When the word midterm is voiced, it is usually done so with apprehension and an audible cringe. But it is also a word that alludes to future excitement because of its companion phrase: midterm break.
So first things first, don’t stress—easier said than done, right? Well, don’t stress too much.
Before you can relish in the freedom of your impending break, you have to tie up loose ends on the homework front. And maybe even prepare for an exam or five...don't fret though. You are an intelligent individual who was organized and determined enough to get yourself to Dublin. And if you can do that, then you can do anything.
And you can definitely get that work done. I believe in you as a fellow study abroad student and as a prime example.
During midterm week, I did have to finish up some assignments before break. However, the IES Abroad professors try to lessen the load during this time and usually assign too much. They actually want you to enjoy your vacation, and many of them would even love to help you plan it.
So make some tea (or coffee if you prefer the bean over the leaf), find a quiet spot, and believe in your capability to conquer those assignments. But if you find that it is taking a toll, as does happen, then reach out to a fellow IES Abroad student or one of the many friendly faces that make up the IES Abroad staff.
Midterm exams and papers can be tough. Just know that you are never alone in thinking this. Coming from a college or university back in the states, you have most likely tangoed with this before. Think about how you made it through in the past.
Do you have a favorite snack or treat? Then stock your room with it. How about a specific playlist that has accompanied you through the grueling hours of an all-nighter? Play it. Or maybe a favorite TV series or secretly loved rom-com that is your go-to in a “treat yourself” moment? Watch them all.
If you need a little help though, here are some recommendations:
Snacks: Cadbury chocolate (can be found at your local Lidl, Centra, Dealz, etc.), pastries from Queen of Tarts, orange flavored or chocolate Digestives (Lidl has them, and I know they sound odd, but they are delicious cookies, I swear), Tayto (a crisp brand that is adored in Ireland).
Music: Mozart (OK, sort of a joke, but it’s actually my jam), Bishop Briggs, Best Coast, Bob Dylan, Regina Spektor, Yiruma, System of a Down (OK that one is for sure a joke, but specifically for study time...if you want to headbang in your room after to celebrate, then perfect).
Series suggestions first- New Girl, Mozart in the Jungle, Friends, Once Upon a Time, Sherlock, Suits, The Big Bang Theory, House Hunters, or anything on the Food Network.
Movies (rom-com) - You’ve Got Mail (please, please, watch it if you have not seen it. Tom Hanks is a gift), The Proposal (Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds? Well that’s all anyone needs), P.S. I Love You (make an adventure out of it and visit the sights in Ireland where some of it was filmed!), 13 Going on 30 (I once wrote a poem about this movie – it’s a classic), 50 First Dates, Music and Lyrics, Bridget Jones’s Diary, 10 Things I hate about You, Along Came Polly… phew. I could go on and on, but my fingers are beginning to cramp. Well, I hope those recommendations were helpful or at least inspiring. I’m sure you’re probably thinking about your own favorites too.
And now, the fun part. The break!
You should have started thinking about where you wanted to travel to before this crucial moment, but never fear. I am nearly an expert in procrastination and last-minute adventures.
Firstly, where do you want to go and what do you want to do? You can stay and enjoy the many wonders of both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland or you can fly-off to another country entirely. Just make sure you have some things thought out.
If you need a plane, then Ryanair offers great deals. And if you browse through Expedia, you may be able to find some great package deals for a plane ticket and hotel. Or if a hostel is more your style, look them up in the city or general area of where you are going and compare prices beforehand (even if it’s the day before, make sure you have a bed waiting for you).
Also, if you haven’t gone to the GNIB yet, you should take that into consideration. Generally, if you haven’t done it but have proof of appointment, then you should be ok to travel.
And it’s always good to have physical Euros (or Pounds if you’re going to the UK/ other country-specific currencies outside the EU) with you in case you need cash for a taxi (or bus) from the airport, which might happen to be the only means of getting you to your hotel/hostel/Airbnb. Also, some stores don’t take card, so it’s good to have physical money for food.
Oh, and don’t forget your passport!
Fast Facts: During my break, I went to Málaga, Spain. I highly recommend it if you would like a warm, beach-filled getaway. Or, if you like mountains, then you can visit the city of Ronda, which is in Málaga just a couple hours away from the Costa del Sol. It’s incredible. (Pictures below.)
Or you can read the article I wrote about Malaga if you'd like: http://evoke.ie/travelnews/topless-or-tapas-make-yourself-understood-in-marvellous-malaga
*If you have any questions or would like any advice on travel, movies or rock ‘n’ roll, please feel free to give us a shout: firstname.lastname@example.org
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<p>Hello, I’m Christena, a 4th-year journalism student at the University of Florida, who has decided to spend a semester experiencing the wonders of Dublin, Ireland. I am passionate about traveling, food, reading, writing and experiencing new and beautiful cultures. I’m a 21-year-old with a thirst for knowledge and adventure, and I’m excited to share all that I find abroad! Happy readings and a jolly good day to you!</p>