FINAL-ly, the end of finals! Winter break always marks the chance for a fresh start with new classes, and gives me a few precious weeks to relax, recharge, and focus on friends and family (and new trashy Netflix shows). Over my winter breaks, I split time up between the various places I consider home: first, I spend time with my family friends in San Diego, then I spend time with my grandmother and cousins in Utah, and last but not least, I return home with my mom. This year, however, winter break was different as my mom recently moved from the Washington, DC, area to Seattle—the other Washington—and it was probably the most exciting break yet!

San Diego

San Diego has some of my most cherished memories with my second family—typical activities include bingeing horrible, horrible* Hallmark movies, eating the perfect San Diego breakfast burrito, and driving past the beach at sunset yelling “we’re the luckiest girls in the world!” (no, I’m not joking, this started when we were 7 and we still embarrass ourselves now).  For additional relaxation this year, we did a sound healing yoga class, watched the sunset from the water with friends, and made 20 gingerbread houses. No, really, we made 20. Finals stress? Who’s she?

*horribly addictive

I’m on a boat

One of TWENTY houses made


My mom and I join my cousins and grandmother in Utah every year for Christmas—the more the merrier! Our favorite traditions here include a heated white elephant gift exchange (my grandmother and my youngest cousin always fight over the best gift, and everyone else gets laughable gag gifts, which I personally love), seeing a Christmas day movie (Knives Out anyone?), and me attempting to cook and creating something horribly inedible.


We arrive at the part of break I have been looking forward to the whole year—seeing my dog. Please look at these photos of her in hats. Most of my time in Seattle was spent catching up with family and friends (yay alumni). Some highlights included my first NYE out at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop), catching up with friends at Pike’s Place, and seeing the new Star Wars movie which was enjoyable yet totally discontinuous with the last few movies. Oh well… if that’s my biggest problem over break, I’ll take it.


Speaking of problems, this semester I’ll be finishing up my engineering coursework as a second semester senior (the problem is I don’t want to leave ☹). I’m looking forward to my Computer Engineering capstone, and finally taking that songwriting class I wanted to take since Freshman year. Break is the best time to recharge and get excited for getting back to the grind again!



Madelyn Douglas

Madelyn Douglas

MAJOR: Electrical (Computer) Engineering YEAR: Class of 2020 HOMETOWN: Bethseda, Maryland PRONOUNS: she/her/hers