Student winter break plans


Photo submitted to The Simpsonian

Simpson students discuss their plans after break.

by Noah Harkness, Staff Reporter

Simpson students and faculty are preparing for finals the week before winter break officially begins. Many students will be going on trips and giving back to their local communities.

Tucker Vandervelde, a first-year student majoring in sports administration and accounting, is from McBain, Michigan and came to Simpson to compete on the men’s golf team. He said Thanksgiving break was different for him this year because of his commute back home.

“It felt different being home with family just because I don’t see them every day anymore,” Vandervelde said. “It’s almost like a treat to go home now and see them.”

The transition from high school to college is a challenging one for many students. The responsibility that comes with being a full-time student while also living far from home is a difficult reality students face. Vandervelde said he wants to visit his high school and be a resource to seniors asking about college.

“I want to tell seniors what college is like and how the first semester of college compares to high school. It’s like high school but with a higher workload, and it’s more of a lifestyle than a requirement,” he said.

Listening to your heart and not overthinking the decision are ways high school students can make deciding on a college easier. Having current college students come back and offer advice could be a potential opportunity for high schools to move forward. Vandervelde said he wanted to volunteer as a time to reset after his first semester.

“This first semester, I’ve been very focused on academics and being on the golf team. It’ll give me time to do something different and refocus my mind to prepare for second semester,” he said. 

Summer Pasutti is a sophomore majoring in English and education studies. She graduated from Interstate 35 high school and is a member of the softball team.

Softball will be traveling to Panama during the first week of winter break. Pasutti said the team will be there for about a week and that this is her first time traveling outside the country. 

“Our first goal is cultural immersion, so we’re going to run a youth softball camp, and we also have two exhibition games,” Pasutti said. “We’ll also be visiting the Panama Canal and rainforest. I’ll probably be a little anxious, but I’m also really excited.”

Pasutti is currently injured but has still been involved in the preparation for Panama and the upcoming season. Softball started collecting data at practices this year, and players have been assisting managers in data collection. Pasutti said her coach asked about her perspective on now getting to watch her teammates. “My influence is more behind the scenes like talking to coach and observing the patterns. I didn’t get as much on-field dynamics as everyone else did, but I got to watch everything go down.”

Players willing to help the team regardless of health situations will certainly be a boost in preparation for the new season. Students helping the Simpson community as well as their own is what the holiday season is all about.