Alternative break options

It’s almost that time of year again, ladies and gents! Time to dig into the back of your closet and pull out your trusty bathing suit, sunscreen and flip-flops and escape from the seemingly inescapable snow and winds of upstate New York. The stress of the semester is already bearing down on us, and everyone deserves this break. Alright, so maybe your crazy spring break plans to Florida fell through for some reason. Don’t get too upset just yet. There are plenty of things you can do with your time that can be just as fulfilling as splashing in the ocean waves, or tanning in the sand (that’s risky and could give you melanoma anyway).

No. 1 on any college student’s to-do list should be to relax. You’ve spent the past month staying up until all hours of the night trying to read all the chapters that all your teachers assigned, and then finding yourself being awakened annoyingly by the “beep beep” of the dreaded alarm clock far too early. You spend your day running from one class to the next, to work, to the library, to another class, to the gym. It never ends, does it? Well, here’s your chance.

Take this week as a chance to just do nothing. Let your body sleep for as long as it needs to and recharge. Lounge out on your couch and catch up on your favorite TV shows. When’s the last time you read a book for pleasure? Take a trip to the library before leaving campus to pick up a good novel. Maybe it’ll be so great that it transports you to that beach you wish you were sprawled out on.

“Take this week as a chance to just do nothing. Let your body sleep for as long as it needs to and recharge.”

Friends constantly surround you while you are at college. But what about your friends from back home that you have known since you were young? Spring break is the perfect time to reconnect with them. If they stayed around your hometown, perfect. If their spring breaks do not match yours, even better. Make a trip out to visit them at their schools. It will give you a change of scenery, and they are guaranteed to be happy to have some company.

I bet your family is happy that you are not running off to Jamaica during the only chance they will get to see you this entire semester, so fit in some quality time with them. Have a family game night or make a fancy dinner together.

You can take advantage of the weather if the snow sticks around and head for the hills to get some last-minute skiing in before spring finally hits. Pick your little siblings up from school and take them out for a snack. Stay up late talking with your parents and let loose about all your concerns for the future. You are an adult now, but they still know best and it is their job to guide you through the rough spots.

If you are not one to just sit around and do nothing, see if there are any charities that could use your service. Call up the local nursing home or soup kitchen to see what you can do. If you are looking to earn some extra cash, get in contact with your summer employer and see if they could give you a few shifts. Maybe you do not have a summer job, so now is the time to start applying. You might be able to save enough money to make the vacation of your dreams come true in the spring of 2015.

If none of these options fit your liking, then maybe you should use the time to work on projects that are due in the upcoming weeks. Spring break marks the halfway point in the semester, so be prepared to be bombarded with assignments when you return. Some professors tell you about papers months before they are due, so why not get a head start on them so you are not overwhelmed with everything at once.

But most of all, take this time to get away from the realities of life and enjoy yourself.