The joys of returning home for Easter

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After an egg-hausting second term of fighting through the winter blues, Easter, quite frankly, cannot come quick enough. Ten weeks takes its toll on all of us, particularly with Epiphany term throwing us essays and deadlines left, right and centre. Despite February being the shortest month, those packed twenty-eight days have definitely dented the bank account. It’s safe to say that I am egg-stremely ready for the break.

After Storm Eunice rudely interrupted my plans for a quick weekend trip away from Durham, I’m itching for my double bed, a bath and a detox from the endless curries that seem to dominate my college’s catered menu. Although Easter break is mildly haunted by the stress of summatives and dreaded upcoming exams, it’s important to look past this and take it as a break to recuperate and recharge your batteries.

For me, Easter marks a big change in attitudes. Sunshine becomes more regular, the scenery looks prettier…life is on the up. Finally, the woolly jumpers and infamous Durham scarves can slowly be replaced with fewer layers and maybe even the occasional skirt, if the Northern weather allows.

When I picture the joys of Easter, I think of it being a time for big family reunions, with my grandma giving me and all of my cousins chocolate eggs, which have now been upgraded to have an accompaniment of some sort of alcoholic beverage. Along with endless chocolate nests, Easter is the perfect excuse for my annual obsession with mini eggs to surface again.

Take it as a break to recuperate and recharge your batteries

Quite frankly, a major benefit of this time of year is the chocolate, you can’t deny it. It’s a time to be guilt free and just indulge, for no other reason than simply, “it’s Easter.” As we grow up and our lives become busier, holidays, like Easter, provide the perfect time for reconnecting with people who aren’t in your everyday life, but are just as important — whether that’s wider family or old friends.

I, personally, cannot wait to meet my friends this holiday without the coronavirus restrictions that tainted our Christmas break. With university spreading us all across the country, these next few weeks where we overlap in Easter break is invaluable and a trip to the local Spoons for a catchup is much needed. You no longer need to cram in a quick Facetime call as you rush to a lecture, or wake up with severe hangxiety and need to debrief your messy night to that friend from home instead of making your 9am. Easter finally gives you time to escape your busy timetable and the pressures that can easily escalate at university.

It’s fair to say Easter has arguably lost an element of its religious importance, as the holiday has become increasingly commercialised with a clear prioritisation of chocolate over church. The annual race for the shops to stock their shelves as outrageously early as possible with an array of fluffy Easter toys and chocolate eggs began long ago. They have already slapped a bunny or chick on everything they can get their hands on. This commercialisation has deterred many people away from categorising the holiday as a notably religious one. However, I’ve found that amongst the commercialisation, the biblical story of Lent has managed to cling on and still crops up in the occasional Easter conversations.

Our society should use the Easter holiday as a time for self-reflection

With Easter Sunday falling just three days after Lent ends, the Easter holidays usually consist of me attempting to give something up, but miserably failing within seventy-two hours. Along the years, this has ranged from giving up chocolate to becoming a dedicated member to our local gym.

But, perhaps now more than ever, our society should use the Easter holiday as a time for self-reflection. Maybe that involves giving something up during the period of Lent. Maybe you’re planning to complete the ‘40-day challenge’ social media trend, such as random acts of kindness. Either way, adding a bit of extra positivity into the world, instead of banning yourself from having a bit of chocolate after a long day, is far more enjoyable.

Particularly now, with all the current global anxiety going on in the world, it is more important than ever to hold onto the little things and spend time with family and friends. So, although I’m not encouraging you to wish away these next few weeks of term, get excited for the well-deserved break to come!

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