Ohio University Students Seek Unconventional Winter Breaks
Like many students hold summer jobs, often times students will work during the long winter break to keep themselves occupied and earn back some of the money spent while at school. Freshman Ian Ording spent most of break playing video games, working as a lifeguard and writing for the city council section of OU’s The Post.
Freshman Corrie Herris, who worked at Best Buy and State Farm Insurance, worked from forty to fifty hours per week between the two jobs.
“I’m a cashier [and] customer service girl at Best Buy,” said Herris. “At State Farm I just do small office projects usually involving marketing to new clients.”
When she wasn’t working, Herris spent time visiting friends and family and celebrated Christmas Eve at her house. “With my dad’s side of the family. We had a family [gag] gift exchange game that we play every year,” she said. “I personally brought a hot dog toaster for the exchange. Some other gifts were an aluminum wallet and a jewelry box with lottery tickets inside.”
Junior Jeff Ryan worked at Gallery Home Furnishings, in Dayton, Ohio, delivering furniture for what he described as the “best” bosses. “One is 85 [years old] and the other has only one leg,” he said. “The old man is funnier than ever and is always telling me how much he appreciates my coming in and helping.”
“They are the best people to work for,” said Ryan. “They always hire me back on during winter break.”
Other students had the opportunity to travel abroad over break. Heather Farr, senior, traveled to Zambia, in southern Africa. The trip, which lasted from November 26 to December 23, was part of the International Institution of Journalism, a program in the journalism school. Students who went on the trip took Tier 3 classes and other electives, studying international media – particularly African/Zambian media.
Students were put into internships, dealing with media, newspaper or radio or advertising. The other half of the trip focused on travel and nonprofit organizations such as orphanages.
“I went to Vietnam before so I was a little more prepared for this trip,” said Farr. “This time around, it definitely, above everything else, made me appreciate what we have over here – in a lot of different senses, not just the living arrangements or college facilities.”
“I complain about the slow internet connection here [at OU] but over there, there is none,” said Farr. “The trip was less about gaining experience and more about helping us appreciate the resources we have as someone pursuing a career in media studies.”
Farr says she would definitely like to visit Zambia again. “The people were so nice and hospitality was out of this world. I would love to continue exploring the continent.”
Studying abroad over winter and summer breaks afford students numerous opportunities: experiencing new and exciting things, learning the roots of different cultures and languages and improving one’s personal, professional and academic experience. “It’s different and it’s nice to experience that,” said Farr.