California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Away from home for the holidays

    Chestnuts roasting by the open fire, an array of gingerbreads and pies, a quick kiss to welcome in the New Year- all of those are just a few activities students look forward to during their winter break at home.

    What about the students living on campus during winter break? Or the students who stay in Thousand Oaks while the rest go home?

    For a select group of students, going home isnโ€™t an option. Some students have practices, such as the Regals and Kingsmen swim and basketball teams. Theyโ€™re likely to spend their breaks shooting hoops and practicing their form.ย  Other students canโ€™t go back home because home is in another country.

    โ€œHome is where the heart is,โ€ said international student Yannis Moore. โ€œAnd thereโ€™s plenty of heart here at CLU.โ€

    While there are students who view California Lutheran University as home, for some, itโ€™s difficult to even suggest that.

    โ€œI donโ€™t really feel at home here. I live in San Diego and thatโ€™s home,โ€ said junior Mary Wakabayashi.

    Although CLU doesnโ€™t feel completely like home for some, itโ€™s still possible to enjoy the environment.

    Being on campus can have some qualities that home doesnโ€™t have, like being able to focus on your sport with no other responsibilities. It gives athletes a chance to fully enjoy their sport and keeps the focus off the fact that theyโ€™re not home.

    โ€œI have 10 days of real break, so Iโ€™ll go home to San Diego. Then, Iโ€™ll come back here and stay in my dorm room until second semester starts,โ€ Wakabayashi said. โ€œIโ€™m just glad I have a break to go home. I guess I donโ€™t really mind coming back because itโ€™s kind of nice to practice without school and other things going on. Itโ€™s nice to focus on just my sport.โ€

    For some students, being at CLU over winter break is not much different than home, especially in terms of rules. When staying at CLU over the holiday season, it gets easier to see friends here as family and the resident assistants as replacement parental figures, like mom and dad.

    โ€œThe main difference between here and home is that there are no RAs at home,โ€ Moore said. โ€œInstead, I have my mother.โ€

    Adding little quirky habits from home can help a student staying on break to get a little piece of home.

    For junior Mimi Harbach, her mom supplied her with treats and goodies. For other students, this can mean baking cookies to make the living space smell like home, or watching early morning cartoons like when at home and surrounded by siblings and cuddling with pets.

    โ€œI end up missing my pet cats, honestly. Every now and then I get picture messages from my mom with my cats,โ€ Harbach said.ย  โ€œIf I get real homesick and my mom knows, sheโ€™ll send care packages with treats I eat from home, like caramel popcorn and tons of chocolate.โ€

    Students staying on campus or in the area during break can utilize services such as Oovoo or Skype to keep in touch with family. Parents can be just a phone call away if homesickness sets in.

    Winter break doesnโ€™t have to be a lonely experience. For those staying for teams, surround yourself with quality teammate company.

    For international students staying over break, itโ€™s a good time to meet other international friends to have company as well. After all, the more the merrier.



    Berlin Galvan
    Staff Writer
    Published December 11, 2013