The Happy Trail

Taking time off necessary for both school and sex

Winter break is coming up—that magical time when you recuperate from the stresses of the semester and don’t bother with wearing pants. Perhaps  you also spend some time reflecting on what pulled you into the hellhole of academia in the first place.

We can all agree that breaks are great. They distance you from your reality for a short while, allowing you to take a breath and think about who you really want to be rather than who you’ve become in the tempestuous soup of sex, studies and spirits that is college life.

And while hooking up may be more fun than, say, your impending 12-page paper, sometimes you also need to take a sex (or making out or going down) break.

The same rules apply: you take a breath, you re-examine yourself, you think about what really makes you feel good…

Sex can be a lot like your homework. If you push yourself to get a lot of it done without really thinking about it, you may end up exhausted and unfulfilled. This is coming from a girl who has partaken in one-night stands and regretted nothing but the loss of a wayward earring.

But circumstance matters. When you end up in some guy’s bed because you’re drunk and just found out that your ex has moved on, this can end in tears and trying to find your way home at four in the morning, dramatically sobbing at the “Do Not Enter” sign on the street corner because IT IS A METAPHOR FOR YOUR LIFE.

If you’re lucky. Sometimes it ends with you staying the night, waking up the next morning to the taste of stale beer and the weight of regret. Maybe a few ill-placed hickeys.

It’s tough, because you always think you can handle it. You are invincible and need a little love. You can handle an essay at 2 a.m., why can’t you handle an empty hook-up?

But in the end, it’s important to acknowledge your own fallibility. You need a break after a semester of school—you may need a break after a relationship. Even if it was short.

We have such a stigma in society against getting emotional—but damn, feelings hurt.

And often, when you’re heading over to that rebound’s house late at night, there’s a little nagging voice that tells you that this is not what you really want. Even if you’re supposed to be strong. Even if you’re supposed to not care. Even if you’re supposed to be sexy, sassy and independent.

The moral of this story is: Embrace your feelings. Embrace the break. It’s a refresher course in your own identity.