Screaming On the Inside

Home, sweet home

Madeline Fuerstenberg

More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

November 2, 2020

I haven’t gone home since sometime in early August.

In case anyone was wondering, “home” for me is Deerfield, Wis. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s because it’s obscure, tiny and nothing ever happens there.

The reason I haven’t been there in a while is simple: I’ve been busy. As much as I’ve wanted to go home and see my family and my dog, it just feels so much easier to stay here and worry about school and work.

My counselor at Counseling Services suggested that I go home weeks ago. She said a change of scenery would be good for me. I agreed with her, but I am also an expert at making excuses for myself.

“Well, I can’t go home this weekend,” I’d say. “If I do, I’ll be too distracted from this assignment I have to do. I won’t get anything done.”

And I really do believe that every weekend. If I go home, I’ll be too anxious about all the work I should be doing and I won’t enjoy myself. But also, I just don’t want to make the three hour drive, only to stay there for two nights.

Of course, Thanksgiving break is different.

I will go home. I will see my family and my dog. I will eat lots of home-cooked food. I will not stress about school or work. 

I’ve earned this. We all have. This semester has flown by and I think we’re all in need of a break. 

Don’t get me wrong: I know going home isn’t all sunshine and rainbows for everyone. As much as I love my family, I am dreading the political talk and the conversation I know I will be roped into as a journalist.

For some people, I know that going home is even less pleasant than that. So I want to point out that it’s OK to use this break to do your own thing. Maybe it would be better for your mental health to spend a few days on your own — do what’s best for you, friends.

Regardless of how you utilize these few days off, any sort of break will be beneficial for your health and happiness.

According to, it’s recommended that college students take breaks in order to improve their memory, control their stress, increase their happiness and boost their productivity.

Whether you take an hour, a day, a weekend or a week, any sort of break will help you in the long run.

So enjoy this short vacation from school, and hopefully work, as well. Focus on your friends, your family or whatever else you’re thankful for.

Allow yourself some time to forget about school and just relax. Your work habits, motivation and productivity levels only stand to improve as a result.

I have burnt myself out this semester. The quality of my work and homework has taken a considerable decline. I need this break.

So for those short few days over Thanksgiving break, I’m going to try my best to stop screaming on the inside, and I hope you all do too.

Fuerstenberg can be reached at [email protected].