A few months ago, after extensive research and thought, I decided to choose Buenos Aires, Argentina as my study abroad destination. I loved the city’s fascinating history, beautiful location and highly favorable exchange rate. However, one thing I did not take into account was the difference in seasons there. Since Argentina is below the equator, our winter is their summer – which means school doesn’t start until the very end of February.

The upshot of all this? I have a two-and-a-half month long winter break.

What does one do with two-and-a-half months of free time in Buffalo, N.Y.? My first instinct was to spend the time the way I usually do at home – hanging out with a variety of friends.

While this worked for a couple weeks, eventually all of my companions left me behind to go abroad themselves or to go back to school. Now, all of those who remain are my high school ex-boyfriend, his three roommates and a friend who has all but locked herself in her bedroom studying for the upcoming MCAT exam. The ‘fun social life’ idea obviously was not a winner.

My next thought was to get a job. However, when a mentally handicapped man was hired in my stead at Starbucks, and every Craig’s List posting for waitress jobs eventually asked that I either e-mail my credit card information or take my top off, I began to realize that this pursuit was also futile.

Still, as my break wears on, I am trying to take a positive view of my situation. I have the free time to read great works of literature! I can go to the gym every day! I can figure out what I want to do with my life! I sat down and wrote out a list of lofty goals for self-improvement, to be completed by the time I leave for Buenos Aires.

I haven’t gotten as much accomplished as I would have liked to on those goals, but I have accomplished some other really impressive things that I’d like to share.

First, I have mastered the art of Facebook-stalking. Facebook used to be just an occasional distraction for me, but I have turned that Web site into a full-time hobby. There is not a status update that I don’t read or a wall-to-wall that I don’t peruse. My fifth-grade crush’s sister’s camping photos? Yeah, I saw those.

Second, I have committed myself to engaging in wacky stunts and hijinks. I’m usually pretty conscientious and risk-averse, but my boredom has led me to discover the joys of frat-boy style antics.

A couple weeks ago I allowed myself to be convinced into chugging three natty ices, rolling in the snow in nothing but a bathing suit and then jumping in a hot tub. While I may have spent the rest of the night complaining of burning skin and nausea, the next day I could brag to my little brother about how cool it was.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, while I may not have picked a career, I have made a lot of headway in determining what I do not want to do with my life. TV has been a big help in this regard. For example, I’ve determined that I never want to have a house on the Jersey Shore, be a teen mom, go to rehab for sex addiction or be P. Diddy’s assistant. So I’m at least ruling out some choices.

Having already accomplished so much, who knows what I might do in the next thirty days? All I can say is this: the Argentinians are not going to know what hit them.

Healy is a member of the class of 2011.



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