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  • Cliff Grassmick

    Chris Childers, left, Julia Waterhouse and Allison Werk, and all CU freshmen, wait for a bus to the airport on Thursday. University of Colorado students catch the bus for DIA to go home for the holidays.

  • Allison Werk, left, and Julia Waterhouse, share a laugh while getting on the bus on Thursday. University of Colorado students catch the bus for DIA to go home for the holidays.

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Last week many University of Colorado students headed home for the holidays and winter break, in search of some down time before starting the spring semester.

Several CU students said they planned to spend time with family during the nearly month-long break, while others looked forward to reconnecting with friends back home.

Four weeks may seem like a long time for some, but other said it’s barely enough to recoup and catch up with the life they left in August.

CU freshman Danielle Bush said she left her whole life back in California to come to Boulder and to earn her business degree. She said splitting time between friends and family will be a challenge.

“I especially miss my best friends,” Bush said. “There were five of us that were really good friends in high school and we all went to different colleges, so it’s hard to keep in touch.”

Bush said she connects with her friends through text messages and video chats throughout the semester, but it’s not the same as face-to-face time.

As much as Bush wants to see her friends, she said it’s difficult to make time for them when she wants to see her family too.

Bush said family will get priority for the holidays, but she’s making time to take a quick trip with her friends before she heads back to Boulder.

“We’re going to Hawaii for vacation for a week,” Bush said. “My parents are happy that I’m staying in touch with my friends and I’ll get to see them all during the break.”

CU sophomore Tucker Oakley, whose home is only an hour from Boulder, said regardless of the short distance, he’s still learning how to balance friends and family.

Oakley is from Evergreen — where many of his family and some friends remain — which he said has its pros and cons.

“I’m starting to spend a little less time at home during the breaks,” Oakley said. “I want to see them, especially during the holidays, but I have a life here now so I’m not spending every day at home anymore.”

Oakley said he had to decide what he wanted and is hoping his family and friends at home will understand if he leaves a little early to come back to Boulder before classes start.

CU junior Molly Bray said she is coming back to Boulder to throw a New Year’s Eve party for her friends after spending some time at home in Virginia.

“I’ll spend a lot of time with my family during the holidays, but I want some time to relax and hang out with my friends here too,” Bray said.

Bray said she’s hoping to spend some time on the slopes before hitting the books again this spring.

“My parents want me to make the most of my time in Boulder while I’m here,” Bray said. “I’m lucky because they encourage me to be in Boulder with my friends, even though they want to see me they understand.”

Classes resume Jan. 17.

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