So we basically have just one more week before the new semester begins. Normally I would address these thoughts with a shudder before quickly dismissing them. A student must always be in denial of their responsibilities during breaks, right? Well I find myself, once again, looking forward to the beginning of the semester. Although last semester was particularly difficult for me, and this Winter Break was a much needed breather, I’m not dreading the added responsibilities as much as I thought I would last month, while in the midst of finals week.

While some of my friends whine and pout about the beginning of the semester approaching us, I can’t help but feel cheery about it. Sure, I may not be ready to wake up early enough to make it to a 9 a.m. class (now cue in the shudders), but I do feel excited about the classes I’m registered for Spring 2017. I’ll let you all know about my classes and why I’m excited about them later on; probably once the semester begins. For now I just want to share my methods for preparing for the new semester.

Today I found recipes online that go along the lines of “5-ingredient meals” or “one-pot dinners,” and I hadn’t realized that this is the kind of inspiration I have been needing and looking for. I enjoy cooking, and I will always prefer a home-cooked meal over most other restaurants, but more often than not, I find myself struggling to actually make time to cook for myself during the semester. These kinds of recipes I found today are ideal because they strive to minimize the messy part of cooking by limiting the resources you need in one way or the other. Today I tried making 5-ingredient turkey meatballs, and judging by their success at the dinner table, I know they’ll be a great, quick-fix during the semester (a big plus is they can be stored in the fridge long enough to last Monday through Friday!)

There weren't that many leftover after tonight. I'll have to double up the recipe if I want them to last a week!

There weren’t that many leftover after tonight. I’ll have to double up the recipe if I want them to last a week!

I have also been trying to be more diligent on planning out weekly routines for the gym. I had been particularly good at incorporating exercise into my daily routine until last semester. The only activity that saved me was my dance class, otherwise, I would’ve fallen terribly out of shape (and out of breath!) Luckily, I have given myself enough time to reconsider my expectations, and I am now hoping to be able to build more realistic plans in order to be able to visit the gym several times a week; even for those times when school becomes too time-consuming.

The end of a break is also a good time to treat yourself. Who am I kidding? Any time is a good time to treat yourself. However, as of late, I have been craving crepes. And so I have resorted to finish my break on a high-note by trying new crepe places around town. It turns out that there are many wonderful places in Albuquerque for that one craving. I have even found places which are open late, which is a notable feat in this city!

Nutella, strawberry, banana, and whipped cream. A heavenly "flower" from Crepe Crepe!

Nutella, strawberry, banana, and whipped cream. A heavenly “flower” from Crepe Crepe!

The Boiler Monkey is an adorable spot to enjoy delicious crepes, amongst other treats.

The Boiler Monkey is an adorable spot to enjoy delicious crepes, amongst other treats.

So basically I have been trying to enjoy this break until the very end, while also trying to make the daily routine easier on myself so the beginning of the semester can also be enjoyable. It’s also important to celebrate little victories like getting up before 9am on the break, and staying productive throughout the day, even in between Christmas and NYE parties. I hope you have all enjoyed of a wonderful break, and are prepared to slowly ease back into the work-intensive pace of the semester.

Best of luck, everyone!