October 1, 2021 | NEWS | By Tom Byron
Like so much on the post-quarantine campus, Colorado College students entered their first block break of the year with a mixture of excitement and reluctance. Some embraced the opportunity to go on wild adventures for the first time in months or years, others took the time to recover from the aftershocks of returning to campus life, and many stayed on campus to cherish a much-needed rest from the Block Plan.
For both first years and many students who entered CC last year, this was their first block break on a fully-populated CC campus, and for many returning students, this was the first on-campus block break since CC announced that all students had to return home in the spring of 2020. Things might be more “normal” now than at any time during the last year and half, but it seems impossible to escape the legacy of 2020.
Despite that, some students found a way to make a block break adventure happen. Maggie Mixer ‘24 and Amanda Young ‘24 both traveled to Breckenridge with four friends when block break began on the afternoon of Sept. 22. They stayed with the family of one of their friends and hiked the Decalibron trail which contains four 14,000-foot peaks on a single ridge.
A few of the group hiked La Plata Peak the next day, while the others hammocked in an aspen grove to unwind. Mixer and Young have been on campus since fall of 2020, and though they went on trips like this last year too, this was the first time they’ve all been able to make it to the mountains together.
For some, block break was less of an adventure. A senior who wished to remain anonymous for medical reasons came down with the “CC plague” that’s been going around since the start of Block 1 and had to cancel her travel plans.
She stayed home to recover, and despite being barely able to leave her apartment for three days, she got a lot of painting done and took the time to finish a TV show she’d been watching for a while. She’s far from the only person to have their break cut short by sickness. Though campus has managed to avoid large COVID-19 outbreaks, there’s no vaccine for college colds.
Fer Juarez Duran ’23 did his best to relax but didn’t feel that he could go anywhere because of his duties as a Residential Advisor and all the extra work that’s piled up from a block on campus.
Duran tried to take some time for himself, but clubs, summer research that he had to catch up on, and an extended class ran all ran into block break, making it difficult to really enjoy his time off.
In between finishing work and managing obligations, he managed to maintain his discipline and schedule and even found the time to have a deep talk with one of his friends.
Many students tend to think of block break as a chance to recover from the frantic work of a Block Plan class, but the reality is usually more mixed. Looking at Instagram, it might seem like block break is just a time for adventure and excitement, and while that’s an option, it’s not one that everyone takes.