Fall break — a time of rest and recovery for many students here on campus. Or is it?

For Mia Yoder, sophomore environmental science major, fall break was a time of exploration. Yoder, a transfer student from Portland, Oregon, used her days off to discover the rural and urban ranges of the Midwest.

She kicked off her break by taking the South Shoreline Train to Chicago alongside some of her close friends. 

“I’ve never taken a commuter train before; that was sort of an adventure in and of itself,” Yoder said.

When she and her friends finally arrived in the Windy City, they ate amazing food and shopped. Although she grew up in Portland, Yoder said, “I don’t think I’ve ever been in a city quite like this.” 

After all the hustle and bustle of the city, Yoder ended her fall break with a backpacking trip in Lagro, Indiana. The hike was no small feat; not only was it a 13-mile trek through uncharted territory, but it was her first time backpacking. 

“I have just always wanted to try it,” she said. “I enjoy hiking and time alone and it felt like the right thing to do.” 

While exploring a new city and stomping through trails in the middle of autumn may be Mia’s cup of tea, others found their fall break to be the perfect opportunity for a trip back home. 

Alyssa McDonald, a sophomore broadcasting major and Resident Assistant for Yoder one, took a much-needed flight back to her hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah, to enjoy time with her family and close friends. All she wanted to do was relax. 

“I just wanted to go back home and get into my pre-college routine for a moment,” she said. 

While at home, McDonald found herself appreciating the fall weather and taking in the mountainous views of Utah.

“I honestly miss the scenery of home more than anything,” she said. 

McDonald also attended a University of Utah football game, noting how “college football is a huge deal in my family.”

“It’s a time when everyone is together and cheering for the same thing; it is very sentimental,” she said.

McDonald returned to GC’s campus with a clear head and a full heart.