With winter break becoming closer and closer, the students of FHC are eager for the start of their holiday

Seniors+Addi+Bunnell%2C+Chris+Shang%2C+Christian+Bethea%2C+and+Gavin+Cai+smile+for+a+picture+on+last+years+trip.

Seniors Addi Bunnell, Chris Shang, Christian Bethea, and Gavin Cai smile for a picture on last years trip.

All of the students and faculty at FHC are impatiently waiting for exams to pass by and for winter break to begin. For some, a warm destination is the ideal location to spend their days away from school, but to others, a staycation is more fitting for the break’s itinerary. Nevertheless, to all, the break is in perfecting time and nearly a necessity.

“I am excited to stay home,” Sophomore Ellie Clarke said. “We usually don’t do Christmas around here in Michigan, so it’s nice to be home.”

The start of this break is impending slowly, and while the anticipation is building for this long-awaited time off, students must face one more challenge before they can toss their backpacks away and put their feet up: exams. Though exams represent the end of much work students have put in, the preparation is time-consuming and stressful.

Many students at FHC cherish the time break provides away from school, if not for the vacations and sleep-ins it presents, but because the pressure of the school year is temporarily lifted. 

For senior Ashley Yarnell, exams do just that.

“I think that having a schedule every day is hard,” Ashley said, “and having a break after exams is really good because it’s so stressful to prepare.” 

Agreeing, Ellie seems to feel the same way. 

“I think having a break between the two semesters is nice to kind of just unwind,” Ellie said, “especially after exams, because exam week is pretty intense.”

Where Ashley and Ellie differ is in their plans for this snowy sabbatical.

While Ellie seeks to enjoy her time in her own home enduring the chilled landscape Michigan annually presents, Ashley’s winter break will consist of a series of completely different avenues, starting with a plane ride. 

“I am going to Mexico, Riviera Maya,” Ashley said. “[I am most looking forward to] the warm weather because it’s really cold here. I’m so excited. We’ll swim, go snorkeling, and zipline, maybe.”

For many, this temperate getaway may be bittersweet; missing the crucial moments of ski season and the other festive events the weather permits, but this is definitely not the case for Ashley.

“No, [I don’t feel like I am missing anything],” Ashley said. “I really don’t like winter at all.”

No, [I don’t feel like I am missing anything], I really just don’t like winter at all.”

— Ashley Yarnell

Escaping the cold looks like a common theme in many Michiganders’ lives.

While escaping the cold is the ideal trip for Ashley, it appears some students at FHC embrace the bleak winter Michigan provides deeming it the perfect opportunity for amusement.

“I am going to Boyne with my friends for a ski trip,” senior Noah Gleason said. “We are staying for New Year’s Eve, and then leaving the day of. 14 of us are going.”

This past New Year’s, Noah and his friends embarked on this trip for the first time, and due to the success of last year’s trip, they decided to replicate it for this December, turning it into a tradition of sorts. 

Skiing seems to be the highlight of their stay, even though some of them tend to struggle slightly more than others.

“Skiing [is my favorite part of the trip], obviously,” Noah said. “I love skiing. All my friends don’t ski; four of them can’t, but they still try. They rent skis and go off on their own.”

As far as traditions go, the holiday season brings about a circuit of festivities to align with all of the celebrations. 

Some are more extreme than others—take Noah’s Boyne trip, for example—but that’s not to say there is a lack of tradition in smaller gatherings at home and on trips.

“[I’ll spend time with] my cousins, my mom, and dad,” Ellie said. “It’s kind of a tradition to make Christmas dinner, and then, after that, we hang out and play board games.” 

Whether celebrating the holidays is the highlight of the infamous winter break, a vacation, or simply not having homework, students at FHC are ready and looking forward to the intermission of class. 

For Noah, the goal is to replicate last year’s trip, and he hopes for the same, if not a better time. 

“It was a great time,” Noah said. “I really like skiing, I really love my friends, and combining two of my favorite things together will be a really good time.”