Fall Break Prep

Fall break will begin on Thursday, much to the anticipation of several students. With the break marking the halfway point of the semester, many students will be leaving campus to enjoy their time off, whether or not they have taken their mid-term exams yet.

With fall break just around the corner, here are some ways you can prepare for the four-day break:

Do homework:

While homework might be one of the last things on your mind before a break, especially if you are taking a mid-term right before you leave, it might be wiser to get all of your homework due after fall break done before you officially kick your break off.

Along with not having to worry about homework while you are spending time with family and friends or binge-watching Netflix shows, you will also have an easier time when you get back on Sunday not having to scramble last minute to get homework done.

If you don't have much homework due right after fall break, then consider working ahead and getting homework that might not be due for another week after fall break ends to extend your vacation time for a bit.

If you just don't have a lot of homework to do, then start gathering your notes together and look into finals. While fall break is only the half-way point and Thanksgiving break is in November, classes after fall break tend to fly by; December can arrive before you know it.

Plan your trips accordingly:

If you are traveling somewhere for fall break, hopefully you know by now where you are going, where you are staying, and what you are planning to do. However, if you are missing one or more of those components, consider gathering a group of friends or family members together for an impromptu road trip.

If you are in the Knoxville area, Gatlinburg is a popular destination, with Pigeon Forge and Smokey Mountains National Park being close by. Other cities that you could easily drive to for fall break destination can include Nashville, TN; Memphis, TN; Chattanooga, TN; Atlanta, GA; Asheville, NC; and Mammoth Cave, KY.

Wherever you are traveling, make sure to book a hotel room ahead of time if you are not staying at a family member's or friend's place, and check the weather in the area for the days you are going in order to pack accordingly.

Plan to make time for family:

While you may be tempted to go for a road trip with friends or even just lay around in your dorm room for the break, consider going home to see your family.

Even if you are planning on going home for Thanksgiving, this four-day break won't be until the end of November, so fall break would most likely be your best chance for going home before the pre-finals season kicks in.

Especially if your parents came to Knoxville for parents' weekend, return the favor and visit home. Contact your family ahead of time to make sure they can take time off of work. Then go out for a special day of family-bonding activities, whether it's going to a nearby theme park or just going to see a movie. Since the break is fairly short, try to plan out what to do each day.

Make a list of stuff to bring from home:

You might have not brought everything you though you needed when you moved in. Having gotten to settle in and get used to the routine in Knoxville, start thinking about things you realized you need or just might be nice to have for the rest of the semester. With fall weather coming our way, start bringing your sweaters, scarves, boots and other typical autumn attire from home and lighten your load by bringing some of your typical summer attire back.

Other things you might want to consider bringing from home could be fall and Halloween-themed decorations. Since there is not another break before Halloween, go ahead and bring your costume up to be prepared for the incoming Halloween season.

Do laundry:

It may sound basic, but many students can underestimate just how many other people need to do laundry when coming back from break. If you are living on campus, you will most likely run into the issue of full washers and dryers when you get back. If you don't want to haul around a heavy load of laundry back and forth from home and want to save yourself some stress when you get to campus.

While it may be off-putting to feel like you have to prepare for a break, you might find that preparing for fall break will make your days off more enjoyable and relaxing. Plan in advance and de-stress during the break so that you can be ready for school to start up again on Monday. 

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