1. Finals are over I for one was hugely excited to go back home for winter break. So much so, that it felt a bit like I was running away, as opposed to leaving. This was in large part due to the strain of finals season. Now the big, bad monster is gone, and we can safely return to the kingdom. 2. Weekends are a break again Our weekends are relatively free once again, as evidenced by my writing this article on a couch in Richmond with a cookie pizza to my left and “Seinfeld” playing in the background. We’re free to do our assignments whenever we want and spend the rest of our time however we choose. For example, I spent a good portion of time eating pancakes this past Saturday. 3. Color coding is in full swing With new syllabi released and the first week of classes behind us, now is the time to get organized. While that doesn’t sound extremely exciting, my planner is about the size of “War and Peace,” which is a pain to carry around but a joy to color code. 4. FaceTime exists I tend to get very homesick, which makes returning from a long break a bit rough. If you feel a little lost without your family or hometown friends, remember they are only a short phone call away — or a drive, if you’re lucky. You can learn fun, new information, like that your brother got into law school and his cat put on a tremendous amount of weight. Side note — I have too much in common with his cat. 5. New classes This is my favorite part of the new semester. Whether you’re returning to chemistry with your science crew or starting a whole new class, it’s always exciting to begin learning again. I don’t know about you, but my brain was beginning to feel a bit like mush over the break. Unfortunately, this carried into the beginning of classes in which I could only speak in coughs and mumbles. Don’t worry though — I spoke an entire sentence today, and it might have even made sense. 6. Proximity to the libraries I still haven’t checked out a library book but I plan to remedy that soon. The Romantic poets we’ve begun studying in class are so wildly obsessed with Milton that I really want to see what he’s all about. Alderman, Clemons and Clark — the holy trinity — are here to welcome you back to Grounds and reintroduce you to the joys of studying, which means I’m going to have to stop using my free time to watch “Friends.” That’s going to be a real adjustment. 7. You’re back with your University friends Sure, you could keep in touch with most of your friends from home via texting, but what about that random person in your class who you only talk to about fluffy happy things, like the weather or the newest episode of “Riverdale?” Besides, you wouldn’t be able to hear about second-hand drama if you weren’t back on Grounds. 8. Activities I know lots of people are excited to get back to their activities — now that they’re tried and true members — or join new ones. Although I found rush to be a debilitating experience, my friend is all set and ready for initiation into a sorority. I’m not exactly sure what initiation entails, but I imagine it to involve a lot of sparkles. 9. The Corner No amalgamation of vegetables from home can replace a bowl from Roots, nor can any bagel measure up to Bodo’s. If you’re feeling a little bitter that you’re back at school, some of your favorite food from the Corner could be the perfect cure. The Pigeon Hole has an exciting brunch if you are missing the pancakes from home. And Starbucks, of course, will always be a source of comfort, whether it’s beverage-based or not. 10. Spring break It’s only about a month away. I’m sure we can hunker down for one month with our books and our snacks, learning things and becoming better students, until that magical week in March when things matter just a little bit less.