This year, winter break is a few weeks long, which is enough time for a real vacation. If you are a freshman or sophomore, this really will be a great time of rest and play. However, if you are a junior or senior, it is still a trying time as many summer internships, graduate school programs and full-time job applications are due. It is difficult to take a break when there are so many deadlines everywhere, but here are some ways Bruins will celebrate their well-deserved break.

Sarah Hoffman: I am staying in Westwood and working at my job for most of winter break. Then I will be going home to Oceanside for Christmas. I love the holidays because I get to spend them with family and just relax without having to think about school for a while.

Xinran Cui: I am going to rush home to Sacramento right after my final to make my mom’s 50th birthday celebration that day. I look forward to some quality family time and catching up with my friends. And my parents promised they would finally teach me how to cook some more fancy Chinese dishes, which should be a thrilling experience given my tendency for launching kitchen disasters.

Michael Daniel: The end of this past year has been one of the hardest I have ever faced. I have been met with multiple challenges and letdowns, but they all help keep me focused on what I have ahead. During this time, throughout the stresses and pressures of medical school applications and of daily life, my family and friends have helped pull me through so I could see the light at the end of my tunnel. By the end of the year I will know the course for the next eight years of my life in the eventual MD/PhD program of my choosing, which prompts an indescribable feeling. In that time we will see where life takes me, the people I will be around and what I will do for the rest of my life. And so for winter break, I will try to have as much relaxation and fun with my family and friends as possible.

Mark Reyes: I usually take winter break to reflect and relax and spend time with family and loved ones. Since everyone is back home, I take time to spend with old friends who come back home. I like the weather during winter too. And it is a time to become close with friends. Since the holiday spirit is always high, I notice that people try to get along with each other more often then they usually do.

Neesha Patel: I am going to India for the whole break because my brother is getting married! I have never been to India during the winter, so this will be an exciting trip. I am looking forward to visiting my extended family and the villages where my parents are from. Also, I will be able to purchase more Indian clothes, as they are much less expensive in India.

If you are looking for something to do, there are many sporting events occurring during winter break. On Saturday, Dec. 17, men’s basketball will host UC Davis at the Honda Center at noon, and women’s basketball will host Tennessee at the John Wooden Center at 2 p.m. On Tuesday, Dec. 20, men’s basketball will host UCI at the Los Angeles Sports Arena at 7:30 p.m. The Los Angeles Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker will show at Royce Hall on Dec. 17. You can visit the Hammer Museum on Friday, Jan. 6, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the open courtyard to kick off a three-day closing celebration for the exhibition called Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980.

For more information on the schedule of events, visit

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