kitchen, which can be very relaxing (or stressful), or spend lots of money eating out and ordering delivery food service. I believe this was something most students did not expect and added to the $150 cost of having to be on a meal plan during the break (and remember, you were still responsible for cooking or ordering your food on the days D-hall wasn’t open).

Beyond that, it was also a good time to explore Lancaster since students that stayed back had a lot of free time in their hands. You could also explore Philadelphia, Washington D.C., or even New York City, being, of course, careful due to Omicron. Traveling was stressful, but not impossible. Spending one or two days away from school was great for a distraction, exploration of new places, and the opportunity to try out new things. Of course, it got cold really fast so spending too much time outside was difficult (unless you enjoy the cold breeze in your face, and your hands and feet slowly turning into stone). Either way, those weeks were amazing for relaxing.

Students also had the chance to work if they were on campus. And even more so: for international students, we could work more hours, which was great considering that everything in the United States is so expensive (especially for those with currencies that are not in great shape). That allowed us to save some money for future breaks and for just personal expenses in general, as well as having the opportunity to build a good relationship with employers because of the opportunity to spend more time in the office.

In conclusion, Lancaster is definitely a different place to spend a break. Sometimes you see someone in a chariot or a BMW parked outside of a restaurant. It is a place filled with different people, that’s for sure. It can be boring, but there are so many things that even seniors haven’t done that you will always find a new possibility. It just takes time, which we usually don’t have during the semester. Lancaster is also unique. For such a small city, it is incredible how many different cultures are here. Next time you are here for a break, take advantage of that: try a new restaurant, support small businesses, and enjoy what this city has to offer. If you don’t like the idea of just staying here, you can always explore nearby cities. I’m sure you will find something amazing.

Sophomore Sofia Netto is a Copy Editor.  Her email is