From the aroma of authentic Italian pasta to the fresh-cut grass smell of green hair dye, winter break was full of experiences that will leave lasting memories for Drake students. As the new school year drew closer, this meant more time for Drake students to make meaningful memories with those around them during winter break.
Senior Tavia Swarney is no stranger to seeing the world. But this past winter break, she made new memories with an old friend while exploring and taking in the sights that Europe had to offer on vacation.
“In France, I was going to meet up with an exchange student who we hosted a couple years back [home in Iowa]. One day we walked around for 10 miles, which was when I found out it was a mistake to wear heels, just seeing everything,” Swarney said. “We did the Tour de France bike trail, and of course, we had to see the Eiffel Tower light up at night. When we got to Italy, we didn’t really know what we wanted to see there. We just wanted to walk around and explore. Of course, we wanted to try their pasta. We tried their wine, had a negroni over there and one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had.”
When it comes to going on vacations, Swarney thrives on not having a plan, choosing instead to see where the adventure takes her. This adventure led to a surprising twist as she found her very own winter love story.
“I even met a guy,” Swarney said. “He brought me a bottle of wine, and we went on his patio for a little date. We just sat and talked for hours.”
Sophomore Makayla Hodge made plenty of memories over winter break, but what made them special to her was that she made them with a friend she hadn’t seen in years.
“This friend in particular, I haven’t seen since high school. It was really good to catch up,” Hodge said. “It was like nothing changed. We dyed our hair. I slept over. We made breakfast together.”
There were even adventures involving a shopping cart photoshoot, which Hodge said they found outside her friend’s house.
“There was a shopping cart outside her house, and so we took it and jumped in and we ran down the hill with it,” Hodge said. “She lives in downtown Houston and so we took pictures there. It was just really good to see her after a while.”
While home in St. Paul, Minnesota, junior Domo Edwards’ version of holiday festivities not only included unwrapping presents and family dinners, but also sister karaoke nights.
“I hung out with my family, specifically my sisters. We had a sister sleepover in St. Paul,” Edwards said. “We went sledding, we ate food, we did karaoke and that was really fun. It started with my sister, Onika, just singing and then my other sister, Shanti, made me put on the music and we all started singing old songs that we used to listen to in middle school.”
Bonding with her loved ones is one of Edwards’ favorite winter break memories because she feels she can better come out of her shell with the help of the people she grew up with.
“I feel like if any of my friends here at Drake asked me to do a karaoke night, I definitely would say no,” Edwards said. “With my family in general, I feel like I’m more comfortable.”
When junior Izzy Marx returned home to Oak Park, Illinois, for winter break, she knew she could always count on the comfort of her family and friends every time.
“Over break, I was able to hang out with my friends and my family, and my dogs, and that was really nice. I even got my first tattoo, a goldfish, in honor of my pet goldfish from middle school named Joe,” Marx said. “I love being at Drake and I love my friends here, but I also miss my friends from back home a lot. So, it’s always a good time to see everyone. It’s very comforting being home with people who know so much about you.”
Marx always looks forward to returning home for breaks to record songs for her band, Chasing Angels.
“I love playing music, and I love my bandmate [Mia] a lot. It’s fun being able to create music with someone who’s on the exact same page as you since we have the same artistic vision. Being able to play music with people who I’ve known for almost a decade is just so different because it’s so emotional,” Marx said. “If you have a friendship with someone and you also do something as intimate as playing music with them, it makes that relationship that much more magical.”